Applying DNL and UICONTROL to interface strings

Writers do not need to worry about languages that ExL uses or whether your product is localized. However, you can help improve the quality of localization by applying the following two (required) Markdown tags on certain product terms:

  • DNL

    DNL means do not localize. You use it only for trademarked Adobe product names, all of which must remain in English.

    Use DNL on names of applications that are purchased and installed, not on features or computer code. (Feature names in menus are localized and, as interface elements, should use UICONTROL. File names, URLs, and code use the code element, which preserves English.)

    Syntax examples: [!DNL Adobe Campaign] or [!DNL Workfront]


    UICONTROL indicates an interface control (such as an option, field, tab, page, group of options, menu, or feature name in the UI).

    Syntax example: Select **[!UICONTROL Project]**, then click **[!UICONTROL Save]**.


You must apply these tags prior to localizing your content.

The next two headings should be all you need to know about these tags. You can find more detailed information after these sections if you want more examples.

DNL (do not localize) guidelines

This element preserves English on the tagged product names. Follow these guidelines:

  • Apply DNL to branded product names that must remain in English. (All formal product names should remain in English, and the list of these is relatively small.)
  • Do not apply DNL to file names, URLs, or code. (Use code syntax for those.)
  • The localization team is working on automating DNL. In the future, you will only need to verify that DNL was correctly applied.
  • If you shorten a product name (such as using Target instead of Adobe Target), apply DNL to avoid confusion. This is important for functional product names like Target or Campaign.
  • For a table of contents file (, no special guidelines exist. You can place DNL or UICONTROL in the link text of a TOC entry. For example [Configure [!DNL Workfront] with LDAP](administration-and-setup/add-users/ . UICONTROL is used the same.

UICONTROL (interface control) guidelines

UICONTROL trains the machine translation and helps translators. The tag also conditionally preserves English so that localized documentation matches English UI. For example, if the application is not localized in a certain language but documentation is localized, the system can preserve English for UICONTROL terms.

  • Apply UICONTROL only to explicit, exact references to interface elements (page names, options, fields, tabs, and so on). Most often, you should use bold with UICONTROL (in navigation and procedures).

  • Markdown examples for procedures:

    1. On the [!UICONTROL Components] page, select **[!UICONTROL Metrics]** > **[!UICONTROL Page View]**.

    1. Select **[!UICONTROL Day]** and drag it to the **[!UICONTROL Fallout]** panel.

  • Markdown examples for using UICONTROL in paragraphs:

    The [!UICONTROL Components] menu includes [!UICONTROL Calculated Metrics], [!UICONTROL Segments], and [!UICONTROL Projects]. These features are available if you....

    In regular text, there’s no need for bold. However, you must capitalize the interface element and refer to them exactly how they display in the product.

    When you refer to product features that are also common terms (such as segments, traits, metrics, reports, third-party cookies), there is no requirement for UICONTROL or formal treatment like capitalization.

See How, why, and where to apply UICONTROL (below) for more examples.

More about DNL and UICONTROL

What follows is additional information about these settings, in case you need to know.

  • [!DNL]: DNL means do not localize. Use DNL sparingly, almost never. Normally, product names are automatically left in English (if the strings exist in the DNT database).

    However, you must apply [!DNL] in potentially confusing situations. Use it on branded application names (both Adobe and always on third-party brands) if your reader might not know if you’re referring to Adobe’s product.

    Confusion can occur when describing functional branded names like Target and Analytics without Adobe. See When to apply DNL (below) for an important explanation.

  • [!UICONTROL]: Apply to features and clickable UI elements, especially in navigation and procedures.

When to apply DNL

DNL forces the words to remain in English, and the only terms that qualify for DNL are formal, branded product names. (Adobe Analytics, Adobe Experience Manager, and so on.) These terms are in the product DNT and display in English automatically in docs.

Using functional product names generically, such as Target without Adobe, might cause the MT or customer to potentially not understand your meaning. Or, it might incorrectly use a string in the translation memory. Using DNL (or adding Adobe) ensures the strings remain in English.

If an application or core product name is in the DNT list, you do not need to apply DNL (do not localize). Work with Amy Grace O’Brien to update the DNT.

