FIT, PDF and Studio 2011

I had promised in my Trados Studio presentation at the FIT Congress a couple of weeks ago that I will post a link to the presentation summary here as well. It’s on my website at You can also find there a summary of my other FIT Congress presentation about converting PDF files.

That brings us to the next topic, i.e. a webinar that I will be teaching this Thursday (8/25) as part of the ATA Webinar series. It’s titled “Working with PDF Files–Part 1: Using Adobe Reader/Acrobat”. For details and registration info, see the ATA webinar website. Part 2 will be on September 22, titled Working with PDF Files–Part 2: Converting and Translating PDF Files.

As part of my PDF presentation at the FIT Congress, I also talked about translating PDF files with Trados Studio. This is a topic that I have covered here in one of my earlier articles, Translating PDF files in Studio. As many of you probably know, the main problems with opening PDF files directly in Studio are incorrectly placed hard returns and the overabundance of tags, and since you can’t edit the source side, this can be very problematic. And that brings us to the third item, Trados Studio 2011…

During my PDF presentation, I showed a screen shot of the PDF file settings in Studio 2011 (beta). There’s a new setting called Skip advanced font formatting (tracking, kerning, etc.). With that setting selected, it looks like you can avoid all/most/many (?) of the unnecessary tags that in Studio 2009 could have made a file practically untranslatable. I still believe that we are better off using a good conversion tool for the PDF to Word conversion and then translating the resulting Word file in Studio (after verifying first in Word that there are no incorrectly placed hard returns). However, the new Studio definitely handles PDF files much better than the current version and might actually be a functional conversion tool for those who don’t have a better one. I wanted to bring this up now because it fits the PDF theme and will probably go unnoticed by most users when they get their hands on the new version – hopefully soon. It might be difficult to notice these smaller improvements when one gets so excited about all the big ticket enhancements Studio 2011 will introduce, such as compatibility with “old-style” bilingual (uncleaned) Word files, track changes function, Microsoft Word spell checker, “translate to fuzzy” function, etc.

I have been using the Studio 2011 beta for about three weeks now for all my translation work and will share some of my experiences here soon…