XLIFF translations and text variables

Feb 05, 2018


I have encountered two issues when uploading xlf content in order to translate a .story file and wanted to pass on this knowledge to everybody and see if any of you have a better solution:

 1. Error when uploading a xlf translation file if the .story document has some text variable undefined.

2. Error when uploading a xlf translation file if the .story document has any kind of text variable, including a text entry field.


Issue 1: I file -> Translation -> Export to XLIFF. When exporting in version 1.2, if a trigger in the original .story document contains a reference to a text variable that is not defined, storyline seems to create a text string within the xlf file with the following code:


<trans-unit id="5wKPuaILNxz" datatype="plaintext"><source>unassigned</source></trans-unit>


When uploading a translation, articulate seems to not “expect” that unassigned unit and prompts an “Articulate Storyline Error Report” (my assumption). This is solved by going through every single slide looking for that one unassigned text variable. Deleting the trigger renders a “clean” xlf file without the unassigned text strings (as shown above). That gets rid of the problem.


I assume that articulate erroneously creates that trans-unit tag for text variables that then causes the problem, when creating those xlf files.


One way to “quickly” see if you have any unassigned text variables is by going to through the variable list, opening the list of references of each text variable and searching for the text “(Blank)”. That should show you what slide (or layer in a slide) to look for.


Issue 2: I follow the same procedure as above and get the same errors whenever there is any kind of text variable in the .story file. The problem is solved by going to the list of variables and deleting all text variables. This is actually very frustrating – if I had known from the start that text variables would prevent you from translating the .story file, I would have thought of a workaround. The problem is, however, that I need a text-entry field which REQUIRES a text-variable (I want the user to type in his / her name, so that the name appears on different slides). This is a really big drawback. It’s true that you can sometimes work around this problem by using true/false variables but there are just some things that you NEED as a text variable.


Any other possible solutions or workarounds?


1 Reply
Katie Riggio

I'm really sorry to hear that you're experiencing such errors when uploading xlf translation files, Ed.

I see that you've reached out to our Engineers, which is an excellent move! They're reviewing the case as I type this, and you should hear back from them soon.

I've also bookmarked your case (# 01252450), so that I can follow along as it progresses.

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