2.4.0 • Public • Published


A localization module for AngularJS.

Table of contents

Getting started

Module setup

The easiest way to install the localize module is via NPM:

npm install angular-localize --save

You can then include angular-localize after including its dependencies, angular and angular-sanitize:

<script src="node_modules/angular/angular.js"></script>
<script src="node_modules/angular-sanitize/angular-sanitize.js"></script>
<script src="node_modules/angular-localize/angular-localize.js"></script>

Translation mappings

The localize module requires an object of translation mappings.
By convention, this is a global object variable called i18n, which must be available before the Angular application is initialized:

window.i18n = {,
    'Hello world!': 'Hallo Welt!',
    'Hello {name}!': function (data) {
        return 'Hallo ' + + '!';

The localize module uses this map to lookup the translation results.
The values of the map can be either static translation strings or dynamic translation functions.
The translation functions are expected to return strings with the translation result.
An optional object with dynamic user data is passed as only argument to the translation functions.
If no matching mapping is found, the key is used as the translation result.

Instead of storing the translation functions in a global object, it's also possible to decorate the localizeConfig service to override the i18n configuration property:

angular.module('localize').config(['$provide', function ($provide) {
    $provide.decorator('localizeConfig', ['$delegate', function ($delegate) {
        $delegate.i18n = {
            'Hello world!': 'Hallo Welt!',
            'Hello {name}!': function (data) {
                return 'Hallo ' + + '!';
        return $delegate;

How to automatically create the translation mappings

grunt-locales, a plugin for the Grunt task runner, provides command-line scripts to automate the creation of the translation mappings.

grunt-locales parses localize attributes in HTML files as well as localize method calls in JS files and collects the parsed locale strings in JSON files for translation.
The translated JSON locale files are then compiled into JavaScript files containing the object with the translation mappings.

To support translation features like pluralization and gender selection, grunt-locales relies on Alex Sexton's MessageFormat library to parse the locale strings and compile dynamic translation functions.

Usage Examples

localize directive

Localize using the element content

Any HTML element which can contain text nodes can be localized simply by adding the localize attribute:

<p localize>Save the Orangutans!</p>

If a translation function for the key "Save the Orangutans!" exists, the localize directive will replace the element content with the result of executing the function.

Localized element content can also contain HTML:

<p localize>Save the <strong>Orangutans</strong>!</p>

In this case, the key for the translation function is "Save the <strong>Orangutans</strong>!".

The result of the translation function of localizations defined via element content will always be assigned as HTML, but sanitized via angular-sanitize.

Localize using the localize attribute

Instead of the element content, the localization key can also be defined as value of the localize attribute:

<p localize="Save the Orangutans!"></p>

If no translation function for the key "Save the Orangutans!" exists, the attribute value will be used as element content.

Localizations defined via localize attribute cannot contain HTML tags, as the translation result will be assigned as text, not as HTML. This limitation enables a slightly faster localization, as no sanitization is required.

Localize with dynamic user data

It's also possible to provide dynamic user data to the translation functions.

The localize directive observes all non-directive data-* attributes and passes them as normalized map of key/value pairs to the translation function:

<p data-name="{{}}" localize="Hello {name}!"></p>

Whenever is updated, the translation function for "Hello {name}!" gets called with an object, e.g. {name: 'Bob'} as argument and the element content is updated accordingly.

This also works with the localization key as element content, which allows the use of HTML for the translation result:

<p data-name="{{}}" localize>Hello <strong>{name}</strong>!</p>

In this case, all dynamic user data is escaped (HTML special characters are replaced with their respective HTML entity) before it is passed to the translation function.

Configuring the observable directive attributes

By default, the localize directive only observes non-directive data-attributes, which are identified by the observableAttrs regular expression, a property of the localizeConfig service.
You can override the default setting by decorating the localizeConfig service:

angular.module('localize').config(['$provide', function ($provide) {
    $provide.decorator('localizeConfig', ['$delegate', function ($delegate) {
        $delegate.observableAttrs = /^data-(?!ng-|localize)/;
        return $delegate;

The regular expression is matched against the non-normalized attribute names of the directive. The default setting will match any data-* attributes which are not followed by the strings ng- or localize.

localize service

The localize service is an equivalent to the localize directive and can be used to generate localized results in situations where the directive cannot be used:

        '$scope', 'localize',
        function ($scope, localize) {
            $scope.text = localize(
                'Hello {name}!',
                {name: $}

The localize service expects the localization key as first argument and an optional object with user data as second argument.

If the third argument is set to true, the user data will be escaped (HTML special characters are replaced with their respective HTML entity), which allows to output the translation result as HTML, although it still needs to be properly sanitized depending on the security context:

        '$scope', 'localize',
        function ($scope, localize) {
            $scope.text = localize(
                'Hello <strong>{name}</strong>!',
                {name: $},

Generally, it is preferable to use the localize directive instead of the service whenever possible, as the directive can determine its security context.
However, grunt-locales is able to parse both the directive attributes as well as the localize service calls.

localize filter

The localize filter provides the same functionality as the service.
It can be useful in templates where the localization strings are dynamic, e.g. for error messages:

<p>{{errorMessage | localize}}</p>

It is also possible to pass an object with localization arguments to the localize filter:

<p>{{errorMessage | localize:data}}</p>

If the result of the localization is rendered as HTML, the localization arguments must be escaped by setting the second filter argument to true:

<p ng-bind-html="errorMessage | localize:data:true"></p>

localize factory

The localizeFactory is a service to facilitate the creation of additional, attribute-based localize directives.

Executing the localizeFactory function returns a directive definition object that identifies the attribute to update via its directive name.

The following is the simple code required to create a localize-title directive:

    .directive('localizeTitle', ['localizeFactory', function (localizeFactory) {
        return localizeFactory();

Directives created via the localizeFactory work the same way as the original localize directive, but instead of updating the element content, they update their associated HTML attribute.

The following is an example use of the created localize-title directive:

<p data-name="{{}}" localize-title="Hello {name}!"></p>

This directive will update the title attribute based on the translation function and provided user data.

The updated attribute is always the directive name with the localize- prefix removed.
Therefore, as a convention, the directive name must always start with localize as prefix.


Released under the MIT license.

Package Sidebar


npm i angular-localize

Weekly Downloads






Last publish


  • blueimp