Aliens and widgets…

Widget, the World Watcher is a purple alien who came down to earth to teach children about the problems caused by pollution and the importance of protecting our planet for future generations. Of course he also battled with evil villains and could shape-shift into various forms that allowed him to do battle and prevent the earths valuable resources from being stolen.

The SDL MultiTerm Widget is no alien, doesn’t do battle with evil beings or save the worlds resources… but it does allow you to do battle with the vast number of terminology collections and search engines available on the internet and makes them available for you in one simple place while you work.

There is no better person to explain how this works than Richard Puschmann from the SDL Support Team in Stuttgart.  Richard has added so many sources of information, and found more ways to use  this widget than anyone I know, so this post is based on information all provided by him… in fact most of this post was written by him!

Seriously, what is the SDL MultiTerm Widget?  The Widget (I’ll just refer to this tool as the Widget to keep it short) is a desktop toolbar application that was developed to allow users who manage terminology to share this work across any medium.

In a nutshell the Widget provides features that;

  • allow everyone in your company to look up approved terminology (from a MultiTerm termbase) from within a browser, DTP tool, MS Office applications, text editor etc., without needing to have a complete terminology solution installed or know how to use one;
  • can look up words within predefined online dictionaries for their meaning or translation from places like Wikipedia or Leo
  • can make use of more formal sources or online dictionaries from resources like IATE (InterActive Terminology for Europe) or Duden;
  • can even be used to plan your route using Google Maps, search for people on LinkedIn or look for a video on YouTube… the list is endless

The Widget can be installed with SDL MultiTerm 2011 but it is also available as a separate installer in your Account if you own SDL MultiTerm and also as a download from the SDL OpenExchange.

The default installation of the Widget installs 5 predefined search providers:

  • SDL MultiTerm Widget (for MultiTerm Termbases)
  • Google
  • Bing
  • Linguee
  • Wikipedia

Using the Widget to look things up is really simple.. in this example I attached the Microsoft Euro-Languages Terminology Collection which is a free MultiTerm termbase available through the SDL OpenExchange like this:

I could have as many termbases as I like in here, but I just used one for this article… I left the other settings as they are and then highlighted some text from this article (“download”) as I was writing it, used the mouse shortcut in the settings and see this:

There is a good description on all the elements of this window and the settings in the SDL help here:

Welcome to the MultiTerm Widget

Of course you can also simply type in your search by calling up the Widget when needed:

If you want more then adding more search providers isn’t possible through a nice UI, rather you need to edit an xml file stored on your computer, but the possibilities are endless and well worth the effort.  Richard has extended his version to also include these (and variations for specific languages as well so this is a much reduced list):

So, how do you add more providers, and are you up for the Widget challenge to add more providers than Richard?

No?  Then look away now if you don’t like the geeky stuff 😉

First of all you need to locate the XML WidgetSearchProviders.xml.  This file is stored with the other MultiTerm settings in your user’s application settings:

For Windows XP users:
C:\Documents and Settings\<User>\Application Data\SDL\SDL MultiTerm\MultiTerm9\WidgetSearchProviders.xml

For Windows 7/Vista:
C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\SDL\SDL MultiTerm\MultiTerm9\WidgetSearchProviders.xml

You can open the file in any text/xml editor to modify/add your own extensions, and you’ll see that the file consists of a list of search providers in the following type of format:

<SearchProvider Name="Pons german/english">
 <LanguageMapping Type="Iso" />

The explanation of what these elements means is:

 Tag  Attributes
 <SearchProvider>  Name : Will be displayed on the search button and the context menu for web search
 <URL> This is sent to the web browser. It allows to you specify three parameters that will be replaced before sending the URL. None of them are mandatory..

{0} is the source language as selected in the configuration dialog. See language mapping type below.


{1} is the target language.


{2} is the search term.


Warning: Please make sure to use XML entities in the URL string (since the WidgetSearchProviders file is an XML file). So for an ampersand that adds another parameter like in above sample, please make sure to use the full entity &amp; and not only plain &

 <Icon> An image in one of the following formats: ico, png, bmp, gif, jpg. It needs to be in the same folder as the WidgetSearchProviders.xml file, or you can use a relative path.
 <LanguageMapping> Type: different websites use different ways of representing languages. This parameter allows you to choose between three types:.Iso : the language is represented as a two letter code, according to the ISO standard. For example en for English. This will always be the ‘neutral language’, without a country specification. For example: if you choose English (United States) in the Configuration dialog, it will be mapped to en, not to en-us.


English_Name: the English name for the language is used. It will be the neutral language, so English (United States) will translate to English.


Table : can be used to handle web pages that use different language representations. The user provides a table mapping between ISO codes (used internally in MultiTerm) and the web search name for languages, like this:


<SearchProvider Name=”*LEO”>
<LanguageMapping Type=”Table”>
<Language iso=”de” web=”de”/>
<Language iso=”en” web=”en”/>
<Language iso=”fr” web=”fr”/>
<Language iso=”es” web=”es”/>
<Language iso=”it” web=”it”/>
<Language iso=”ch” web=”ch”/>
<Language iso=”ru” web=”ru”/>

And finally, a couple or three worked examples using the European Union’s multilingual termbase project, IATE.  In this online terminology repository you will find terms that have been “fed into the database by EU terminologists and translators on the basis of information from translators, administrators, lawyer-linguists, experts and other reliable sources.