Guidance for DNL

  • DNL is not for interface fields, options, controls, tabs, and so on, which are localized with the product. (Use UICONTROL for these.)
  • DNL is not intended for file names, code, or URLs. (Use code syntax.)
  • You can add DNL to code blocks (inline or fenced), but it isn’t necessary. Code blocks are not localized. The DNL (and UICONTROL) syntax is stripped out of code blocks before the repo is packaged for publication.
  • You can add DNL tags to HTML tables. The DNL/UICONTROL syntax is passed through to the localization repos but stripped out before packaging for publication.
  • If you’ve used DNL too liberally (tagged words in DNL that should be UICONTROL), contact #sccm-assistance for a regular expression that lets you easily search and replace DNL with UICONTROL. SCCM can help you retrofit these as well, and more. Get help here because it’s preferable that you continue writing instead of retrofitting content.
  • No need to apply DNL to applications pre-pended with Adobe. The MT is trained to leave Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Experience Manager, and so on, in English.
  • Apply DNL mainly to confusing situations with shortened, functional application names. These names can include: Analytics, Campaign, Target, Discover, Sky, and Recommendations.
  • Apply DNL to Boolean terms like AND or OR, as such terms would confuse the MT engine.
  • Apply to third-party products like [!DNL Mozilla Firefox].

Examples of potentially confusing sentences

These sentences properly use DNL to reduce confusion:

* Target specific geo-locations with [!DNL Target] by creating A/B tests.
* Adobe Analytics is a powerful application that collects analytics on your site. [!DNL Analytics] can also help you with reporting to easily digest that data.

HTML Example:

<span class="dnl">Target</span>

How, why, and where to apply UICONTROL

Whenever you refer to a feature or interface control name (for example, 1. Click Save), applying UICONTROL (with bold) to the specific feature/option/field name benefits the reader. UICONTROL preserves English if the product is not available in the language in which the documentation was translated.

In the following example, the Analytics interface is not available in Italian. However, all the documentation is translated:


In this scenario, the customer cannot follow the Italian interface instructions because UICONTROL was not applied to interface elements in Markdown.

Here’s the UICONTROL syntax, bolded in procedures:

1. Click **[!UICONTROL File]** > **[!UICONTROL Print]**.

That syntax serves two purposes:

  • Bolds the interface element for readability (so readers easily spot the path).
  • Instructs the machine (or human) translator to either leave the feature or interface name in English if the product has not been localized in the customer’s language. Or, translate the word if the product is translated.

Important: Do not use DNL in place of UICONTROL. Remember, DNL only applies to names that must remain in English in all languages, such as branded product names. UICONTROL is for words that conditionally need to remain in English, depending on product availability in a given language.

Guidance for applying UICONTROL

  • Do not include “>” or punctuation in UICONTROL. Wrap this element around the interface element name exactly as it displays in the product.
  • Do not use UICONTROL on file names.
  • You can add UICONTROL to code blocks (inline or fenced), but it isn’t necessary. Code blocks are not localized. The UICONTROL (and DNL) syntax is stripped out of code blocks before the repo is packaged for publication.
  • You can add UICONTROL tags to HTML tables. The UICONTROL/DNL syntax is passed through to the localization repos but stripped out before packaging for publication.
  • Your references to the interface element names and features must be exact matches.
  • At a minimum, use UICONTROL in procedures where you document how to use the interface.
  • Apply bold to the UICONTROL in procedures when telling readers to “click” a specific option. This applies to a tab or to complete a certain field. (Examples below.)
  • Leave out extra characters like punctuation or angle brackets (as part of navigation).
  • Do not apply UICONTROL to long sentences unless the UI element name is a long phrase or sentence. In that case, you can discuss the interface name with Engineering and change it to something manageable.

Usage examples:


  • 1. Select **[!UICONTROL Open Editor]**.
  • 1. Select **[!UICONTROL File]** > **[!UICONTROL Print]** > **[!UICONTROL Paper Size]**.


  • 1. Select the **[!UICONTROL Open Editor button.]**
  • 1. Select **[!UICONTROL File > Print > Paper Size.]**

More syntax examples are shown below. There are technical exceptions described in When not to use DNL or UICONTROL.

Examples of UICONTROL syntax in procedures

The following example shows isolated steps and multiple steps. It shows various syntax situations for applying UICONTROL. They include when to use bold, how to use UICONTROL when referring to tabs, fields, navigation, and clickable options.

[Editor’s note: If you’re new to technical writing, the following example also shows various ways to correctly write a typical command step or series of steps. It shows when to use on versus in, and how to refer to a product, page, or tab. Use sign-in instead of log-in, and learn how to document a menu, fields, and options.]

