Winalign: Error 70157 This document could not be converted properly
Thread poster: Juliette L

Juliette L
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:23
English to French
May 19, 2011

Hello everyone,

I've been using Trados (Studio 2009) for a year now but I've only just tried Winalign. When I try to align documents the following error message comes up "(70157) This document could not be converted properly".

Has any of you had the same problem?
Thank you very much in advance,


Aude Sylvain  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:23
English to French
+ ...
convert to another format (doc instead of docx…) May 19, 2011

Hello Juliette,

I have no idea why this error occurs but I usually overcome that by converting the files (a) to doc/xls if the original format is docx/xlsx before launching the alignment, or (b) even to rtf if need be (since WinAlign will convert MS Word files to rtf anyway during the alignment process).

Also, except if I am wrong, the app may bug if the files that are being aligned are opened elsewhere (e.g. in Office) at the same time.


[Edited at 2011-05-19 13:42 GMT]


Fabienne Gualino (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:23
Spanish to French
+ ...
I have the same message error Sep 16, 2011


I am also trying to align two Word documents and I have the same error message. I converted the file to .doc and to . rtf and it still doesn't work. Would you have another suggestion?

Thank you and best regards,



Local time: 06:23
File path length May 15, 2012

I had this problem trying to align two DOCX files and found that the path was too long.

I copied the files to my desktop and tried again and it worked.


Local time: 22:23
English to Italian
+ ...
I often get the same error, but none of the suggestions can fix it. Aug 11, 2012

I get that erroe often, but copying the files somewhere else or changing the format usually fixes the problem. This time I'm stuck. I don't see any problem with those files but I still get error 70157. Any ideas?

[Edited at 2012-08-11 02:59 GMT]


Jeremy Delhaye
Local time: 13:23
English to French
Your document may contain some unaccepted changes Nov 27, 2012

Try accepting all the unaccepted changes in the documents you are trying to align, it should fix the problem.
I know this discussion is an old one but I think it could be helpful.


Local time: 04:23
First streamline docs to align Nov 27, 2012

Winalign is an old tool, and a bit flaky -- it never got as much attention as Workbench, and its fragility shows.

Over the years, I've had the best results with Winalign when I first clean up the source and target documents as much as possible. For Word files, here's the rough workflow that I use:

  1. Create a new folder to hold all the files for alignment.

  2. Copy the source and target files into that folder. *Don't* just move them there -- make sure you create copies, as we're about to perform substantial surgery on these copies. icon_smile.gif

  3. Open the copies in Word.

  4. Now for the surgery. This set of steps should remove everything from the Word doc that might cause Winalign to fail.
    • In both files, delete *all* images / shapes / embedded other stuff (such as embedded Visio files, embedded Excel objects, etc.). Basically, strip out *everything* that is not translatable.

    • Also remove all bookmarks from both files. (See this thread for some details about Word bookmarks, and a link to an MS Word macro for easily deleting all bookmarks in a Word doc.)

    • If there's a table of contents or an index, delete these as well.

    • If Track Changes is turned on, turn it off.

    • If there are any changes still pending in the document, accept them all.

    • If there are any reviewer comments in the document, delete them.

    • Run a word count on both: ToolsWord Count in Word 2003 or earlier, ReviewWord Count in Word 2007 or later, Alt+T+W in all versions.
      Jot down the number of paragraphs in both files -- ideally this number should be the same for both files. If this number is very different, first show all formatting marks. Word <= 2003: ToolsOptionsView tab ⇒ Show all formatting marks. Word >= 2007: FileOptionsDisplayShow all formatting marks. Then scan through both documents, side-by-side if possible, look for where either document has paragraph breaks that are missing in the other file, and edit so they both match.

  5. Once you've gotten both source and target Word files trimmed down to *just* the relevant translatable text, and the number of paragraphs more or less matches, save both files.
    Try saving in each of Word's formats: the newest .docx format, the older .doc format, and the oldest .rtf format. Winalign might have more success with one format than the others; experiment and find what works best for you and the files you've got to work with.

  6. It sounds dumb, but make sure to close the documents in Word. I've gone through this process and forgotten that the files were still open in Word, which prevents Winalign from opening them.

  7. Finally, you're ready to create a new alignment project and open the files in Winalign itself. Make sure you remember to open the reworked copies, and not the original files. icon_smile.gif

Hope this helps!

-- Erik Anderson

[Edited at 2012-11-27 22:14 GMT]


Artem Vakhitov  Identity Verified
English to Russian
+ ...
Just had this: the path was too long Dec 3, 2015

I've just had this error and was able to correct it by copying both files to D:\Temp directory.


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