Finding Results from any language

Description: IATE
URL of search page:
Exact match: n/a
Source language: Any language available
Target language: Any language available
Optional criteria:
– Domain associated with your query: Any domain
– Type of search: All

<SearchProvider Name="IATE (All options)">

Finding results from an English/German language pair only

Description: IATE
URL of search page:
Exact match: n/a
Source language: english
Target language: german
Optional criteria:
– Domain associated with your query: Any domain
– Type of search: All

<SearchProvider Name="IATE (english > german / options: any)">

Finding results from a language pair defined by the Widget termbase settings

Description: IATE
URL of search page:
Exact match: n/a
Source language: depends on SDL MultiTerm Widget termbase settings
Target language: depends on SDL MultiTerm Widget termbase settings
Optional criteria:
– Domain associated with your query: Any domain
– Type of search: All

<SearchProvider Name="IATE (Language mapping)">
 <LanguageMapping Type="Table">
 <Language iso="de" web="de"/>
 <Language iso="en" web="en"/>
 <Language iso="fr" web="fr"/>
 <Language iso="es" web="es"/>
 <Language iso="it" web="it"/>
 <Language iso="bg" web="bg"/>
 <Language iso="cs" web="cs"/>
 <Language iso="da" web="da"/>
 <Language iso="el" web="el"/>
 <Language iso="et" web="et"/>
 <Language iso="fi" web="fi"/>
 <Language iso="ga" web="ga"/>
 <Language iso="hu" web="hu"/>
 <Language iso="la" web="la"/>
 <Language iso="lt" web="lt"/>
 <Language iso="lv" web="lv"/>
 <Language iso="mt" web="mt"/>
 <Language iso="nl" web="nl"/>
 <Language iso="pl" web="pl"/>
 <Language iso="pt" web="pt"/>
 <Language iso="ro" web="ro"/>
 <Language iso="sk" web="sk"/>
 <Language iso="sl" web="sl"/>
 <Language iso="sv" web="sv"/>

Clever stuff from Richard… so to give you an idea of what this looks like using the first option (all languages) I search like this using the Widget:

And this returns the following results:

Very handy addition to your armoury for translating and authoring, and all based around the places you like to search as well as the termbases you’ve carefully crafted over the years!

Got any good ideas for new providers?

  1. Thanks very much for this information, Paul. But isn’t there something missing after “And this returns the following results” above, or are you being ironic?


    • Hi Mats. No irony here and nothing missing either… at least this is all I intended to say. What do you think is missing?


  2. Very strange — when I read this post before, the image below “the following results” was not there. And I opened the page several times. Now that I see it, it makes more sense…


  3. Giles Tilling said:

    Hi Paul, is it possible to use the widget on any PC, or only those with access to a trados licence?
    Many thanks



    • Hi Giles, you can use this on any computer. If you are accessing terminology from a MultiTerm Server it will require a license but for local look up or configuring it to use websites, or whatever else you have in mind it doesn’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sašo Kunčič said:

    Hi Paul, we have several floating licenses for Trados Studio 2011 which includes MultiTerm Desktop. We intend to use it for our company terminology and put the termbase on the shared folder. Could we use widget on any computer which could access that shared folder?


    • Hi Sašo, certainly if you are using MultiTerm Server to host your company termbase then yes it will. If you intend to use it by sharing a filebased termbase then I imagine this would also work because the widget doesn’t write back to the termbase, it only reads it. I don’t know how well this would cope with many users accessing it all at the same time, but I guess you could “suck it and see”.


  5. Hi again Paul,

    Now attempting to explore this resource further, I find that your statement “The default installation of the Widget installs 5 predefined search providers” is not true in my case — or rather, they are there in the WidgetSearchProviders file but do not show in the Opened termbases list.

    And another thing: when I try to add termbases via Open Termbases > Manage servers > Add (in accordance with the instructions in the Help) — rathern than using your Geeky stuff instructions — it seems that method is for adding SDL servers only. Do you know if that really is the intention, and that the Geeky stuff is the only way for all other servers?

    Thanks in advance for any help!



  6. Mats again: I see now that the predefined providers are found in the drop-down list in the search window — not in the Opened termbases field. On the other hand, when I add a couple of local termbases in that field, they do not show up in the drop-down list… so overall, I’m pretty confused.


  7. Aha… I need to select the MultiTerm Widget alternative in the drop-down list for the search to be performed there! (I’ll stop bothering you before I have explored further, but I have to say: the instructions which accompany this tool are not exactly crystal clear.)


  8. Belkacem said:

    I try to add this dictionnary (gdt) : in my dropdown list under WidgetSearchProviders.xml, but not working, is it possible or not?
    Many thanks


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