SheetSwiper: from excel to standard format (Toolbox/FLEx)

SheetSwiper is a handy utility that converts an excel file containing the lexicon to a standard format text to be imported in Toolbox and FLEx. It is indeed extremely helpful if you have a lexicon in excel or tab format and you don’t want to go through manual editing. I will show here a detailed procedure of the conversion process.

First, download the software here. The file is not an installer. Instead, it is the actual executable file that will run the software. Move it to a folder that is best for you.

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In order for the conversion to work, the excel file must have the extension .xls. A .xlsx file won’t work, so remember to select the right format when you save your spreadsheet. Here you can see an example of excel file with some data in it.


SheetSwiper uses the first row as instructions so that row should contain the standard format markers. Save your lexicon as a .xls file and close excel.

Open SheetSwiper with a doble click on the .exe file you downloaded.


You can click on “Choose an excel…” and navigate to the folder where your lexicon is, or drag the file directly into the window. Once you have imported the file, the conversion will start automatically and the Review tab will open.


You can select a different font for display clicking on the font selection drop-down menu. You can preview the lexicon in the preview area. To save the lexicon as a SFM, click on “Save SFM…”.


Give it a name and press “Save”. The default file extension is .db. If you want to save it with another extension, like .txt, click on the drop down menu “Save as type:” and select “All files”. In the “Field name” field insert the name plus the chosen extension, like “Dictionary.txt”.



  • if a column has data but the first cell (of the first row) is empty, SheetSwiper won’t include the data of that column.
  • the procedure is suitable for entries that have all the same kind and number of markers. If you have some entries with more than one sense or with sub-entries, you need to prepare a separate excel file.
  • SheetSwiper reads data only from the first sheet in the excel file, so data on other sheets won’t be converted.