How to add a term to a termbase in Trados Studio

October 16, 2012 by

How to add a term to a termbase in Trados Studio and use term recognitionIf you translate using Trados Studio, you’ll need to use MultiTerm termbases to manage your terminology. Here’s how to add a term to your termbase while you’re translating in Studio, and make use of term recognition.

Note: These steps explain how to add a term from your source text in Trados Studio, along with the corresponding term from your target text. So the terms will need to be included in your current translation.

If the term that you want to add is not part of your current translation, you can add it to the termbase in MultiTerm Desktop (warning: overly complicated instructions!).

Before you begin

Before you can add a term to a termbase you will need to create a termbase in MultiTerm and add a termbase in Trados Studio. (You might also want to look at: The quick way to convert glossaries and termbases between Excel and MultiTerm.)

How to add a term to your termbase

1. In the Editor view in Trados Studio, find the row containing the term that you want to add to your termbase. Position the cursor in the target segment to activate the row.

Trados Studio activate row

2. Highlight the source and target terms.

3. Right click and select Add New Term.

Trados Studio Add New Term

Result: the Termbase Viewer displays.

Termbase Viewer

4. To edit the source or target term before saving, double click the term and edit as required.

Trados Studio Edit Term

5. If you have descriptive fields in your termbase, you can edit these fields in the Termbase Viewer. To add text to these fields, click the arrow that displays before the term, select the required field and add the text.

6. When you have finished editing, click the Save icon to add the term to the termbase.

Trados Studio Term Added

7. Click the x at the top of the Termbase Viewer window to close the Termbase Viewer and return to the Editor.

How to use term recognition and insert the term into your translation

In the Editor view, when the source term that you added is in the active row, the term now displays in the Term Recognition window.

As you begin to type the term in the target segment, the term displays in the AutoSuggest list. Press Enter to insert the term into your translation.

Trados Studio Autosuggest

You can read more about how to use term recognition to insert terms into your translation here.

By Jayne Fox BSc MITI, German-English translator.
For German-English medical translation – and translation of corporate communications.

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About the author: Jayne Fox is a German-English translator specialising in corporate communications for sci-tech and health care. She works with German and Swiss organisations to help them communicate effectively with international audiences.

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  1. Elene

    Thank you 🙂

  2. Miha_B (@Mihaela_B2B)

    and an easier way to do this would be?

    • Jayne Fox

      Adding a term is easy - creating a termbase is a bit harder, but Glossary Converter makes that easy, too.

  3. Roxane PF

    Very helpful, thank you, However, when I try to add terms to my termbase, the Add Term option in the contextual menu is always greyed out. I have created a termbase and linked it to my project, so I'm not sure what the problem is.

    • Jayne Fox

      Hmmm, that doesn't sound right. You could check that the termbase has been added to the project correctly: Click Project, Project Settings, Language Pairs, All Language Pairs, Termbases. The termbase should be listed there. If it's not, click Add.

  4. Roxane PF

    Thank you. It turned out to be even simpler than that, I wasn't selected the terms in both languages properly... I have another question, if I may. Is there a keyboard shortcut to confirm translated segment? Clicking the icon every time is rather tedious.

    • Jayne Fox

      Yes, it's CTRL+Enter. 🙂

  5. Zoe F

    Thank you Jayne, I have spent the day working through all your 'how to...' Trados Guides step by step and I have learned so much. It's the first time I've ever been able to follow these types of instructions without getting lost! BTW I'm using your instructions for Trados 14 and it seems to be working fine.

    • Jayne Fox

      Thanks Zoe! I'm glad you find them easy to follow, that's good to hear. 🙂

  6. Amanda Soto

    Hi! I have a quick question. When adding terms to the MultiTerm while translating in the editor, is there any way that those entries can be added to the Excel glossary as well or can they just be updated automatically to SDL MultiTerm and I have to add them to my Excel glossary manually? Thanks!

    • Jayne Fox

      I don't know a way to update them to Excel at the same time. However, you could export from MultiTerm back to Excel periodically, rather than updating excel manually.

  7. Quentina

    Hi, thanks for this great tutorials, I am a first time user for trados, your clear explanations and steps have help me so much! But now I am trapped in creating new term 🙁 I highlighted both source and target terms, then right click-> add new term, Termbase Viewer does display, but there is nothing shown in the viewer. Would you mind give me a hand?

