Localization testing has a broad definition, and you need a broad set of tools to do the job efficiently.
Localization is fun because no task is exactly the same. As a result, the tools you need vary as well.
For instance, the tools used for web localization testing vs. documentation review are different, and some tools will only apply to particular roles.
Localization engineers do more automation while localization testing typically focuses on reporting.
We will cover our favorite localization testing tools under the following sections:
- Test case management
- Defect/Issue/Bug reporting & management
- Screenshot capturing
- Localization Automation testing
Localization Test Case Management
To properly test your product for localization, define test scenarios for it. Without a common plan, how can you expect to receive consistent coverage from all your testers?
Well, you can’t.
A test case management tool will help your QA leads manage and monitor cases efficiently and improve the testing coverage over time.
Let’s just say that Word and Excel are not the best localization testing tools for management.
Here are a couple of our favorites:
TestRail is one of the leading test case management tools out there and because of that one of the best localization testing tools available.
It looks very similar to Redmine so if you are using Redmine for your defect management, you will feel right at home with TestRail. It integrates with Redmine and many other bug tracking tools so testers can create defects on the fly.
TestLodge is a slick looking modern test case management tool. Like TestRail, it also integrates with bug tracking tools.
Unlike TestRail, however, TestLodge only offers a hosted solution so it is not possible to have an instance running on your own servers.
Localization Issue Tracking & Management
Even today, we see many companies using Word documents or Excel spreadsheets for reporting defects and tracking statuses.
Lets just take a quick look at a typical localization testing life cycle:
We need to tell you what can happen if you use Excel to track this workflow.
Your project managers drown in emails because people get confused by all the fields in the spreadsheet. You lose track o defects and you don’t know at what point that happened.
Most importantly, you will not be able to measure your resources’ performance because numbers will be all over the place in the form of apples, oranges and watermelons.
And if you can’t measure performance, how will you improve?
Redmine is another favorite issue tracking tool. Workflow management can be used to streamline the lifecycle I pictured above, repository integration can be used for relating issues to fixes and the integrated wiki can be used for sharing instructions with testers.
See a full feature list here.
Lighthouse, as the name suggests, is a light and modern-looking issue tracking tool. It is a fully hosted solution meaning you cannot run it on your own environment.
Also worth mentioning are Bugzilla, Jira and Mantis.
For a detailed list of issue trackers and feature/platform comparison, see this Wikipedia page.
Screenshot Capturing Tools
When it comes to taking screenshots, ShareX is certainly one of our favorite localization testing tools.
It would be a shame to use it for screenshots only, though. It can upload your text contents to Pastebin directly, upload files to Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3 and many other services, shorten links and many others.
A picture is a thousand words in daily life and a million in issue reporting. A defect report without a screenshot is like a map without a GPS. You can do without it, but it will take much longer to figure out.
Snagit is the answer if you are looking for advanced editing features. It’s a great tool for an engineer and high on our list of essential localization testing tools.
It can capture more advanced videos (within a time limit) and offers several options for sharing your screenshots. Snagit is our tool of choice.
Also worth mentioning are Screenshot Captor, LightShot, FastStone and Shutter.
Localization Testing Automation Tools
Most localization testing is manual. Text needs to be read, layout needs to be checked, and localization needs to be verified, all of which require a human to manually do.
However there are still cases where automation comes into the picture.
A couple of examples:
- Web localization testing – Forms can be submitted using automation and links can be verified
- Software localization testing – Functional validation can be performed via automation.
Also for cases where advanced knowledge of the software is necessary for testing, taking screenshots for review by localization testers may be a more efficient approach.
Tools can be used for taking these screenshots iMacros is an amazing browser automation tool. It can fill and submit forms, click on links, save images, extract data and much more.
It offers a macro recording feature, very much like the MSFT Office suite, which can replicate your actions.
Selenium is one of the pioneering tools in this area. It is very feature-rich, however requires a lot more technical knowledge to use.
Start Using Our Favorite Localization Testing Tools!
The localization tools we’ve highlighted are integral to any substantial localization process. Sometimes, if one of them doesn’t fulfill a need you need to find a work around.
For example, Summa Linguae’s localization engineers develop in-house tools. One of them automatically pulls text from DTP files like Photoshop and Illustrator files. This, along with all the other tools, creates a high level of effectiveness and efficiency.
Contact us today for help with your next localization project.
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