TM Search Problems Caused by Tags

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I noticed the other day that when I’m doing a text search in a TM, the search function doesn’t find the TU if the TU includes a tag in the search expression part of it. For example,  I know that the TM includes at least one TU that has the text ”When operating the handpiece” in it, but the search does not find the TU because there’s a tag between the words ’the’ and ’handpiece’. I can find the string if I search for ”When operating the” since the tag is outside this part of the sentence. That appeared very impractical and I wasn’t sure if that’s really how the TM search is supposed to function, so I contacted the SDL Support and asked about this. I was told that, indeed, this is the case but the problem can be circumvented by using asterisks as wildcards around each word. With the search expression ”*When*operating*the*handpiece*” I can find my TU.  Of course, this trick works only as long as the tags are not inside words, and it can also increase the number of unwanted hits and potentially make the search slower.

Note that the same problem is also with concordance search but there you can’t use wildcards.

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SP2 “Coming Soon”?

You might have noticed this in the recent SDL promo email about the Discover Studio video clips. Unfortunately, the message does not say anything more about how soon is soon. Hopefully, very soon… and hopefully the lack of audience does not mean that there’s still a long wait before the show starts.

TagEditor – A Blast from the Past

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I was “forced” to use TagEditor the other day and that really reminded me how clumsy it is compared to Studio. I also realized that this is one major Studio improvement that I should have mentioned in my earlier “Reasons Why I Like Studio” list. I guess, it was just too obvious. Anyhow, the new editor interface and the underlying SDLXLIFF file format have brought several benefits but one really basic and practical benefit is that you can work in an “almost tag-free” environment without needing to use TagEditor for non-Word files or to worry about the annoying font and formatting changes that often happened when translating in Word environment. I admit that the table format has its drawbacks and it can take a while to get used to it but it still definitely works much better overall.

Problem With Translation Memory Fields

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My previous post reminded me about another, somewhat bigger, problem associated with using multiple TMs at the same time, namely updating translation memory fields during translation or batch processing. If you want to label your TUs with a subject matter or client name, you would use translation memory fields pretty much the same way as in Trados 2007. However, you might have noticed, that not all fields and their values are available when you go to select them in the Field Values window.  If you have several TMs enabled, each one of them has to have those fields and their values that you want to use. Otherwise they are not there. Annoying.

To overcome the problem, I usually disable all the other TMs and leave only the one I want to update enabled when I run the TM update after the translation is done. That way all the fields and their values are available in the Field Values window. I select the correct fields and their values and run the Update Main Translation Memories batch task to update the TM with the correct field information. You can actually select first the update task from the Project menu and then disable the TMs and select the fields while in the “Settings” window that comes up during the upgrade task.

I was told by the SDL Support that this issue has been filed as an enhancement request. Hopefully, we’ll see it in the next release. It’s not a big problem as such but if one uses TM fields regularly, as I do, this adds some extra steps to the process.

Problem With Variable List

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The Variable List in Studio is part of the Language Resources settings which are TM-specific. The other day, I wanted to use the feature for a couple of long company names that consisted of two or three words and were frequently used in the source document. With the help of the Variable List, I could define the names as placeables and then easily insert them into the target field with the QuickPlace feature (Ctrl+, or Ctrl+Alt+Down) without having to retype them constantly.  This is very similar to the Substitutions/Variable list concept in Trados 2007, except that the insertion is done differently.

However, when I was translating, I noticed that only the first word of both company names was underlined in the source segment (indicating that it is a variable) and I was able to insert only that first word into the target field with QuickPlace.  After I played with the settings a while, I noticed that if I only have one TM in use, the function works as it should (i.e. the whole company name is underlined and can be inserted). As soon as I enabled another TM, it went wacky again. A few more tests later, it looked like I had nailed it down.  It seems like the same variables have to be listed in all enabled  TMs for this to work if the variables consist of multiple words.  I contacted the SDL Support, and they verified this as well.