OpenExchange Apps for TM Management

I organized all my OpenExchange apps (and some other utilities) neatly the other day in the Welcome view of Studio using the Menu Maker app (see Figure 1 below). While doing so, I realized that I don’t actually remember what some of them do, so I thought I would organize them in my mind as well (which is a much more difficult task). Anyhow, I collected all the TM management-related apps into a table and drew a diagram that would show me at a glance what they do and how they are related to each other. I found that very helpful for myself so I thought to share it here as well…

Figure 1. SDL OpenExchange apps and other programs organized in the Welcome screen of Trados Studio 2014 using the Menu Maker app.

TM app graph

Figure 2. TM management-related apps and their main conversion functions. For details, see the table below.

Here are some additional details about the apps mentioned in the above diagram:

App name Conversion function Notes
SDL Translation Memory Management Utility SDLTM > TMW
  • Reverses language pairsRemoves duplicates
SDLTmConvert SDLTM > SDXLIFF / XML / TMX / CSV / monolingual source and target text files
  • Includes filtering options
  • Allows splitting output into several files
  • Allows hiding and setting  user and system info
  • Allows manipulation of tagged content
  • Free limited version, unlimited paid version (35 euros)
SDLXliff2Tmx SDLXLIFF > TMX / tab delimited TXT
  • Includes filtering options
  • Allows removal of formatting tags
SDLTmReverseLangs SDLTM <> SDLTM
  • Reverses languages
TM Merge Merges SDLTMs into one SDLTM
  • Also creates additional language pairs from the available languages in the input TMs
  • Cost: 48 euros

In addition to the TM conversion apps listed above, there are also several other TM management-related apps. I couldn’t come up with a pretty diagram for them, so I just list them here (all are free unless otherwise indicated):

TM Optimizer Optimizes Trados Workbench TMs for use with Trados Studio by removing excessive formatting tags from the TM thus increasing the TM leverage. Cost: £50-100.
SDLTmFindVars Identifies potential variables (untranslated text) in translation memories and allows the user to add them as variables to a Studio TM.
SDLTM Repair Fixes specific errors in damaged Studio TMs.
Variables Manager for SDL Trados Studio Allows fast editing, copying, importing and exporting variable lists in Studio TMs.
TMX Anonymizer Anonymizes TMX files by resetting the Creation User and Change User name fields.

These tables and graphs help me to keep track of the various apps and their functions. It’s good to know what kind of apps are available because you never know when you might need them.

My Top 5 OpenExchange Apps

I downloaded the new improved version of Glossary Converter the other day and took a closer look at the available OpenExchange apps just to make sure I haven’t missed any other recent updates or additions. While updating my own list of useful or potentially useful apps, I thought to share some of that info here as well. It’s good to know what kind of apps are available because you never know when you might need them.

1. Glossary Converter

This is my favorite app right now because the new version can also handle additional fields, such as client names and notes. Converting existing glossaries from Excel format takes only a few seconds. It’s incredible if you compare it to the convoluted, multi-step process that’s needed if the conversion is done with Multiterm Convert. Or it’s actually incredible that we had to put up with Multiterm Convert for all those years. However, I have to admit that I’ll miss those little rotating sprocket wheels in Multiterm Convert!

Note that if you include additional fields in the Excel glossary file, they need to be placed on the right side of the language under which you want them to appear. For example, if you have two languages and one additional field in your glossary, organize them this way if you want the additional field to appear under Language 1:

Column A: Language 1
Column B: Additional field
Column C: Language 2

And this way if you want the additional field to appear under Language 2:

Column A: Language 1
Column B: Language 2
Column C: Additional field

2. AnyTM Translation Provider

One thing that I really dislike in Studio is the fact that you can’t mix resources that have different sublanguages, such as US English and UK English memories. This app is handy for situations like that because it allows you to use TMs as reference TMs regardless of their sublanguages (or main languages for that matter). Note that this is a paid app (£9.99).

