How to export a termbase from MultiTerm to Excel or Word

May 7, 2015 by
How to export a termbase from MultiTerm to Excel or Word

Image source: photo 3343

If you translate using SDL Trados Studio, you probably have lots of handy MultiTerm termbases. (And if you don’t use termbases, have a look at this post for details of what you’re missing.)

After creating all that valuable data, you may want to share it with your client - so you will probably need to export the terms into another format.

For simple conversion between MultiTerm termbases and Excel glossaries, you can use the Glossary Converter. Thanks to Shai Navé for reminding me of this cool tool.

For anything more complex, you can use MultiTerm itself. Here are the steps to use MultiTerm to export a termbase into a glossary in Excel, or a printable dictionary in Microsoft Word.

Export a termbase from MultiTerm to Excel

The steps to export a termbase from MultiTerm are not very intuitive. But don’t worry, it’s actually very easy to do.

1. First open MultiTerm, select the File tab and click Open Termbase. Click Browse, select the termbase that you want to open and click Open. Then click OK. Result: the termbase is now open and displays in the Termbases pane.

Export termbase from MultiTerm to Excel or Word Export termbase from MultiTerm to Excel or Word









2. Now click the Termbase Management button on the bottom left. A complicated-looking tree structure displays in the left pane.

Export termbase from MultiTerm to Excel or Word






3. Click Export in the tree structure below the termbase name. Result: the export options display in the right pane.

Export termbase from MultiTerm to Excel or Word




4. (Here’s the really non-intuitive part.) Now right-click Tab-delimited export definition in the right pane and select Process from the context menu. (Completely nuts. I know.)
Export termbase from MultiTerm to Excel or Word




Result: the Export Wizard displays. (And it starts on Step 2 of 8. Lol.)
Export termbase from MultiTerm to Excel or Word




5. On the Export Wizard, click Save As, select a location and enter a name for the export file. Click Next. Result: a progress bar displays.
Export termbase from MultiTerm to Excel or Word




6. When the progress bar has reached 100%, click Next and then Finish.
Congratulations, you’ve exported the termbase! Now you just need to open the TXT file in Excel (right click the file and open with Excel, or open with Notepad and save as .XLS instead of .TXT, then open the file in Excel). Delete any columns that you don’t need, save the file as an Excel document and you’re good to go.

Export a termbase from MultiTerm to Word – to create a printable dictionary

Multiterm has a nice option to export a termbase to a dictionary format in Microsoft Word. This can be an easy and attractive way to share terminology with clients.
To export the termbase to Word, follow steps 1, 2 and 3 above. Then:

4. Right-click Word Dictionary export definition in the right pane and select Process from the context menu.
Export termbase from MultiTerm to Excel or Word






Result: the Export Wizard displays (as in step 4 above).
Continue steps 5 and 6 above.
Congratulations, you’ve exported your termbase as a dictionary!
Export termbase from MultiTerm to Excel or Word




Open the RTF file, add any notes or formatting, then save it as a Word document or PDF. Now you can share the dictionary with your client.

How about you?

Do you use MultiTerm? Do you find it easy to export the data to another format? Have you tried creating a dictionary for your client?
Let me know in the comments below!
Please note that I do not have a commercial relationship with any of the organisations mentioned above.

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. Robert Dunn

    Wow, I had no idea I could do this natively in Trados MultiTerm! I actually could have used this guide weeks ago when I received a Trados term base from a client which I wanted to export to Excel in order to import it to MemoQ. I ended up using a third-party solution, but this is good to know for the future. I assumed Trados made it intentionally difficult to export term bases to strengthen the vendor lock-in they have.

  2. Oz

    Thanks for this interesting post! For this kind of jobs I use Excelling MultiTerm. This tool is an interface between MS Excel and SDL MultiTerm. It is used to edit termbase data offline in Excel and import it back to SDL MultiTerm.Excelling MultiTerm also offers advanced termbase maintenance features to batch-repair certain issues in the termbase content.
    And there is even a free version ,-) (

  3. Cinara Lothamer

    This is so helpful. Thank you!

  4. Angela

    Thank you very much!!!!!

  5. Luc Timperman

    Thank you very much. I have one problem: only the Dutch (source) and French (target) entries are saved, not the German and English entries. How do I save the full termbase?

  6. Mor

    Jayne, you rock! Just perfect. Thanks

    • Jayne Fox

      Glad you found it useful! 😀

  7. Fernán González

    Thank you! I wanted to export a glossary for a colleage with whom I'm interpreting this month and I didn't know how to do it.

    I have to say the Word printable dictionary looks nice :-).

    • Jayne Fox

      Glad you could get it all worked out. And yes, the printable dictionary in Word is very pleasing!

  8. Diana

    Thank you so much for this post, Jayne! Now I can use my huge Multiterm glossary in MemoQ, you've saved me so much time!

  9. Amy

    Thanks Jane, I find your blog so helpful in so many ways! The best thing about it is the simple instructions and screenshots you provide. Sometimes watching a video or trying to find something in the manual is so time-consuming. Many thanks for the awesome tips!

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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)