The Ribbon, yes – that’s certainly the first thing all current Studio users notice, and I’m sure it’s not necessarily love at first sight for everyone. How many of us were (un)happy about the ribbon in MS Office 2007? However, it’s pretty safe to say that most of us prefer it now over the old menu structure. While the ribbon in Studio might irritate some current users for a while, it is particularly helpful for new users and others who are not aware of all the settings hidden in the old menu structure. The ribbon makes finding all these settings much easier. Take for example the editor font size. I’ve met many users who were unaware that you can change the font size. In order to do that in Studio 2011, you had to go to Tools > Options > Editor > Translation Results Window > Font Size. However, in Studio 2014 it’s easily visible and accessible directly in the View ribbon (Font Adaptation is the last group there) and you can see the effect immediately. And as far as the Options dialog box goes, it is now accessed via the File menu (or Alt+F+T) since there’s no Tools menu any more.
Unfortunately, you can’t customize the quick access toolbar yet and it has only a few functions available at this point. Hopefully, that will be possible with the next release because that’s one of the key benefits of the ribbon design.
I have been using the beta and release versions of Studio 2014 for about two months now. The ribbon hasn’t made a huge difference to me apart from having to relearn the location of some functions but I still think it’s a very useful improvement. However, the improvements and new features that I have found to be the most important and useful to me personally are the following:
- much more accurate Concordance search results
- new TM fields and field values are immediately available
- QuickMerge (you can merge files easily any way you want during the project which simplifies the translation and QA process when translating a project with several files)
- improved display filter (incl. additional filter criteria for repetitions)
- speed improvements (though adding the first new term is always slow)
- easier access to the various help resources (this is really good for new users)
In addition, there are several new OpenExchange apps, such as SDLXLIFF Toolkit, SDLXLIFFit!, Variables Manager, SDL Legit! and File type definition for memoQ XLIFF. However, probably the most useful is Menu maker for SDL Trados Studio 2014 – it allows you to organize and display all of your OpenExchange apps on the Welcome screen so that they are easily accessible from within Studio. I’ve always had a hard time remembering which apps I’ve already installed and how to access them. Now that problem is solved. For more information on setting up Menu maker, see this blog article by Emma Goldsmith (and while there, see also her other very informative articles about the new Studio features).