XLIFF (XML Localisation Interchange File Format) is an XML-based format created to standardize localization.

XLIFF was standardized by OASIS in 2002. The XLIFF specification is aimed at the localization industry. It specifies elements and attributes to aid in localization.

  • XLIFF separates localizable text from formatting.
  • XLIFF enables multiple tools to work on source strings and add to the data about the string.
  • XLIFF removes the complexities of localizing different types of source files (HTML,  Docbook, Microsoft Word ver 2003, Microsoft Word, ver 2007, XML of various DTDs and schemas, and FrameMaker).
  • XLIFF provides a common platform for localization tools vendors to write to, thus increasing the number of tools available.
  • XLIFF highlights the parts of a file that are important to the localization process.
  • XLIFF provides support to the localization process, through its commenting features, support for phases, and metrics.

XLIFF forms part of the Open Architecture for XML Authoring and Localization (OAXAL) reference architecture.


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