Latest 1.2.1
License MIT
Platforms ios 6.0, osx 10.7, requires ARC


MiawKit is a collection of utilities that makes life a little easier when localizing apps for iOS and OS X. The kit is made up of three different parts that works nice together. The first part is a set of functions that replace NSLocalizedString. The second part is a set of UIKit and AppKit categories on stuff like labels and buttons that make it easier to localize single view parts. The last part is a script that will turn your localized keys from your strings files into constants in your code.

Getting started

MiawKit supports both CocoaPods and Carthage. If you use CococaPods add this line to your Podfile:

pod 'MiawKit', '~> 1.2'

If you use Carthage add this line to your Cartfile:

github "robocat/MiawKit"

If you’re planning on using the scrit portion of MiawKit you will have to copy the miaw script into the root directory of your project manually.


An essential part of MiawKit is the miaw command line utility itself. It is a small ruby script that generates constants for all your localization keys. This avoids "stringly-typed" keys in your code and helps Xcode autocomplete your localization keys. miaw works by searching through your project directory for all .strings files located in .lproj directories. It generates the file MKLocalizableKeys.h which contains a constant for each key found. Each constant is documented with all localizations found for that key. Here is an example of what that looks like:

 * "Let's play Wordbase!"
 * All translations:
 * @b [email protected]: "Lad os spille Wordbase!"
 * @b [email protected]: "Let's play Wordbase!"
 * @b [email protected]: "¬°Vamos a jugar a Wordbase!"
 * @b [email protected]: "Pelataan Wordbase-peli√§!"
 * @b [email protected]: "La oss spille Wordbase!"
 * @b [email protected]: "Spela Wordbase med mig!"

XCode is even smart enough to show you the documentation so you can see the translation for a key by alt-clicking any localization key constant.

Make sure that you copy the miaw file into the root directory of your project and run the command:

./miaw --objc

Which generates the MKLocalizaableKeys.h file in your root directory. Include that file in your Xcode project and you’re all good to go. To generate a swift key file instead use:

./miaw --swift

Run miaw -h for more information on how to use the miaw file.


MiawKit provides a simple API to register for localization changes. Classes in your codebase that needs to be updated with localization once they’re displayed or when the language is changed can register for changes using MKLocalization‘s registerForLocalization: method:

 * Register an object implementing the MKLocalizable protocol
 * for localization. Calling this method will invoke the
 * -shouldLocalize method of the passed object immediately. It
 * will also invoke the method if the preferred language changes.
 * @param localizableObject The object to register for localization
+ (void)registerForLocalization:(id<MKLocalizable>)localizableObject;

Your class then needs to conform to the MKlocalizable protocol which calls shouldLocalize when localization changes are needed. Here is an example of how you might use the API in a UIViewController.

- (void)viewDidLoad {
    [self viewDidLoad];

    [MKLocalization registerForLocalization:self];

- (void)shouldLocalize {
    [self.awesomeLabel mk_localize];
    [self.awesomeOtherLabel mk_localizeWithFormat:MK_AWESOME_OTHER_LABEL, self.awesomeValue];

If you want to change the language used within your app you can use changeLocalizationTo: to change the language. All registered objects will be relocalized.

 * Change the preferred language to a given language. Changing the
 * preferred language will invoke the -shouldLocalize method of all
 * registered localizable objects.
 * @param language The language identifier for the new language
+ (void)changeLocalizationTo:(NSString *)language;

Apple does not provide any official API’s to support applications with different locales from the systems or users locale. MiawKit uses a convention of setting the AppleLanguages in [[NSUserDefaults] standardDefaults] to the currently preferred language code. Please advice that other 3rd-party libraries you depend upon may not follow this same convention.

UIKit Categories

MiawKit provides useful category methods for UIButton and UILabel to ease localization of UI elements. Both categories share methods for localizing using the title as key:

[self.awesomeLabel mk_localize];

or given the key:

[self.awesomeLabel mk_localize:MK_AWESOME_BUTTON];

or with a formatted string:

[self.awesomeLabel mk_localizeWithFormat:MK_AWESOME_BUTTON, self.awesomeValue];

Latest podspec

    "name": "MiawKit",
    "version": "1.2.1",
    "license": {
        "type": "MIT",
        "file": "LICENSE"
    "summary": "A set of utilities that gives localization in Objective-C a little more miaw",
    "homepage": "",
    "authors": {
        "Robocat": "[email protected]"
    "source": {
        "git": "",
        "tag": "v1.2.1"
    "social_media_url": "",
    "screenshots": "",
    "requires_arc": true,
    "source_files": "MiawKit/*.{h,m}",
    "platforms": {
        "ios": "6.0",
        "osx": "10.7"
    "ios": {
        "source_files": "MiawKit/UIKit+MKLocalization/*.{h,m}"
    "osx": {
        "source_files": "MiawKit/AppKit+MKLocalization/*.{h,m}"

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