Importing the Microsoft Terminology Collection

The latest Tool Kit contains a nice description and details about importing the newly-available

Microsoft Terminology Collection into the translation environment of your choice. If your tool does not support the TBX format, however, you will have to transform the data into the proper format (e.g. CSV) before importing it.

The Tool Kit suggests using the excellent XBench for importing the TBX terminology file and exporting it into a comma-separated file. It also warns that XBench drops the “definition” field which, in my opinion, contains very useful context information. So in this case I’d say XBench is not the way to go.

By digging into the memoQ user discussion formum, I found this useful tidbit of information by Denis Hay:

True, we don’t have official support for TBX yet, but just add ".xml" to your file, open in Excel 2003 or 2007 and save as Unicode text. You will easily be able to import that into any memoQ termbase, picking only those columns you want.

Excellent. This should solve the problem and make the TBX easily accessible even if your favorite translation tool does not support this format natively (as is currently the case with memoQ).

Another solution that I tried and found to be working flawlessly is using Wordfast Pro, which supports TBX out of the box and allows you to export an imported glossary to CSV format. Wordfast Pro is available in a free trial version, which has some limitations. I’m not sure if the free version will allow to import and then export the whole Microsoft glossary, but my guess is it will.

Published by Roberto Savelli

English to Italian translator, translation technology enthusiast.

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  1. Hi Roberto,

    Thank you very much for the tips. I own Wordfast Pro full version, however I can’t seem to export the imported glossary to CSV. It only lets me export it to Tab delimited txt or TBX (again). Thanks.


    1. Hi Daniel,
      thanks for letting me know. Tab-delimited is probably what I intended. As a file format it’s probably even easier to handle than CSV, since the strings do not need to be enclosed in quotes. You should be able to import or open any tab-delimited file with Excel or OpenOffice’s Calc.

  2. Hi!

    Can you please tell me is it possible to import Microsoft Terminology Collection into a Trados TM and/or MultiTerm?
    If yes, how can I do it?
    I tried this “…but just add ‘.xml’ to your file, open in Excel 2003 or 2007 and save as Unicode text” but I don’t know how.

    Thank you in advance!


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