Import terminology from Excel into SDL MultiTerm 2009

I wanted to setup a new SDL Multiterm 2009 Termbase to organize our Terminology. Since we have lots of stuff already in existing Excel spreadsheets, importing them would make sense. This is a post about how to do this.

First, to get a little order into the whole thing, I figured adding a Category setting to every Term would help later on.


In the picture above, you can see the Category. It’s built into Multiterm and is of the type Picklist. But that Picklist does not contain the categories that I wanted yet, so you have to add them manually.

Add a entry into the Category Picklist

First, you need to have a Termbase open. I used the predefined termbase template “Multilingual termbase”.


Extending the Category itself is actually pretty simple:

  1. Go to the  Catalog of your Termbase
  2. Right-click on Definition and then Edit
  3. Go through the Wizard until Step 4
  4. Select Category and then Properties below
  5. Now you can add new Entries (see in the pictures below)



Get the Excel ready

Now that we prepared our Termbase, we can get the Excel ready. Besides the two obvious columns with the terms, we need 2 more  columns with the Category. The title needs to be exactly the same as in Multiterm. In this case “Category”. The same is true for the entries, I’ve added an entry “amount” to the termbase, which is exactly the same as in the Excel spreadsheet. Upper and Lowercase matters too. Otherwise there will be no match.

Make sure the titles are on the first line, otherwise Trados will not recognize them.

Excel with Terminology

Now we have to start SDL MultiTerm Convert 2009. You cannot import an Excel directly into MultiTerm unfortunately.

The Excel import wizard is pretty straight forward. There are only two points that need a little attention. On Step 5 make sure that you set the 2 Term columns to be Index fields with the right language and the Category column to be a Descriptive field of type Picklist. Don’t worry if you only see the Category column once.


In the next step we have to add the two Category fields to the structure, as you can see in the picture below, I’ve added Category #1 to the Term below CH-DE and Category #2 to EN-US.


This all we have to do in MultiTerm Convert. Finish the wizard and go back to the SDL MultiTerm 2009 main application.

Import into MultiTerm

Go to the Catalog of your termbase, click on Import and then I would use the “default import” definition. Right-click and choose Process. You should have an *.mtf.xml file from the Excel converting process. Choose that and just follow the Wizard.

That’s about it.

Please post comments below if you run into issues.

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3 Kommentare zu “Import terminology from Excel into SDL MultiTerm 2009”

  • Oz am 23. March 2011 8:18 am Uhr

    why don’t you check out this tool: excelling multiterm:

  • De Sena Viegas am 22. November 2011 8:23 pm Uhr

    Nice job!
    It also works good with SDL MultiTerm 2011.

    Thanks a lot… : )

  • Jonathan am 22. August 2013 2:32 am Uhr


    Unfortunately I did encounter some issues with the process you have mentioned.
    I have followed every step described, but it seems that at the end of the Wizard when I try to import the Excel file, I receive the following error message:

    “MultiTerm encountered irregularities during import. Please check the information in the log file.”

    Now, in the log file I have a lot of information that is similar to all terms, so I’m just going to copy-paste a few lines, so you can get a general idea on the issue:

    Import log information

    General information:
    Import definition name: Default import definition
    Termbase name: 130821
    Import file: C:\Users\PAV5TIM\Desktop\test.mtf.xml
    Import log file: C:\Users\PAV5TIM\Desktop\test.mtf.log
    Exclusion file:
    Allow over-complete entries: false
    Allow incomplete entries: true
    Ignore sub-languages: true
    Full reorganization: false

    Import Options:
    Import all entries: Add import entry as new

    Original Entry Number Action Entry Number in Termbase
    -1 Does not conform to the target termbase definition.
    Reason: Could not find output table ‘I_money’.
    Source: MultiTerm90.Server.Termbase.9.1

    -1 Does not conform to the target termbase definition.
    Reason: Could not find output table ‘I_money’.
    Source: MultiTerm90.Server.Termbase.9.1

    -1 Does not conform to the target termbase definition.
    Reason: Could not find output table ‘I_money’.
    Source: MultiTerm90.Server.Termbase.9.1

    Total entries processed: 0
    Total entries added: 0
    Total entries merged: 0
    Total entries omitted: 0
    Total entries written to the output file: 0

    Import process started: 21/08/2013 15:44:58
    Import process ended: 21/08/2013 15:44:58

    Many thanks!


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