Export to review as .doc not .docx
Thread poster: Mpoma

Mpoma  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:54
French to English
Jan 11, 2016

Dear all,

Sorry, this is a bit long. Please give up if bored.

I have SDL Studio 2014. I'm far from impressed, but it's what clients want me to use.

I also loathe everything to do with Microsoft and particularly M$ Office 2013.

In the course of translating I do all sorts of sneaky processing (macros, etc.) in the external review file.

If I export for external review it is exported as a .docx file. I found, when I was starting to use SDL Studio a few months ago, that although it is possible to open this in MS Office 2k Word (with the update extensions enabling you to read in, and then save as, .docx), the resulting .docx file cannot be imported to update the .sdlxliff: I get "The document layout cannot be identiified".

I also tried LibreOffice Writer: this has the disadvantage that the table in the exported review.docx file doesn't show up properly.

So I bought the cheapest possible version of M$ Office 2013 I could find. I find it utterly loathsome: slow to launch, horrible ribbons, disappearance of menus, ... don't get me started. It also has achieved the feat of messing up my system whenever it launches.

I'm a pretty good coder, and it turns out, amusingly, that .sdlxliff files are simple xml files which are very easy to read into a computer program and parse. .docx files are also simple enough .zip files which, when extracted, produce a file called document.xml, which can also be parsed. Thus the segments from the review.docx can be aligned with those of the .sdlxliff, no problem.

So I'm currently writing a little utility which will enable me to use a .docx file produced from MS Office 2k Word to update the .sdlxliff file segments directly, thereby avoiding the SDL Studio update function which trips up, as I mentioned above.

So... the question is: do I actually need to do this ? Is there not some way to "export for review" as a file other than .docx? E.g. .doc or even .odt?

I'm assuming that it's not. I even rather suspect that M$ may have paid SDL a kick-back not to have this option, so as to force purchasers of SDL Studio to use a recent version of M$ Office. Stranger things have been known.

If .docx is the only option, this is disgraceful: as a relatively affluent Westerner I can afford to chuck away a couple of hundred quid on a very bad application published by M$, but it could be a significant burden for many people across the planet.

[Edited at 2016-01-11 19:26 GMT]


Roy Oestensen  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:54
Member (2010)
English to Norwegian (Bokmal)
+ ...
Have you macros active in the docx document? Jan 11, 2016

I suspect that it's all the sneaky things you do with the external review file that's the culprit. Perhaps you could disable the macros after you are finished so that it's a clean document? A docx review file should be quite straightforward to import again in Studio, so otherwise I'm somewhat puzzled.


Mpoma  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:54
French to English
thanks Jan 11, 2016


Thanks for the suggestion. In fact my review.dox file contains no macros at all... the macros are linked in using a .dot file which is used as an "add-in" template.

As I said, I have no problems updating from a .docx which has been processed using exclusively M$ Word 2013.

It'd be interesting to know whether anyone else has ever been able to update from a .docx processed NOT using a Word 2007-2013 application (I believe that Word 2007 was the first version of Word which "natively" used .docx).


Mpoma  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:54
French to English
I've developed a computer app to deal with this Feb 14, 2016

Anyone interested, I have now developed a computer app which means I don't have to use any M$ Word software when doing things with the review document.

Studio (2014) still exports as .docx, but I can now manipulate this using LibreOffice Writer... and my app uses the resulting edited file to update the .sdlxliff file directly.

I'd be happy to share this app with anyone who wants to use it... the only problem is that it is written in the best computing language in the world, namely Jython. So you would have to install this language and become slightly aware of how to use it...

Please contact me if interested...


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Export to review as .doc not .docx

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