Cannot convert Excel file into Multiterm
Thread poster: Marinus Vesseur

Marinus Vesseur  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:46
English to Dutch
+ ...
Aug 24, 2006

Isn't this Multiterm just the most user-unfriendly program on earth? The nerd that programmed this is an alien, I just know it. Anyway, the converting of an xls file into xml worked okay (when will Multiterm be able to import Excel files, anyway?), but the importing of it into either a new termbank or an existing one just won't work. No error message or explanation, only a log file, meaningless to the user, as usual.
There are too many windows, buttons, filters and what have you, to explain what I did or did not do, but maybe there is this typical mistake everyone makes I haven't heard about and you'd like to share with me. Would much appreciate help.
Thanks in advance.

By the way: SDL MultiTerm, Multiterm works normally otherwise.

[Edited at 2006-08-24 05:39]


Richard Hall  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:46
Italian to English
+ ...
Converting Excel to Multiterm Aug 24, 2006

I used to have that problem. My errors were leaving blank lines in Excel. In other words, line 1 should contain column headings and the line 2 should contain the first term. I then check the excel sheet to make sure there are no blank lines further down in the document. That routine includes checking the excel documents to make sure that all lines are displayed; sometimes lines are hidden. Another thing that could cause a problem is forgetting to assign field labels (e.g., index, text).

I also use default definitions and I do not use filters in order to avoid the process becoming too complicated.

Good luck


Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:46
Swedish to English
+ ...
Traps Aug 24, 2006

I have successfully converted many Excel spreadsheets into MultiTerm, but I totally agree with you about the design. In parts it is very intuitive, in other parts it is perversely difficult and counter-intuitive. But it is worth persevering, because the benefits ultimately outweigh the pain.

To add to Richard's rules, I believe you also need to ensure that the column headers in row 1 are exactly the languages
specified in exactly the format that MultiTerm expects. For example, if column 1 contains your Latin source terms, and column 2 contains your target language English, then row 1 must contain the column headers "Latin" and "English" respectively. Entering "LATIN" and "ENGLISH", for example, is accepted but will result in failure, along with the usual dim-witted log file that tells you as little as possible about the problem.

You also need to ensure that you have correctly specified the Index fields with the available column header fields (the names of the languages) in MultiTerm Convert. This confused me at first, because the default is the Descriptive field, not the Index field. If you get that wrong, an XML file will still be created, but will fail.

In short, the only answer is to read the user guide carefully and experiment.


Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:46
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Check in step 5 of conversion process Aug 24, 2006

After you have done all the friends above have stated (namely naming the source column SourceLanguage (ie English) and target column TargetLanguage (ie German)) you MUST specify the Index fields here.
Here is a screen shot of what I mean:

You see the selected row "German" and the corresponding index field "German (Germany)". For Polish I need to select "Polish" in the index field.
If you fail to do that, you will not be able to import the xml file, as the entries will not be recognized.

I think this is the most crucial point of the whole import process.



Marinus Vesseur  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:46
English to Dutch
+ ...
Got it! Aug 24, 2006

Thank you for your comments, all of which mention things that I have struggled with in the past, but this time it was the wrong language pair in the "General" tab in the Multiterm import routine. I would gladly show you a screen shot of it, but I don't know how to do that.
I could rant for hours about the inherent stupidity in computer programs, but just one more thing here, a recommendation to software publisher. When you think you have a finished product, get a few ordinary users to work with your product and look very carefully at what goes wrong. The so-called user errrors are in essence programming errors to a human user.


Julie Goupille  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:46
French to English

I should have checked this site sooner...I've wasted hours and hours trying to convert lexicons, not realizing that the only problem was that I had not specified the dialects in the column headers...GRRR...anyway...I successfully imported a lexicon with 6517 entries...YAY! Thanks guys!


Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 16:46
English to Czech
+ ...
Java Runtime Error => CRASH Sep 27, 2006

I struggled with the "Index field name" issue long enough too but that wasn't the most difficult problem to resolve. There's one more thing that is even much more frustrating: suppose you can do all the things described above. Then you do the import and everything goes fine until the termbase reorganization which is done automatically in the final stage of the import process. All of a sudden, the "Java Runtime Error" appears and everything's gone. The official statement of Trados describes editing of registers which is easy enough to do, BUT: after you have done everything, some imports work but many more don't. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME, dear TRADOS staff members!!!


Czech Republic
Local time: 16:46
I'm getting error msg Feb 17, 2014

I'm trying to convert Excel Sheet into a termbase but the program gives me an error message and I can't get around it.
I don't see where I can specify Index field or do whatsoever about the conversion program.
Can anyone advice please?


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