3. SDLTmConvert

Trados Studio has a really powerful set of quality assurance (QA) functions. Unfortunately, they are only for translated SDLXLIFF files and cannot be used for translation memories. This app allows you to convert a TM to SDLXLIFF format so that you can run the QA checks on the TM content and then convert the edited SDLXLIFF file back to a TM. In addition, it can covert Studio TMs to many other formats, such as CSV, TXT and even to monolingual source and target text files.

4. SDLXliff2Tmx

When working with non-Studio clients, it’s sometimes necessary to send them the new TM content as a TMX export file. You can easily do that in Studio but it does take several steps (create a new TM, import the translated SDLXLIFF files to the TM and then export the TM as a TMX file). This app gives you a faster method to accomplish the same thing, i.e. it exports SDLXLIFF files directly to a TMX file (or optionally to a tab-delimited text file).

5. SDLXLIFF Compare

I don’t know about you but I’m less than happy when I get an edited Studio file back without tracked changes and then I have to go through the whole file and figure out what was changed. This app makes life much simpler in those cases. It displays the comparison results of the two SDLXLIFF file versions in an easy-to-read XML/HTML report. It can also be very useful for project management purposes.

In addition to the above Top 5 apps, I also wanted to mention a few others that are worth remembering in case you need those functions one day.

TM management related apps


  • for reversing the languages of a TM

SDL Trados 2007 Translation Memory Plug-in

  • direct access to file-based Translator’s Workbench translation memories (TMW) without having to convert them

SDL Translation Memory Management Utility

  • includes several TM management tasks, such as TM export, duplicate removal and reversing language pairs

SDLXLIFF file management related apps

SDL XLIFF Split/Merge

  • splitting large SDLXLIFF files and merging split files into a single SDLXLIFF file

SDL Batch Find/Replace

  • for batch find and replace operations in multiple SDLXLIFF files

Miscellaneous apps


  • previewing Studio packages directly from an e-mail or Windows Explorer without opening Studio

TAUS Search

  • gives access to the terms and phrases in the TAUS translation corpora by allowing the corpora to be used as an external reference TM

Trados Studio Manual

  • Mats Linder’s highly rated Trados Studio manual is also available from here. I have planned to review Mats’ manual but unfortunately haven’t had time to do it. Anyhow, while waiting for my review (might be a long wait), you could take a look at what other users and reviewers have to say about it.

In addition, the OpenExchange selection also includes several AutoSuggest dictionaries, Multiterm termbases and various file type definitions (such as for Wordfast TXML files).

Where are SDL TTX It! and MS Office converter?

You might wonder why I didn’t mention these two very useful apps. The MS Office converter functionality is now built into Trados Studio 2011 (File > Export for External Review), so there’s really no need for the app anymore. And the TTX It! app that’s used for batch conversion of multiple source files into TTX format gets installed automatically and can be accessed via the All Programs > SDL > SDL Trados Studio 2011 > OpenExchange Apps folder. By the way, this is the place where many of the other apps get installed as well.

ATA 2011 Conference Presentation: Working with non-Trados Studio Clients/Translators

I promised last week at the ATA conference in Boston that I will post a summary of my presentation here. You can download the slides with some additional notes by clicking the image on the left. The presentation will also be available through the ATA eConference.

However, here’s a brief summary for those in a hurry:

I reviewed various incompatibility scenarios from translator (and LSP) point of view and offered solutions so that Studio-users can utilize the benefits of Studio even if their clients/translators still use Trados 2007. I have covered these methods and scenarios in various articles on this blog during the past year or so. The list below includes links to those articles for more details.

Five ways to be compatible with Trados 2007 project flow

1. Deliver translated file and matching TM

2. Translate as a TagEditor (TTX) file in Studio

3. Bilingual Word table with SDL XLIFF Converter

4. Translate as a bilingual “uncleaned” Trados Workbench file in Studio
– possible in Studio 2011

5. Translate first in Studio and then retranslate in Trados Workbench using the same TM

In addition, I also talked about how to translate documents in Studio when only parts of a document need to be translated, such as with DéjàVu export tables.

