The new Interplex: glossaries made fast and easy

In December 2003, I wrote an article introducing Interplex, the glossary programme I developed with Eric Hartner. Since then we have tweaked and re-tweaked the software, taking on board the many suggestions received from interpreters using it in the booth. Seven years have passed – time to bring our Communicate! community up to date.

Our goal has been to make Interplex as user friendly as possible - to ensure that it can be used in the booth easily and quickly while you are working. Here are some of the improvements that the new edition based on Unicode offers.

  • Your glossaries are now stored in a single database on your computer. And making a backup is easy, just copy that file to any location of your choice (external hard disk, USB stick, etc.). You can have as many separate databases as you wish.
  • For the computer-savvy amongst you, a database can be placed on a server allowing multiple parties to contribute to it.
  • It is possible to have several glossaries open at the same time, very useful if the subject under discussion is covered by more than one glossary in your database. You can also consolidate glossaries by cutting and pasting one into another.
  • Under the old version, searches were always across all glossaries. While that remains possible, with results faster than before, the new version also allows you to limit a search to a particular glossary or set of glossaries, speeding things up even more.
  • Some colleagues like to have different colours for different languages as this helps them readily distinguish one from another when working. Just right-click the top of the language column to change the colour, add bold or italics, or increase the font size.
  • And some of you use double byte characters sets; they’re now fully supported. You’ll no longer need to switch fonts for non-Latin scripts - just change your keyboard and type away in Cyrillic, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, etc.
  • Many of you already have glossaries in a Word or an Excel file. To import an Excel file, just make sure that the first line indicates the name of the language and make sure that there are no completely blank lines – then press import. For Word, make sure that the glossary lists the languages in the first line. The following screenshot shows how to format your Word file.














Suitability (food)


Accord OTC

TBT agreement


Acides amines

Amino acids






Aliment peu acide

Low acid food

  • It’s possible to import several Word files or Excel sheets simultaneously.
  • The programme is regularly updated. On the Help menu there is an option ‘Check for Updates’. There is also an Email function that allows a user to send an email to both the designer (me) and the programmer (Eric Hartner) if there are any issues that you would like us to address.
  • A number of us have decided to abandon our PCs and switch to Mac. Colleagues regularly ask whether an Apple version of Interplex is available. Although Eric has not yet finished the native Apple version he’s working on, he has come across a very good intermediate solution. While one option is to have Parallels and Windows on your Mac, CodeWeavers now produce a programme - CrossOver Mac - that allows you to run Windows programmes without having to buy either Parallels or a Windows licence. Information and prices are available on the Codeweavers website.
  • Price: Interplex costs US $90 for a downloaded version that you are free to install on multiple computers. Student and non-profit discounts are available.

Fancy giving Interplex a spin? If so, download a demo version from Four Willows.

1 Languages listed in first row of each column, centred or not.
2 No entry in one column is OK; a row empty across all columns is not.

Recommended citation format:
Peter SAND. "The new Interplex: glossaries made fast and easy". December 10, 2010. Accessed July 9, 2020. <>.

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