    • Jayne Fox

      Hi Quentina, that doesn't sound right - how frustrating! I suggest you contact Paul Filkin on Twitter -
      Hope you can get to the bottom of this - MultiTerm is a huge help once it's all set up and working as it should.

    • Dobrochna Comi Fidryk

      RE: Quentina, it seems like we have same problem. Did you manage to solve it somehow?

  8. Quentina

    Thanks Jayne! I will contact Paul to look for a solution 😀

  9. Dobrochna Comi Fidryk

    Hello, this is very interesting and I wished it worked! But in my Trados the dialog box with the Termbase Viewer that should open to edit the entry, is empty! a white-out! the list of the entries on the left doesn't move (the scrolling doesn't work) and the right side of the dialog box is totally empty, nothing happens! what could be the reason? I have Windows 8, Trados 2014, a freelance license. all possible, as far as I know, updates of software (like Java) are installed. Where is the problem?
    I have the same problem with viewing termbases. The arrows "back" and "next" are not active, so I can see only the first page of my data base. It's a problem after aligning files, I have no idea if it worked or not, because after an alignment only the first page of a termbase is visible.
    Would you have any idea what could be the problem?

    • Jayne Fox

      Hi Dobrochna, I wonder if this is a Java problem? You could search the Proz forums to see if anyone else has dealt with the same problem. As for aligning files, these are used in the TM, not the termbase. Perhaps you are looking at the TM when you look at these.

  10. Dobrochna Comi Fidryk

    RE: Quentina, it seems like we have same problem. Did you manage to solve it somehow?

    • Long Hoang

      Dobrochna, Quentina: I found your problem. Just highligh (in black) a word to create new term in Source column--> right-click --> add new term. Or you can highlight many words or all segment to find.... insteresting thing :D.

  11. Suzan Ali Mosallam

    very Helpful, thank you!

  12. CJIoHuKu

    Hello. I'd like to know about MemoQ-like way of adding terms straight into the termbase without editing, like highlight here highlight there SHORTCUT and VOILA! PRESTO! term is added to the termbase without entering edit mode. That would be very useful. Thanks in advance.

  13. Uyên Hồ

    I have problem while creating term base, my friend said that that's the problem with java which must be put in the lowest level. Is that right? would you mind explaining to me? thanks in advance

  14. Miloš Jovanović

    Dear Jane,
    very helpful blog. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.
    I am a (confused) beginner in Trados 2014 in German-Serbian language combination.
    After joining training course "Getting started" in 2010 !!! for the first time, and second time in 2014 after upselling to Trados 2014, I was completely confused. The package is very complex.
    But, few days ago, I decided to start to learn from scratch, as competition is growing and prices are falling.
    I hope it will be a start of a long-term friendship.

    • Jayne Fox

      Thanks for your feedback! And I would recommend looking for a market where demand is relatively high and competition is low. They're out there!

  15. Natalia Fernandez Segovia

    Hi! Maybe this is is not the correct thread... but I am investigating about an error I am experiencing in Multiterm and I thought you may help me:
    When I create a new termbase an error warning says "Value does not fall within the expected range". I do not how to solve it. Do you know what it may be due to?
    Many thanks!

  16. Vic

    Jayne, I've read nearly all this series on MultiTerm and it is simply brilliant. As well as containing all the necessary information to achieve each aim successfully, I really appreciate the care and detail you've put into formatting the tutorials (i.e. the screenshots, the descriptions and flow, e.g. result: etc.) and how consistent they are. It must have taken a huge amount of work: thank you!

    • Jayne Fox

      Thanks for your feedback, Vic!

  17. Jane

    Hi Jayne, Just wanted to say thanks for your beautifully clear instructions 🙂

  18. Olga

    Hi Jayne, thank you for a very helpful tutorial! Do you happen to know if there ist a possibility to add a term while aligning texts?

    • Jayne Fox

      Hi Olga, I haven't looked into this, sorry. You could research term extraction - MultiTerm Extract does this, and I think memoQ has a term extraction feature, too.

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German-to-English translator specialising in medical and technical translation and corporate communications
Welcome to my blog, Between Translations! I'm Jayne Fox, German-English translator specialising in sci-tech, health care & corporate communications.
I work with clients from around the world. From my location in New Zealand, I translate overnight for European customers.
See my websites for more information.
Sci-tech translation and corporate comms:
Medical translation:
Email: jayne(at)