Translating Bilingual Trados Workbench (Word) Files in Studio 2011

I wanted to start my Studio 2011 articles with this topic for two reasons: (1) This is an important enhancement of Studio for those who are stuck with clients who still require this old Trados file format, and (2) The process can be a bit confusing. Hopefully, the following information can make it easier and clearer.

1. Files need to be pre-segmented

It’s important to know that if you want to save your translation as a bilingual Workbench file (aka “uncleaned” Word file) in Studio, the file needs to be pre-segmented in Trados Workbench before you open it in Studio. To do this, select in Workbench Tools > Translate > Segment unknown sentences. For further details, see this SDL blog article.

Also, it’s better not to change the text colors in Workbench because that can create problems with target text formatting in Studio. For example, when you insert a bold tag to the target text, the tag can also include the color of the source text in addition to the actual bold formatting, i.e. your target text turns bold and blue if you had changed the source text color to blue in Workbench. To avoid this, select in Workbench Options > Translated Text Colours > Unchanged for source and target.

2. DOC or DOCX format

The pre-segmented file needs to be in either DOC or DOCX format. Studio doesn’t seem to accept RTF files. You get the “This file type is not supported” error message. If the original file is an RTF file, then just save the segmented file as DOC or DOCX.

3. Only monolingual files are supported – what’s up with that?

This might be the next stumbling block when you are trying to open the file for translation:

I find this error message very confusing. “This file cannot be processed because it was saved as a bilingual document in Word. Only monolingual files are supported”. Wait a minute… wasn’t the bilingual file support one of the new features of Studio 2011!? I think they could have easily made this error message more informative and less confusing.

Anyhow, if you get this error message when trying to open a segmented DOC or DOCX file, take a look at your file type settings for the file type in question (Tools > Options > File Types > Microsoft Word 2000-2003 / 2007-2010 > Common).

Make sure that the Process files with tw4winMark style option is NOT selected. By default, it shouldn’t be checked but sometimes you need to select it in order to be able to open files that have tw4winMark styles in them (even if the styles are not used in the document). Anyhow, that’s another topic (and source of error messages) altogether, and we’ll get back to that at some other time. So, now after unchecking the box, you should be able to open the file.

4. Getting rid of the source text in the target column

Since the file is pre-segmented, all the target fields are already filled in either with translations or with the source segment content, depending on the TM and the fuzzy match setting you used for the segmentation in Workbench. Having the target side filled in with source text can be annoying because fuzzy matches will not be automatically inserted to the already occupied target fields during your interactive translation and you would need to use the Apply Translation (Ctrl+T) command for every segment.

You can avoid this extra hassle by emptying the target fields before starting translation. The best way to do this depends on the fuzzy level you used in Workbench when you segmented the file. I think this works best if you use the 100% or higher match value setting during the segmentation step in Workbench.

This way it will be easy to clear all the source language text from the target side by using the Clear Draft Segments command (Translation > Clear Draft Segments). It will leave your 100% match translation untouched but clears all the other segments quickly in one go. If you want to clear the segments based on some other criteria, you can use the Display filter to display those segments, as needed, and then select the desired segments (click the number of the first one, keep Shift key down and click the number of the last one to be selected so that all the desired segments get highlighted) and use the Clear Target Segment command to clear the content (right-click menu or Translation > Clear Target Segment). If a large number of segments have been selected, this can take a while.

5. Use of TMs

For the segmentation in Workbench, you can use any TM you want to. Of course, if you have a client-provided or other project-specific Workbench TM, it’s probably the most practical one to use. You can also use the same TM during Studio translation. It’s really easy in Studio 2011 to include Workbench (and TMX, TXT and MDB) memories in a project because you don’t need to do the full TM upgrade process separately first. Studio 2011 allows you to run a Quick Upgrade as part of the TM selection process which makes it almost as easy to use these non-Studio TMs as it is to use actual Studio TMs. You can add non-Studio TMs in the Open File-based Translation Memory dialog box exactly the same way as Studio TMs, just make sure you have the right file type selected (see below).

6. Miscellaneous

Note that the Preview function does not work with Workbench files but you can view the target translation in Word using the File > View In > Bilingual Word Document as Target command.

