.ini Language Files Format

An .ini file is composed of strings and comments. See Specification of language files.



There are 2 types of comments:

  • Comments used as sections, to clarify the use of a group of strings.
  • Comments used to inform translators of some characteristics of the string(s) just below. These should not be preceded by a blank line.


  • All language strings are in British English (en-GB). See Joomla! en-GB User Interface Text Guidelines
  • The lines commented should start with a semi-colon.
  • The strings should be alphabetically ordered using the "Standard Alphabetical Order" and not the "ASCII order". This mostly means here that the underscore is sorted BEFORE the letters.



comes before


Some specific text editors only sort by "ASCII order" and should not be used.


Some IDEs have specific plugins to sort the lines by "Standard Alphabetical Order".


It may be necessary to set the sorting to "Case Insensitive Sort" to obtain the correct results.

Online tools

There is also an online tool which lets order this way (among other goodies): https://wordcounter.net/alphabetize


When the file includes commented sections, the strings should be alphabetically ordered in each section.
Warning: when the comments concern specific strings and sorting has modified the order, the comments should be moved to the right place.