File Import Settings

.SDLXLIFF - SDL XML-based Localization Interchange File Format (TMS)

Content is machine translated from English by Phrase Language AI.

.SDLXLIFF is an XML based file format specially developed for use in SDL Trados Studio. The files are bilingual and contain both the source and target document text.

Importing .SDLXLIFF files into a project is not recommended. These formats are proprietary and are best translated by SDL software. There may be minor or even major incompatibilities when translating Trados bilingual files in non-Trados software.


SDL Studio allows users to lock segments and tags to prevent any changes to them. If imported, a file with locked segments or tags will trigger the warning The file contains incorrectly locked tags. Modifying/adding locked tags may result in the .SDLXLIFF becoming invalid. If the file is to be translated, it is recommended to do so without tags. The tags can be identified by performing a QA check with the Expand tags option and if removed, should allow SDL Studio to open the file.

Features such as pseudo-translation checks are also lost when translating .SDLXLIFF files.

SDLPPX/SDLRPX packages are not supported. Translation memory and term base resources may be imported in .TMX and .TBX format where available.

File Types


Import Options

Source and target language codes of the .SDLXLIFF file must match exactly with the language codes the project. If the .SDLXLIFF file has en-US as a target language, English-United States must be selected for the project target language and not English. If not exact, Trados Studio may not process the file correctly.

Only .SDLXLIFF files from the target directory can be imported to and translated. .SDLXLIFF files from a source directory do not contain required information for translation. When imported, these files will not segment properly and exported translated files will be empty.

When importing source files in SDL Trados Studio, enable Do not store segmentation information in the translated file to avoid importing unnecessary <mrk> tags. If an .SDLXLIFF file with <mrk> tags is received and a re-imported version is not available, remove the tags before creating the job(s) in a text editor (the regexp is: </?mrk[^>]*?> .).

  • Parse ICU messages

    ICU messages are automatically converted to tags. Files with ICU messages cannot contain any inline elements.

  • Save confirmed segments to TM on import

    Segments imported as Confirmed are saved to the project translation memory in Write mode.

  • Convert to Phrase TMS tags 

    Allows application of regular expressions to convert specified text to tags.

Import Segment Rules

Adding rules changes the default import settings. Rules can be combined or added and can be applied using the available form or manually. Custom .SDLXLIFF states are supported. Separating arguments by a comma creates the AND logical relationship, while a new line creates the OR logical relationship.

By default, all .SDLXLIFF trans-units are imported. The status of all segments after import is neither confirmed nor locked.

Custom Import Settings

  • Do not import segment when

  • Set segment confirmed when

  • Set segment locked when

Export Attributes Mapping

Adding rules changes the default import settings. Rules can be combined or added and can be applied using the available form or manually. Custom .SDLXLIFF states are supported.

By default, all .SDLXLIFF trans-units in the exported target file will look identical to the source excepting that the target will be translated. To change the .SDLXLIFF states, segment statuses can be mapped to .SDLXLIFF states.

If a source .SDLXLIFF trans-unit is split into two or more segments, these segments will have the attributes of the first segment once exported into target a .SDLXLIFF trans-unit.

Custom Export Settings

Specific target attributes can be mapped based on the following segment statuses:

  • Confirmed and locked

  • Confirmed and not locked

  • Not confirmed and locked

  • Not confirmed and not locked

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