Error "Invalid Pointer"
Thread poster: Elena Nellson

Elena Nellson
United States
Local time: 10:56
English to Russian
+ ...
Jul 4, 2006

Dear colleagues,

I am trying to create a Termbase in MultiTerm 7 but I get the error message "Invalid pointer". What is going wrong?
Here is what I do:
Align two documents and create a .txt file in WinAlign
Convert .txt file to .xml in MultiTerm Convert
Create a Termbase in MultiTerm
Go to 'Import Entries' in MultiTerm, click Process and follow instructions. In the end the dialog box shows "77 entries were succesfully imported". Close the dialog box.

As a result, Multiterm has entries that look like {/f1 (not terms!) and when I click on any of them I get a message "Invalid Pointer". I also tried to delete the Termbase, create and importe a new one. I also tried to restart computer and work only with MultiTerm to exclude any interference. Nothing seems to work….
Here is my log file:

Import log information
General information:
Import definition name: Default import definition
Termbase name: Test 1
Import file: C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\Test Multiterm\Test WinAlign for MultiTConvert test.xml
Import log file: C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\Test Multiterm\Test WinAlign for MultiTConvert test.log
Exclusion file: C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\Test Multiterm\Test 1.xcl
Allow over-complete entries: false
Allow incomplete entries: true
Ignore sub-languages: true
Fast import: false
Import Options:
Import all entries: Add import entry as new
Original Entry Number Action Entry Number in Termbase

-1 Added 78
-1 Added 79
-1 Added 80
-1 Added 81
-1 Added 82
-1 Added 83
-1 Added 84
-1 Added 85
-1 Added 86
-1 Added 87
-1 Added 88
-1 Added 89
-1 Added 90
-1 Added 91
-1 Added 92
-1 Added 93
-1 Added 94
-1 Added 95
-1 Added 96
-1 Added 97
-1 Added 98
-1 Added 99
-1 Added 100
-1 Added 101
-1 Added 102
-1 Added 103
-1 Added 104
-1 Added 105
-1 Added 106
-1 Added 107
-1 Added 108
-1 Added 109
-1 Added 110
-1 Added 111
-1 Added 112
-1 Added 113
-1 Added 114
-1 Added 115
-1 Added 116
-1 Added 117
-1 Added 118
-1 Added 119
-1 Added 120
-1 Added 121
-1 Added 122
-1 Added 123
-1 Added 124
-1 Added 125
-1 Added 126
-1 Added 127
-1 Added 128
-1 Added 129
-1 Added 130
-1 Added 131
-1 Added 132
-1 Added 133
-1 Added 134
-1 Added 135
-1 Added 136
-1 Added 137
-1 Added 138
-1 Added 139
-1 Added 140
-1 Added 141
-1 Added 142
-1 Added 143
-1 Added 144
-1 Added 145
-1 Added 146
-1 Added 147
-1 Added 148
-1 Added 149
-1 Added 150
-1 Added 151
-1 Added 152
-1 Added 153
-1 Added 154

Total entries processed: 77
Total entries added: 77
Total entries merged: 0
Total entries omitted: 0
Total entries written to the output file: 0
Import process started: 19/07/2006 11:12:40
Import process ended: 19/07/2006 11:12:44

[Edited at 2006-07-04 20:21]


Vito Smolej
Local time: 16:56
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Multiterm has entries that look like {/f1 Jul 5, 2006

Based on the story you seem to use a bilingual text as the feed for multiterm (?!) .

Try first with single words and make sure you do not have any special formatting characters involved.


Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:56
English to German
+ ...
Special characters in database object names Jul 5, 2006

I think Vito is on the right track:

Try first with single words and make sure you do not have any special formatting characters involved.

...particularly for database objects such as attribute or field names.

Best regards,


Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:56
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Go the Excel route Jul 5, 2006

I have been told by a Trados staffer that the safest way into MultiTerm is via Excel.

But first it's worth taking a step back -- I am a bit surprised that you are aligning documents in order to create a MultiTerm Termbase in the first place. MultiTerm is best at handling single word or short phrases, so unless your aligned documents contain words or phrases, they seem better suited to being a TM in Workbench. Also there is no point in having formatted text in MUltiTerm.

But I have done this sort of conversion myself, where the customers supplied documents that were in fact glossaries containing single words or short phrases, not sentences. So if you still want to go ahead, this is how I would do it:

Split your documents into short segments/sentences, each ending with a paragraph mark.

Remove all formatting (for example by cutting and pasting into Notepad)

Copy the source document into column A of an Excel spreadsheet, starting at row 2, with your source language in row 1 (eg Russian).

Copy the target document into column B of an Excel spreadsheet. also starting at row 2, with your target language in row 1 (eg English).

Save as .xls

Resume at your step 2, except you are using your Excel spreadsheet, not a .txt file.

This has worked for me.

[Edited at 2006-07-05 09:04]


Vito Smolej
Local time: 16:56
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
"I am a bit surprised" Jul 5, 2006

... as I was too - and Ralph I guess as well -: why dont you import winaligned material into a Translation memory? You have the additional comfort of concordance search etc. Do you want MultiTerm help you translate "Mary had a little lamb"? I hope not: the role of MultiTerm is to take care of items like "lamb", but not of complete segments aka sentences.

Just the usual curious


PS: if you do have to take the path Peter suggested above, you can shorten it by using PlusToyz

[Edited at 2006-07-05 10:17]


Elena Nellson
United States
Local time: 10:56
English to Russian
+ ...
It worked!!! Jul 5, 2006

Dear Vito, Ralf and Peter,

Thank you for your quick replies. They were very helpful. Indeed I was trying to align long pharase in stead of words or short segments. That was the problem. I am hapy to report that I followed the instructions that Peter gave and it work perfectly! Thank you again.icon_smile.gif


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