How to translate embedded files
Thread poster: John Fossey

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:00
Member (2008)
French to English
Jun 16, 2015

I am wrapping up a large project in MemoQ consisting of a .docx Word document with 91 embedded Excel files. Translation went smoothly and QA has been done. However, when exporting, 4 of the embedded files "failed to export", although the end document opened.

However, I am finding that many of the embedded Excel charts and graphs are scrambled and many of them are not translated, showing the source language instead of the target. It means going through these charts and graphs and correcting them manually, a mammoth job.

Does anyone have experience with this problem and any suggestions to fix? Deadline is in about 5 hours!

[Edited at 2015-06-17 01:28 GMT]


John Fossey  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:00
Member (2008)
French to English
Unembed and re-embed files Jun 17, 2015

There doesn't seem to be an answer to the first question, so I'm having to move on to find another solution. Several have mentioned that it's possible to edit the internal embedded files of a word document. I tried this as follows, not at all sure if this is the right way to go about it, because it didn't work:

1. Started with a .docx file with embedded .xlsx spreadsheets
2. Used 7-Zip to unzip the file into a folder
3. Navigated to the word > embeddings folder. Sure enough, there were the Excel spreadsheets
4. Opened the spreadsheets and made some minor edits
5. Resaved them
6. Back at the main folder, used 7-Zip to rezip the folder, in .zip format but using .docx extension

Tried to open the resulting Word document but it failed, saying there was a problem with its contents.

So obviously I'm doing something wrong.

What is the correct procedure?


Stanislav Okhvat
Local time: 22:00
English to Russian
Re: Unembed and re-embed files Jun 17, 2015

Hello, John,

I think it would be better to do the following:
- Open the original ZIP archive in 7-zip
- Copy the translated files into the embeddings folder, overwriting the old files

This should ensure that the original properties of the DOCX archive are retained (such as compression) so, hopefully, it will fix things.

In my opinion it's far better to re-embed files from within Word as opposed to doing this via the zip archive. The main advantage is that the image that represents the embedded object is immediately updated.

Also keep in mind that, when one embeds an Excel diagram or something similar into Word, Word may often embed the entire spreadsheet instead of the diagram. For instance, say you have a spreadsheet with 10 sheets, one of which contains a diagram you are pasting into Word as an embedded object. After pasting the diagram into Word, open the ZIP archive and navigate to the appropriate Excel file in the embeddings folder. You will see that this file contains all 10 sheets rather than the diagram only. This means that all 10 sheets will be offered for translation in memoQ even though you only need to translate this one diagram. That's why I always prefer to translate each embedded object by accessing it through Word and not through memoQ / zip archive.

Best regards,
Stanislav Okhvat
Translator Tools – Useful tools for every translator


John Fossey  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:00
Member (2008)
French to English
Found out how to do it Jun 17, 2015

I found out how to work on embedded files, so record it here in case it helps anyone else.

The problem seems to be using zip software, since they all (such as 7-zip or winzip) encrypt the files while zipping, which Word can't read.

So the procedure is to unzip the files (after renaming the .docx extension to .zip) by double-clicking them in the File Explorer window, then navigate to the word > embeddings folder.

You can then work on the embedded files, but be aware the files you are working on are stored in a temporary hidden location, so save them in a separate folder.

When finished, return them to their original location by dragging & dropping into the original "embeddings" folder.

Do not zip the folder, but use the back or up button to navigate backwards until the .zip file reappears. Windows will zip the contents at this step, without encryption.

At this point change the .zip extension to .docx and the file can be reopened in Word.

The embedded content will need to be refreshed by double clicking before it will show the new data.

[Edited at 2015-06-17 17:21 GMT]


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How to translate embedded files

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