Where are the manuals?

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It wasn’t that many years ago when we actually got printed manuals with Trados. After that it was just PDF files. Now, there’s only one manual, the “SDL Trados Studio Migration Guide“. You can also download an Installation Guide from the “My Downloads” area.  Other than that, there’s the online Help which is somewhat thin for many topics. In addition, its search function doesn’t appear to be the best.  To be better able to search the Help files, I combined all of them into one PDF file. That way I can use the full search function of Adobe Acrobat. The downside of this is that I’m only using those files that were installed into my computer. When using the Help feature, you can actually choose to access either your local files or the most up-to-date files on the SDL server.  Amy Bryant had a good suggestion on the ATA Language Technology list recently to search the help files by Googling

site:producthelp.sdl.com “YOUR SEARCH EXPRESSION”

That will take you to the help files on the SDL server and you are able to use Google’s better searching capabilities, though this doesn’t seem to work well every time either.

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Reasons why I like Studio

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These are my Top 5 reasons why I like Trados Studio…

1.  Possibility to use multiple translation memories at the same time and in different capacities (update, lookup, concordance)

2. AutoSuggest feature — this works great with AutoSuggest dictionaries and MultiTerm glossaries. However, I don’t understand why the feature is case-sensitive!

3. Streamlined and improved interface with MultiTerm: you can see all terminology hits at once and adding new terms on the fly is very easy and fast.

4. Real-time word counter: look at the lower right hand corner.

You can see real-time wordcounts (and percentages) for non translated, draft and translated part of the document.

5. Display filtering: you can filter segments based on their translation status or source/target content in the Editor view. This is great when you want to make sure that you have translated a certain term consistently in the document.

Early experiences…

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After using the beta version of Studio and seeing the Trados Studio Roadshow in San Jose in Spring 2009, I got really excited about the upcoming version of Trados. It seemed to offer several very useful new features. However, when I finally got a chance to start using the actual release version for real translation work in August 2009 (after my summer vacation), I soon noticed that it is still very slow and prone to frequent crashing, as was the pre-release version. At that point I decided to wait for the first Service Pack as well as for Windows 7 (and a new computer). When I came back from the ATA Conference in early November, my new Windows 7 computer was waiting for me. I installed Studio and started using it for my translation projects. Happy to report that during the past three weeks, it has crashed only once, and works very fast. However, there are still several kinks that the software engineers need to iron out and plenty of room for improvement… but it also has several very cool new features. And those are the issues I will be concentrating/reporting on next.