This is a list of Frequently Asked questions.

    1. What does FLEx stand for?

FieldWorks Language Explorer.

    1. Where can I get help?

You can get help from this webpage.

    1. FLEx doesn’t work when I install it.

The first thing to do is to check the MD5 hash tag associated with the download package. This will verify that the download completed successfully. The MD5 hash codes associated with the downloads packages are available on the download page. You can use a free tool such as or WinMD5Free to verify the hash tag against the downloaded file. If the download is incorrect, try downloading it again. If it still doesn’t work, try reinstalling.

    1. FLEx doesn’t start. I get the message ‘Msg: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.’ with the source ‘PalasoUIWindowsForms’.

It’s possible that something in the Windows settings files has gotten messed up. To fix this, in Windows Explorer, go to %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\SIL. Delete anything to do with FieldWorks, Language Explorer and SIL FieldWorks. Then restart FieldWorks. Hopefully that will get things going again.

    1. FLEx crashed unexpectedly and I see a message similar to ‘Msg: Key 5cbcf087-b3ea-4173-90db-ebafa5ef94cb not found in identity map (actually just an ID is present)’ in the crash that is generated.

It looks like an error that has gotten into your data. You should be able to correct the problem by running the Find and Fix Data utility.
To run this utility:

      1. Open your project and make a backup. Then close your project. If you can’t open your project, save off the project directory as a backup and delete an occurrences of a file with the lock extension in the project directory if one exists.
      2. Open a project other than the one you want to fix
      3. Go to Tools -> Utilities and check ‘Find and Fix errors etc.’. Click ‘Run checked Utilities Now’
      4. Check the project you want to fix in the list of projects that appears. Click ‘Fix Links’.
      5. If any errors are found, you will get a report of the changes.
      6. Click ‘Ok’ or press enter and you should be good to go.


    1. I’ve tried what you’ve suggested here, but things still don’t work. What should I try next?

Try rebooting your machine. That often fixes unusual problems.

    1. Where is my project directory?

The project directory should be named the same as your project. Beginning in version 7 of FLEx, you can see the location it is under it by looking in FLEx under File -> Project Management-> Project Locations and Sharing. In version 9 of FLEx, you can see the location it is under it by looking in FLEx under File -> Project Management-> Project Locations. The default location is C:\ProgramData\SIL\FieldWorks\Projects. In XP, the default location is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SIL\FieldWorks\Projects

    1. What to do if you are having problems with Pathway.

If you use the Reset button in the Pathway Configuration tool, it is supposed to fix the problems. If not, you could try making sure everything is clean by uninstalling and making sure the two folders are gone:
C:\Program Files (x86)\SIL\Pathway and
C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\SIL\Pathway (where username is replaced with your user name)
Then reinstall Pathway and it should work.

    1. What to do if you get the message “File is not a valid Fieldworks backup” when trying to open a project.

Verify that the backup file is using the same model as the version of FieldWorks. For example, trying to restore a backup made in version 9 when using FieldWorks 8.

    1. FLExText Interlinear import error “Interlinear Import failed. Are you sure you are importing a file in FLExText interlinear format? Word, Open Office, and Libre Office docs cannot yet be imported.”

The most common reason for this error is if the writing systems used by the data you are importing are not in the FLEx project you are trying to import into. If that is the problem, add the writing systems and it should work.

    1. Can FieldWorks run on a Mac?

No, unfortunately, FieldWorks only works on the Windows and Linux Operating systems. However, you can run it in a virtual machine on a Mac.

    1. There are three choices for virtual machine software: VirtualBox, VMware, and Parallels. VirtualBox is free; the other two cost something.
    2. In order to run Windows on your virtual machine, you will need to buy a Windows license from Microsoft. You can try one of the Virtual box disks available at to see how you like it.
    3. Focal and Bionic Ubuntu are supported in FieldWorks and these operating systems are available free on the web. Wasta-Linux is a distribution of Ubuntu that has been customized for language work. The SIL Linux repository is included and standard SIL fonts have been added, so that SIL applications are ready for installation from the Software Center. For more information see
    4. Once you have set up your virtual machine, install FieldWorks just as if you were on a Windows (or Linux) machine. You are basically running Windows (or Linux) inside your Mac.