xlsx back to xliff

Feb 08, 2023


I exported xliff from Storyline 3 for translation.

Before sending it to translators I opened the xliff file in Excel and it created an xlsx file. Therefore I sent to translators the xlsx file for translation.

All the translators returned to me their translation in xlsx format. Now I need to get it back to xliff format  in order to be able to import back the translation into Storyline 3.

Could you please let me know how can I convert back the xlsx to xliff?


Thanks in advance for the help!






6 Replies
Felix Franke

Hi Daniel,

AFAIK there is no transformation tool back from xlsx (or docx) to xliff which actually works, also see this thread https://community.articulate.com/discussions/doc-to-xliff-converstion-tool

I have an idea for a (labiorious) workaround but if I just open the xliff in Excel, it creates quite a mess (basically the whole file in one cell). How did you open it in Excel to get a manageable file? Even that would be of some help for me atm.


I really don't like this xliff business, even in a professional translation tool (smartling), it is a nightmare to translate and to edit because the xlf file is quite messy with tons of blanks around the HTML tags, which the translation program complains about.
But I have ben able to read translated xliff files back into rise, which is a bonus. Still, for us, translating storyline courses via Word files is so much easier.

Thor Melicher

@ Daniel and @ Felix,

I would agree, I haven't seen any tool that makes it easy after opening it directly in Excel and then converting it back to a XLIFF file.  One possible workaround but it would likely be a mess is to change the .xlsx extension to .zip.  You would then use WinZip or other .zip management program to look at the contents.  At the end of the day, a XLIFF file is structured like an XML file, just with specific rules.  The challenge here is that the XML you'll be looking at is structured for Excel.

With that being said, I do have a solution that makes it possible for Rise 360 courses to be exported to Excel files so that one can manually add translations and it then converts this readable format back to XLIFF.  If you're interested, please send me a private message here or reach out to me via LinkedIn. 

As for Storyline 3, have you tried exporting the translation as a Word document?  It would be an easier way to go as it's already a built-in feature of Storyline.

Felix Franke

Hi Thor,

Thanks for the tips. For Storyline (3 or 360) I do use the possibility to export transation files to Word as this is much more manageable for us. From many comments in the forum I have deducted that there are many people who think the same. Not everybody has a superprofessional and well equipped translation-office at hand (or can afford one), so I think giving that possibility in Rise360 as well would be a great improvement.

But Articulate seem to think differently and keep pushing the xliff solution. XLIFF should not be deleted. I have used it to translate and it works nicely except for the fact that there seem to be lots of spaces before and after html tags which irritate the translation system (Smartling) so they all have to be edited by hand. Very tedious.

I am not sure at which step these blanks find their way into the process but I suspect it's at creating the xliff file.

Felix Franke

Hi Jürgen,
thank you for your quick answer.

The xliff files were created with Rise, in Storyline I only use Word files to translate as that is much easier for us.
I have actually opened a support ticket with Articulate.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen / with best regards,

Felix Franke