1. Sign in to [!DNL Experience Cloud], then click **[!UICONTROL System Status]**.
1. In [!UICONTROL Admin Console], on the [!UICONTROL Users] page, click **[!UICONTROL Export CSV]**.
1. Click the **[!UICONTROL Setup]** tab, then complete the [!UICONTROL Email] field.
1. On the [!UICONTROL Setup] tab, click **[!UICONTROL Run]**.
1. Sign in to [!DNL Experience Cloud], then click **[!DNL Analytics]**.
1. In [!UICONTROL Workspace], click **[!UICONTROL Components]** > **[!UICONTROL Segments]**.
1. On the [!UICONTROL Segments] page, click **[!UICONTROL Add]**.
1. On the [!UICONTROL New Segment] page, complete the following fields:

    * **[!UICONTROL Title]**: Here you'd describe the Title field and apply !UICONTROL whenever you refer to it.
    * **[!UICONTROL Tags]**: Here you'd describe the Tags field.

1. Enable **[!UICONTROL Publish this segment to Experience Cloud]**.

    This field publishes this segment to the [!UICONTROL Audience Library] in [!DNL Experience Cloud], where you can use it in marketing activities in [!DNL Target] and other [!DNL Experience Cloud] applications.

1. Click **[!UICONTROL Save]**.

1. On [!UICONTROL Report Suite Manager], click **[!UICONTROL Edit Settings]** > **[!UICONTROL General]** > **[!UICONTROL General Account Settings]**.
1. Complete the following fields:
    * **[!UICONTROL Site title]**: Here you'd describe the Site title field and apply !UICONTROL whenever you refer to it.
    * **[!UICONTROL Base URL]**: Here you'd describe Base URL.
1. Click **[!UICONTROL Save]**.

Make applying these elements easier by using keyboard shortcuts.

DNL and UICONTROL in metadata

You can add these tags to description and title metadata. If you begin a metadata field with a tag, you must encase the full description in quotation marks, or validation fails.

For example:

description: "[!UICONTROL Components] in [!DNL Analtyics] enable you to create segments...."

Reminder: Beginning a description metadata with the product name is not recommended. For SEO, begin your description metadata with a verb, such as Learn how to.

Other examples of UICONTROL and DNL


  • Acronyms: Do not apply UICONTROL (or DNL). (These are automatically left in English.)
  • Capitalization: Capitalize words in UICONTROL as you see them in the interface (interface elements are proper nouns and should be capitalized).
  • Generic icons: For certain feature names and UI elements, such as icons, use the name of the icon if it’s available (in hover text or tooltip). If no name is available, you might not know which term, if any, is specified in the translation database. Before you decide whether to tag such a term, the term will remain in English in a machine translation if no name is found. If your only option is pencil icon or edit icon, do not tag it. (Insert the icon as an inline image, then create a ticket for the developer to name the icon.)

Keep in mind that machine-translated content doesn’t need to be perfect.

Which Markdown content types can be tagged?

You can apply !UICONTROL and !DNL tags in nearly any component, including:

  • Paragraphs and lists
  • Headings
  • Links
  • Tables (both Markdown and HTML)
  • Metadata (in title and description)

When not to use DNL or UICONTROL

Do not add !UICONTROL and !DNL tags to the following components:

  • Code blocks - Everything in a code block remains in English, so there’s no reason to add [!UICONTROL] or [!DNL] unless you want that syntax to appear in the code block.
  • HTML tables - [!UICONTROL] and [!DNL] in HTML tables don’t work properly. Instead, use the <span class="uicontrol">term</span> format.
  • Acronyms

Available UI languages

If you don’t know what languages are available for your product UI, you can ask the IEM. Here are the current solutions and available languages:

  • Analytics - FR, DE, JP, ES, BR, zh-Hans (Simplified Chinese), zh-Hant (T Chinese), KR
  • Target - FR, DE, JP, IT, ES, BR, zh-Hans, zh-Hant, KR
  • AEM - FR, DE, JP, IT, ES, BR, zh-Hans, zh-Hant, KR
  • Platform - FR, DE, JP
  • Campaign Classic - FR, DE, JP
  • Campaign Standard - FR, DE
  • Core Services - FR, DE, JP, IT, ES, BR, zh-Hans, zh-Hant, KR
  • Audience Manager - FR, DE, JP, IT, ES, BR, zh-Hans, zh-Hant, KR

Of the three tagging options described on this page, UICONTROL is the most crucial for delivering high-quality translation. Consider UICONTROL to be mandatory in procedures. However, it is understood that, at times, you might not apply it perfectly. Just do your best. You can always go back and make corrections.


The syntax works as expected.



For links, the syntax does not work as expected. It’s necessary to remove the tag brackets within the link text to prevent the brackets from appearing in the link. (Note that this behavior might change at some point.)


