Excel tables embedded in Word or PowerPoint files

Often Microsoft Word (.docx) or Microsoft PowerPoint (.pptx) files contain table produced as Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and embedded in the file. If we translate these .pptx or .docx files with Computer Assisted Translation tools like OmegaT, Excel table data are not displayed in the software. This happens because table data are not included in the Word or PowerPoint structure. This implies that Excel text is not included in the statistic count.

How can we solve this problem?

(Print version)

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To solve the problem we must consider the Microsoft files structure. The files we are considering are Microsoft Office 2007 (or later) files—the ones ending with the "x". These files are compressed files. As such, they can be opened with any compression software; the most used in the Windows environment are WinZip and WinRar, but I suggest to use a wonderful opensource tool called 7zip. There are two way to open the file with one of these software: either launch the compression software and drag the file on its window, or rename the file, adding the .zip extensions (e.g. filename.docx.zip).

Excel embedding in Word

If we open the file in this way, we see it contains several files and folders. One of this folders is the "ppt" folder (for PowerPoint files) or the "word" folder (for Word files). This folder contains several files and folders, as well. One of this folders is the "embeddings" folder. This particular folder contains all the Microsoft Excel files embedded in the file we want to translate.

Embedding in 7zip

All we have to do is to extract the Excel files (we can drag and drop them from the compression software window to a computer folder) and translate them as normal file (e.g. using OmegaT).

When these Excel files are translated, we must re-insert them in the "embeddings" folder of the original .docx or .pptx file (through drag and drop in the compression software window). At this point, if you try to open the translated .docx or .pptx file, you will notice that the embedded folders are still untranslated. This happens because you haven't updated the display of the table. To do this, just double click on each table, to open the Excel editor integrated in Word or PowerPoint and then click again on any point of the file (outside the Excel table). The table display will be updated and the table will be translated.

(Print version)

dasmi Thursday 29 January 2015 - 12:25 pm | | Translator tools

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