Understanding XLIFF 1.2 translation files

Translation files in Elucidat come in two formats: CSV and XLIFF 1.2. Both file formats use the exact same method of translation - replacing your original text (or source text) with your translated text (or target text). The file type you use will depend on your needs and method of translation.

XLIFF 1.2 (or XLF) is a file format built for specialized translation tools. If you’re using a third-party vendor for your translations, they will likely be familiar with this format.

If you are carrying out your translations in-house without the use of specialized translation tools, we would recommend using the CSV format instead.


1 Trados Segmentation data

2 HTML tags

3 Theme translations

4 'For reference only' media content

5 Identifying which Project your XLIFF file was exported from


Trados Segmentation data

If your vendor is using Trados to translate your XLIFF files, we recommend advising them to ensure that segmentation data is not included in the file as this is not required.



HTML tags

In an XLIFF file, some of the text will be in between HTML tags which define how that text is formatted when it appears in your Project.

We recommend advising your vendor to ensure the tags are preserved as they are and not modified in any way.


Theme translations

The first section of your XLIFF contains Theme translations.

Theme translations are lines of text that are an inherent part of a Project or its parts. 

This includes things like:

  • Button action text for interactions. For example, Flip on the button of a Flipcard.
  • Hover-over tooltip text. For example, on a Next button with just an icon and no text label, the learner can hover over this button with their cursor and see 
  • Prompt text that the learner may see when they perform certain actions. For example, on a course that uses the Identify feature, the prompt Please enter your name and email address and we'll send you your unique course link can be translated
  • Text that appears in social polling graphs. For example, when not enough data for a social poll graph has been collected, the message, There is not yet enough data to display this graph will appear and can be translated.

You can choose to translate as many or as few of these as you need. For instance, if you don't have social poll graphs in your course, you can skip translating the Theme translations relating to these as they won't be used. 


'For reference only' media content

XLIFFs also contain lines for your course's media content. These can be identified by looking for a URL beginning with https://cdn.elucidat.com/... followed by (for reference only).

These do not need to be edited, changed or translated as they are just for reference. They can be safely ignored with no impact to your translation.


Identifying which Project your XLIFF file was exported from

It's necessary to be sure which Project your XLIFF was exported from in order for the translation process to work correctly. If you try to upload a XLIFF from one Project into another, your course will not be translated as Elucidat relies on the page and part IDs within the XLIFF to identify which text needs to be changed. 

There are two ways to quickly identify which Project your XLIFF was exported from.

Looking at the XLIFF file name

When you export an XLIFF from a Project, its file name is generated automatically based on the unique Project ID, Project name, and date it was exported. For example, an XLIFF exported on January 3rd 2023 from a Project named 'Sample Project' with the Project ID, '62221afe2d5d5' will be called: 


The Project ID makes up a part of the unique URL of your Project so if you're unsure which Project the XLIFF was exported from, you can add the Project ID to the following URL to navigate straight to your Project.


Opening the XLIFF in a text editor

While the XLIFF is a specialized file type that is designed to be opened and edited in a translation tool, you can also open it in a regular text editor like Notepad in Windows or TextEdit on Mac.

The Project URL is contained within the first few lines of the file. It will look something like this.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<xliff version="1.2">
<file source-language="en-GB" target-language="en-GB" tool="Elucidat" datatype="html" original="https://app.elucidat.com/projects/edit/62221afe2d5d5">

You can either use the URL here to navigate to your Project or lift the Project ID from the file and append it to the end of https://projects.elucidat.com/

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