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Aug 26, 2019

Exporting compatible XLIFF (XLF) bilingual files from memoQ


Here we go again. Although memoQ is the undisputed leader for compatibility and interoperability among translation environment tools, users still encounter problems exchanging files, particularly XLIFF of some sort, with users of other tools. This is not because of any actual difficulty producing compatible XLIFF files, but rather a matter of deficient tool training and the failure to date by memoQ product designers to make the ease of interoperability a little more obvious. Some other tools, like recent versions of SDL Trados Studio, come pre-configured on installation to recognize the proprietary file extensions for memoQ's flavor of XLIFF ("MQXLIFF") and renamed ZIP packages (MQXLZ) containing XLIFF files, but others (or versions of SDL Trados Studio from many years ago) need to be configured to recognize those extensions, or someone simply has to change the MQXLIFF file extension to an extension that will be recognized by any tool: *.xliff or *.xlf are the choices.

The two-step solution is shown here:


On the Documents ribbon in memoQ, click on the tiny arrow under the Export icon and choose the option to export a bilingual file. There is some blue text which, if clicked, will allow a compatible XLIFF file to be exported, albeit with the MQXLIFF extension that some other programs might not recognize.

When the Export button in the dialog (marked 1, above) is clicked, the Save As dialog (marked 2, above) appears, simply change the file extension (the part after the period) to "xlf", for example. Then any program that reads XLIFF files can work with the file you export from memoQ. Despite the change of extension, memoQ will still recognize the file it produced, so it is possible to re-import it, for example if another person has made corrections to the XLIFF file that you want to use to update your translation or reference resources.

In some much older versions of memoQ, it does not work to change the extension in the export dialog; this has to be done directly to the exported file in whatever folder you save it in.

Of course, all of this will be rather difficult if you are one of those users who has not fixed the awful Microsoft Windows default to hide the extensions of known file types. Fixing that particular stupidity requires slightly different measures in different versions of Windows, but in Windows 10 you can do that on the View ribbon of Windows Explorer by marking the choice to show file name extensions:




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