TMX Format  (Overview)


TMX (translation memory exchange) is a file format for transporting translation text data between different tools.  The TMX format is XML-compliant, so any XML- or SGML-enabled utility can be used on TMX documents.


The TMX format provides a standard method of describing translation text data that is being exchanged between various tools and/or translation vendors while causing little or no loss of critical data during the process.


TMX is defined in two parts:

Specification of the container's format (the higher-level elements that provide information about the file as a whole).  In TMX, an entry consisting of aligned text segments in two or more languages is called a translation unit (the <tu> element).

Specification of a low-level meta-markup format for a segment of translation memory text. In TMX, an individual segment of translation memory text in a particular language is denoted by a <seg> element.


TMX can be implemented on two levels:

Level 1 (plain text only)- support for the container only.  The data inside each <seg> element is plain text (without content markup).  This level is sufficient when the data does not have inline codes, for example software messages.  It is not sufficient for documentation-type formats.

Level 2 (content markup)- support for both container and content.  The application uses the TMX content markup to allow any other tools also supporting TMX Level 2 to recreate the translated version of an original document by using only the TMX document.  This level does not take segmentation differences into account.


RC-WinTrans supports translation text data import/export via TMX files.  RC-WinTrans supports the Level 1 TMX format.


For details, information, and examples, please visit the TMX LISA Website at


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