Confirming Multiple Segments in Trados Studio

I haven’t been very active blogger lately but I wanted to share a couple things about Trados Studio that I learned last weekend when teaching an intermediate-level Trados Studio workshop in San Francisco. That’s one of the great things about workshops. There’s this synergy of learning from each other, and even the instructor can learn something new. So, here’s what I learned…

1. Confirming multiple segments

As you probably already know, you can confirm several segments at the same time by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking on the segment number column to select the rows you want to confirm and then right-clicking in the segment number column and selecting Change Segment Status > Translated from the shortcut menu. Note, however, that this only changes the segment status but does not send these selected segments to the memory.

Ok, now comes the exciting part… What about if you have several unconfirmed segments that you would like to “really” confirm, i.e. send to the memory as well? How do you do that? Here’s the answer: You select the target segments that you want to confirm (by holding down the Shift key and clicking in the first and last segments, for example, or selecting the text segment by segment with the Ctrl+Shift+DownArrow keyboard shortcut) and then just confirm them normally with Ctrl+Enter (or with any other confirmation command or button). You don’t even have to select the whole target cell. It’s enough to select just part of it. That simple. A word of warning though: sometimes it can take a while for Studio to do this if there are several segments to be confirmed, so be prepared.

ConfirmingMultipleSegments

I didn’t find this method mentioned in the Help nor did I find anything about this with various Google searches. However, Mats Linder mentions a similar method in his 500 page (!!) SDL Trados Studio 2015 Manual and describes how you can confirm all segments from any segment to the end of the document. You do this by selecting the target text with the Ctrl+Shift+End keyboard shortcut and then just confirm the segments normally with Ctrl+Enter. As Mats mentions, these “Ctrl+Shift+” shortcuts are not Studio shortcuts but standard Windows shortcuts that work, for example, in MS Word.

I’m not saying that this is the most exciting thing in Trados Studio but I think it’s quite exciting that one can still find these types of “new” features or tricks after all these years.

2. XXX

Yes, I was going to tell you about the other “new to me” thing as well but I think I’ll leave it to the next time…

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Trados Studio Workshop in San Francisco

I will be teaching an intermediate level Trados Studio workshop in San Francisco on September 20th. The main topics covered are translation memory and file management, Studio verification tools, and the use of the SDL OpenExchange applications. The number of OpenExchange apps keeps growing and it’s getting more and more difficult to stay up-to-date with all the new functions and features available through these apps. One of the main goals of this workshop is to help you to find those Studio apps that are the most useful for you and get them (and you) organized so that you can actually use them in your daily work.

In addition, several “performance-enhancing” Studio tips and tricks will be shown. Participants are also encouraged to submit in advance their own questions and requests for additional topics.

For registration and additional info, see the NCTA website. If you have any questions about the content of the workshop, feel free to contact me directly.

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
SDLTMExport SDLTM > TMX
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.

Trados Studio 2014 – What to Expect?

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)
  • autosave
  • 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).

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

SDLTmReverseLangs

  • 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

PackageReader

  • 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.

CSV File Type – A Hidden Feature

To be perfectly honest, it’s not really hidden anywhere. I just never paid any attention to it even though it has been there since the version 2009. In my own defense, I have to say that I have not translated CSV (Comma Delimited/Separated Text) files for many years. Anyhow, I came across the CSV file type settings the other day when I was looking for good examples for the next intermediate/advanced Trados Studio workshop here in San Francisco  (Dec 1st) to demonstrate how to use the file type settings in general.

Obviously the CSV settings are important for those of us who happen to translate CSV files but what caught my attention was the possibility of utilizing this file type for a couple of other purposes: translating partially translated Excel files and converting bilingual Excel files into translation memory. This is possible because the settings allow you to also bring the existing content from the target-language column to the target-language column of your Studio file. You just need to tell which column is the source and which one is the target (see the screenshot below).

Screenshot

1.  Translating partially translated Excel files

Sometimes I get partially translated Excel files for translation. The missing translations (= empty cells) are here and there throughout the target-language column. I usually sort the file so that all the empty cells are together and I can copy all the matching source cells at once to a new document which I then translate. After translating I copy the translations to the empty target cells and sort the file back to its original order.

One downside of the above method is that I won’t see any of the previously translated material in Studio and I need to keep the Excel file open as a reference. Now, if I saved the file as a CSV file and opened it in Studio, I could see all the existing translations and utilize Studio’s search functions and the Display filter which could be very useful. I can also lock all the existing translations so that I don’t accidentally change them (see the “Lock existing translations” setting in the screenshot). The translated CSV file can then be opened directly in Excel and saved as an Excel file. Note, however, that the conversion from Excel format to CSV is not always a good idea because you can lose some information, such as all the formatting.

2.  Converting bilingual Excel files into translation memory

This makes it easy to convert bilingual Excel files to a Studio memory. Just save the file as a CSV file, select the suitable CSV file type settings in Studio and open the file in Studio. While the file is open in the Studio Editor, you can run a spell-check, QA verification or anything else you want before saving it as a SDLXLIFF file which you can then import to an existing Studio TM. Note again that all the formatting is lost when the Excel file is converted into CSV format.

All the above also applies to tab delimited text files and there’s an identical file settings page for this file type.

AutoSuggest Case Insensitivity, Source Segment Editing and Other SP2 Improvements

One of the first things I did this week after getting back from my summer vacation was that I installed the new SP2 that came out a couple of weeks ago. I was very happy to notice these two improvements that I (and probably everyone else as well) have been wanting to see since the version 2009:

1. The option to make AutoSuggest case-insensitive
With this improvement it doesn’t matter anymore whether your termbase entries start with an upper or lower case. You just need to go to Tools > Options > AutoSuggest and clear the check box next to the Case sensitive option (see the screen shot below).

2. The ability to edit source segments
This feature needs to be turned on first in Project Settings (see the screen shot below). After that you can enable source segment editing for the segment where your cursor is by pressing Alt+F2 (or right-click on the segment and select Edit Source). I’m not really planning to start correcting the numerous typos I see in source texts but I think the best use for this will be combining sentence fragments that are separated by erroneous hard returns (since these cannot be merged using the Merge Segments command). Note that you can’t actually delete the hard return character because it’s not visible in the source segment but you can cut & paste the segment fragments together after enabling the source segment editing.

The new SP2 has also plenty of other improvements. More information can be found in the Online Help and even more details in the SP2 Release Notes.