Best format for Translation - XLIFF or Word?

I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion on which format works better for translation: XLIFF or Word. I have used both in previous translation projects, but I don't know what it looks like on the translator's end. I also have had success with both, but I see others have had issues with importing the XLIFF (which sounds like a nightmare to me!).

Does Storyline suggest a preferred method? Or do you as a developer or translator have a preferred method? I'd love to hear some feedback before I begin my next translation project. 

3 Replies
Becca Levan
Nick Briggs

Hi Rena,

From a translation companies perspective the preferred format would be the XLIFF (XML Localization Interchange File Format).

This type of file maintains all the formatting of text (bold / underline / font / coloured text). When the translated "output" Xliff file is then imported into RISE all formatting is maintained. In the translation world XLIFF is what we would call a far cleaner file format for translation (that is not say the word document would not work as well).

Importing the finished XLIFF should be super simple. Most of the troubles people have are around trying to import the XLIFF file into either the incorrect course (or an amended course).

As you are probably aware you need to make a duplicate of the original course in each language and only the export from that duplicated course will upload back into that specific course.

If you have any other translation related questions or issues feel free to message me. 


Rena Maguire

Thanks Nick, I appreciate you sharing your experience! It turns out the translator we are working with right now prefers the Word document. Hopefully we will not see too many formatting differences when we import. 

That said, I will likely work with other translators in the future, so it's excellent information to have.