Changing categories in MultiTerm termbases

Last week, I created a really complex termbase definition. Now I changed my mind about a category, and I would like to remove it from the definition. I have not entered a single term in the termbase, and in the Termbank Manager it says 0 Terms, 0 Entries. Still I get an error message along the lines of “The termbank selected is not empty and cannot be changed as requested”. Any idea what I can do to manipulate the category?

And note: even if the termbank was not empty, I think MultTerm should allow deleting categories after showing an appropriate dialogue with a warning!

Thanks in advance!

  • Hi Eva,

    I just tried to do this and have no problem. With a new termbase definition and no terms added I have no problems editing the definition and changing the termbase structure. I also made sure I tried saving the termbase, closing MultiTerm and then reopening it and removed another category... also no problem.

    Maybe you can share a little more information? Maybe you can share the XDT and give us the steps to follow?


  • Eva

    I don't know why you cannot change the definition although your TB is empty, but on your additional note, I can confirm that you cannot remove any fields or picklist values from a populated termbase. You may as well add fields or values, but you cannot remove any. This makes sense because MultiTerm would not know what to do with entries that contain the fields or values that you want to remove.

    The procedure to choose in such situations is to export the content of your existing termbase, create a new termbase based on the existing one, edit the defintion by removing the fields and values you want to get rid of and then reimport then entries into the new "restructured" termbase.
    Works fine and at the same time reorganizes your termbase:-)

  • Thanks, Walter, for your clarifications! Looks like I was going about it the wrong way - I wanted to create an ultra-complete TB definition, use it for a while and then delete the fields that turned out to be rarely used.

    (I really think this should be possible. If, in 1000 entries, I have used the the "grammatical gender" category just three times, and then I decide I don't need it after all, I'm perfectly happy to surrender the three times I have typed "f." or "m." after Multiterm warns me I'm about to do so.)

    However, from what you tell me, it seems to be better to start with a super-slim definition and then expand it as work progresses, although this strikes me as ineffective, because in order to do so, I'll always have to go back to Multiterm and the definition. I think my approach would have been quicker and more user-friendly. But it really doesn't matter that much in this case, I just wanted to establish how this is supposed to work.

    Thanks again, Walter!
  • Thanks Paul! I'm happy to share the XDT if you are curious and want to figure out what is wrong, but in the light of your information that this should generally work (with an empty TB) and the things Walter explained, I have decided to discard the definition and set up a new one for my purpose, because I'll have to go about my task differently, anyway.
  • Hi Eva,

    I would be interested to see it if you are happy to share? If I can repro it's always good to know how these things happen.

    I agree with Walter too though... start simple. But if you really prefer the other approach the easiest way to work is to use the Glossary Converter. Kick it out to Excel and you'll easily see what you are using and what you are not, then just delete the columns you don't need and convert it back again. Really simple.


  • You will have long-since solved this one way or another, but for the benefit of anyone else stumbling on this question ...

    I had exactly the same problem (new, empty database throwing this error message when I tried to remove something from the structure).

    My solution was to create a new database based on the old one and immediately, before doing anything else, go in and remove the unwanted fields.

  • If you have access to it (as part of Studio 2021 or Trados Live) have a look at Trados Live Terminology in the browser and integrated with Studio.

    One of the USPs of the new Terminology solution is adressing this gap, allowing Termbase structure changes on a current termbase which was a technical limitation of MultiTerm we adressed with Trados Live Terminology Thumbsup

    Luis Lopes,
    RWS Product Management