And as an addition to the potential confusion, when you open a bilingual DOC file for translation, a DOCX file with the same name gets created in the same folder. Why? Good question.


What Does the New Studio 2011 Mean for Compatibility with Non-Studio Users

One of the major areas of improvement in the new 2011 version is its improved compatibility with translators/editors/agencies that don’t use Trados Studio. One of my favorite topics during the past two years has been the methods to overcome the various (in)compatibility issues between Studio 2009 and Trados 2007. With the new 2011 version, everything will be much easier, and excuses like “I can’t use Studio because my clients don’t use it” or “I can’t use Studio because my clients need uncleaned Word files” don’t have any merit anymore.

So, how is it done? For a background, you might want to take a look at my earlier articles about this topic in reference to Studio 2009. The first one is here and the second one here. All the options I mention in the first one, such as sending the monolingual translated file and a matching translation memory in TMX format, or using TagEditor files, are all still valid options. The main difference is that if your client really needs an uncleaned Word file you can provide that directly from Studio 2011. With Studio 2009, you had two options: 1) Give up and translate the file in Word using Trados Workbench, or 2) Translate the file first in Studio and then again with Workbench (utilizing the TM from Studio). I covered these two options in the above mentioned second article. However, in Studio 2011, you can open a presegmented bilingual Word file directly in Studio and after translating the file save it in the same format. The translated file would look exactly like it was done in Trados 2007. Note, however, that the file has to be completely presegmented in Trados Workbench first before opening it in Studio.

As I had mentioned before, the SDL blog has a good explanation on how bilingual Word files can be used in the new Studio 2011. You can find the article here. It also shows some other nifty new features, such as quick TM upgrade and new display filters.

I have been using Studio 2011 (beta and RC) for almost two months now and have translated a few bilingual Word files with it. Generally speaking, the process has worked very well and my client got their “old-fashioned” Word file while I was able to use multiple TMs, Auto Suggestion and all the other helpful Studio features.  I have encountered some issues with formatting and tags but hopefully those will be fixed in the final release. There are also some unrelated Studio settings that can interfere with the conversion process, but again, I will wait for the final release before commenting on those and show how to avoid the problems.

Another thing that improves compatibility with non-Studio users, is the SDL XLIFF Converter tool that became available last fall. It’s now part of the Studio 2011 package and includes some new settings. Unfortunately, it’s still a separate application and cannot be used from within Studio. However, what’s new is that it gets installed automatically during Studio 2011 installation (together with some other OpenExchange apps) which saves you the installation hassle.

By the way, if you are interested in the other Studio 2011 improvements, you can find more info in the online Help and the SDL Trados Studio 2011 Release Notes. There’s also a Sneak Peek at Studio 2011 webinar on September 21.

How Will Bilingual Word Files Function in Studio 2011?

The SDL blog has a very good explanation on how bilingual (“uncleaned”) Word files can be used in the new Studio 2011. You can find the article here. It also shows some other nifty new features, such as quick TM upgrade and new display filters.

More about Trados Studio 2011

I listened the Sneak Peek at Studio 2011 webinar yesterday – cut actually my kayaking trip short for that – and here are some of the highlights we can expect from the new version:

  • Possibility to open “old-style” bilingual (uncleaned) Word files in Studio and save them in the same format
  • Track changes function
  • Spell checking using Microsoft Word spell checker
  • New and improved file filters (for example, for OpenOffice, StarOffice, INX and MIFfiles)
  • More display filters (for all segment categories, segments with tracked changes, number only segments, etc.)
  • PerfectMatch available in Studio allowing pretranslation based on bilingual files (SDLXLIFF, TTX or ITD)
  • Faster opening and analysis of files
  • Improved integration with Trados 2007
  • Easier licensing

Sounds pretty promising. I don’t know about you, but this certainly solves the three main issues I have had with Studio 2009 (the three first ones in the list above).

You can find more info, including some videos, upgrade offers and a product brief, at the following SDL sites:

Oh, and when will this be available? The release is expected during the second half of September. Just in time for my birthday.