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CSV and other delimited files

Delimited files are text files in which the values are delimited by characters – usually by semicolons, commas, or tabs. In translation tools, such formats are often used to store or exchange terminology data. The file extension of these files is usually CSV, TSV or TXT. memoQ can export term bases into delimited files, and it can also import such files into term bases, and what is more, it can also import delimited files into translation memories.

You can create and work with delimited files in spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft® Excel®. This means you can put together a term glossary in your spreadsheet program, save it into a CSV or TXT file, and import it into a memoQ term base or into a memoQ translation memory.

Note: If you are using Microsoft® Excel® to build a glossary, it is recommended to use the Unicode Text file type option to save it. This will produce a tab delimited file with the .txt extension, and Unicode encoding. You can directly import such a file into memoQ, and the Unicode encoding will ensure that there are no corrupted characters.

You can also export a CSV file from memoQ, and import it into other terminology management programs. For Trados® MultiTerm®, however, memoQ offers an easier solution. You can export MultiTerm XML files from term bases created in memoQ, that can later be imported into MultiTerm, the terminology application of Trados.

Delimited file formats

Delimited files represent a common means of exchanging database tables and spreadsheets. A delimited file is a text file that is readable and modifiable using plain-text editors or custom command line tools working with unformatted text files. A delimited file can also be processed by Microsoft® Excel® as one of the native file formats.

A delimited file is the simplified representation of a table:

One line in a delimited file corresponds to one row in the table.

The first line in a delimited file can be the table header.

A line of a delimited file consists of fields, each field corresponding to one cell in one column of the table represented.

Within a line, usually fields are separated by semicolons (;) or tabs. If a field contains a semicolon (;) inside, its contents must be written between double quotes ("). The fields must not contain tab characters. Double quotes within such fields content must be written as "" (two double quotes).

The field separator should be the same throughout the delimited file. If the separator is the tab character, the delimited is also known as TSV (Tab-Separated Values).





"""from farm to fork"" approach";"""vom Bauernhof bis auf den Tisch"" Ansatz"

This translates into the following table:

Note: The above example file is ready to be imported into a memoQ term base. If the term base does not have English and German among its languages, memoQ will offer you to add these languages.

See also:

Term base CSV import settings

Term base Excel import settings

Term base MultiTerm XML and TBX import settings

Term base TMX import settings