Creating a TMX file from Excel or other formats

Suppose you have an aligned corpus in Excel (or any other delimited format) and you wish to reuse that content in your favorite CAT tool. It’s actually very easy to convert a bilingual text format to TMX via a very-handy and free open-source tool called Oliphant.

  1. Ensure you have an aligned corpus in Excel, with the leftmost column containing the source text and the target in the next column. If your corpus is not perfectly aligned, you may want to check out my early post about a down and dirty alignment tool.

  2. Paste the bilingual table in Notepad and save the file, ensuring the encoding is set to UTF-8.

  3. Download, install and launch Oliphant
  4. Press Ctrl+N to create a new TM and add your language code to the target field.

  5. Then go to File>Import and choose Tab-delimited files (.txt) from the dropdown menu. Locate the file you created in step 2 and hit Open.
  6. In the Destination Field, set the Field Type of Column 1 to Text, Language EN-US (or whatever source language you’re working with), and for Column 2, Text again as Field Type and your target language code in the Language field.

  7. Press OK and hit Save. Your bilingual corpus has been converted to a TMX file!

Oliphant is fitted with powerful editing tools including advanced Find/Replace and also gives you the ability to delete, add, merge and edit segments on the spot.


14 thoughts on “Creating a TMX file from Excel or other formats

  1. […] If you then need to recreate a TMX file from your export, check out my earlier post. […]

  2. Pani Peonia says:

    Greta – thank you for sharing!

  3. […] Creating a TMX file from Excel or other formats | The Word Matrix. […]

  4. Thanks, exactly what I’m looking for
    Thanks again

  5. Thank you for this easy-to-follow tutorial, this was just what I needed!

  6. PD: I would rather use Notepad++ it makes it easier to handle special characters.

  7. Shakhar says:

    Just wanted to tell you how important this tip has been for me. I use it constantly to work with other people who don’t have CAT software. I export to external review – then to excel – send out the file, get it back translated – convert to TMX according to your recipe, import into my CAT software – pre-translate file – and there you are.
    Thank you for taking the time to share this important piece of knowledge that has become part of my daily life.
    All the best,

  8. angelyda says:


  9. Yuri says:

    Amazing! Thank you!!

  10. M Ikram says:

    Amazing! Thanks so much for this wonderful information.

  11. […] Creating a TMX file from Excel or other formats. […]

  12. Nathalie says:

    Thank you so much!
    I’ve created the TMX file with Oliphant.
    But now i have this issue that I dont’t know to solve: when I upload the .tmw in Google Translator Toolkit translation memories, I read : Internal error.
    Though, I’ve checked, my tmx 1.0 is ok.
    Does anyone know how to uplaod my tmx file onto Google Translator Toolkit without this internal error anymore? Thanks… it would be so helpful…

  13. POST-IT says:

    Thanks — That was a great help !

    • msleest says:

      Oliphant doesn’t run om Mac. Is there an equivalent for Mac? I would be grateful, because I would love to create tmx files in order to use them in translation software…

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