Heading test case

Link test cases:

  • See [[!DNL Adobe]](
  • See the Adobe website



Update the Do not Translate (DNT) file

We have a DNT file that you can update with words you want to leave in English by default. Formal, long solution names like Adobe Analytics, Adobe Campaign, and Adobe Target are on the list.


If a term is added to the DNT list, it applies to all languages and all products. Add the term only if you are 100% certain that it fits these criteria. Also, there is a lag between when the term is added to the DNT list and when the engine is trained on that new list. (Also, training the list can be expensive.)

Follow the instructions on updating the DNT list to get started.


This element is not often used. Sometimes, we need to flag certain sections of content within an article to be English only. For sections of text that should not be localized, use the [!DONOTLOCALIZE] extension and use block quotes ( > ) to mark the entire English-only section. The content after the DONOTLOCALIZE block will be localized when the file is submitted.


Code blocks (code) are not localized by default. There is no need to apply the DONOTLOCALIZE tag to either fenced or inline code blocks.



Keyboard shortcuts

If you need to tag lots of content for localization, consider creating keyboard shortcuts and using advanced find/change techniques.

Localization resources and glossaries

If you really want to dive into research to determine which terms are used in the database, the following localization resources are available:

Images and localization

For images that should not be localized, create a separate do-not-localize folder in the assets folder. Typically, images without text or images containing only sample content would be placed there. This removes any “noise” from the assets folder and reduces the amount of questions.

We also recommend that you remove any assets that you’re not referencing and don’t plan to reference. Maintaining clean asset folders helps the Localization team avoid unnecessary work.

Product terminology

Use this table to help determine whether a term is localized or remains in English.

Application DNL / UICONTROL Tag? English or Localized
Advertising Apply DNL if confusing English
Analytics Apply DNL if confusing English
Audience Manager None English
Experience Cloud None English
Experience Manager None English
Experience Platform None English
Experience Platform Data Add Adobe or DNL if confusing English
Experience Platform Content Add Adobe or DNL if confusing English
Campaign Add Adobe or DNL if confusing English
Commerce Add Adobe or DNL if confusing English
Customer Journey Analytics None English
Document Cloud None English
Journey Optimizer None English
Primetime None English
Real-Time Customer Data Platform None English
Target Add Adobe or DNL if confusing English
Marketo Engage None English
Sensei None English
Sign Add Adobe or DNL if confusing English

Core products & features by application

The following features and products were previously translated and now are to be left in English.

  • No UICONTROL required
  • Most are automatic in English, DNL tag not required
  • Some might need DNL tag where confusing (on functional, generic names). Use capitalization when referring to features or products.
  • Can leverage Acrolinx (coming soon)
Application Product/feature DNL guidance English or Localized
Analytics Analysis Workspace DNT English
Reports & Analytics DNT English
Ad Hoc Analysis DNT English
Data Connectors DNT English
Data Warehouse DNT English
Data Workbench DNT English
Federated Analytics DNT English
Report Builder DNT English
Tag Management DNT English
Audience Manager Identity Management DNT English
Audience Activation DNT English
Cross-device Measurement DNT English
Audience Marketplace DNT English
Audience Optimization DNT English
Campaign Campaign Management DNT English
Visual Cross-channel Orchestration DNT English
Integrated Customer Profile DNT English
Personalized Targeting DNT English
Centralized Offer Management DNT English
Real-time Interaction Management DNT English
Cross-channel Execution DNT English
Operational Reporting DNT English
Marketing Campaign Management DNT English
Experience Manager Sites DNL if confusing English
Assets DNL if confusing English
Mobile DNL if confusing English
Forms DNL if confusing English
Communities DNL if confusing English
Screens DNL if confusing English
Experience Platform Data DNL if confusing English
Content DNL if confusing English
Adobe Commerce (and Magento Open Source) B2C & B2B commerce DNT English
Segmentation & Personalization DNT English
Shipping & Fulfillment DNT English
Inventory Management DNT English
Order Management DNT English
Business Intelligence DNT English
Product Recommendations DNT English
Live Search DNT English
Payment Services DNT English
Amazon Sales Channel DNT English
Marketo Engage Lead Nurturing & Management DNT English
Account-Based Marketing DNT English
Personalization DNL if confusing English
Cross-Channel Engagement DNT English
Integrated Sales Applications DNT English
Marketing Measurement & Attribution DNT English
Target AB Testing DNT English
Multivariate Testing DNT English
Rules-Based Targeting DNT English
Geotargeting DNL if confusing English
Recommendations DNL if confusing English
Automated Personalization DNT English
Workfront Fusion DNL if confusing English
Goals DNL if confusing English
Scenario Planner DNL if confusing English

On this page