This application, free on the SDL OpenExchange (now RWS AppStore), has been around for about a year and a half and is one of the most popular applications on there. It was written by Patrick Hartnett and is incredibly useful in more ways than one. In fact it’s so useful I have referred to it quite often and used it for working around other issues in many of the articles I have written… so why haven’t I written specifically about it here until now? The answer is I have no idea… but I should have done! What prompted me to write now is that Patrick hasn’t released many updates to this tool, mainly because it did what was needed from the start and has been a really reliable and useful application; but he has released an update this week.
You can get a copy from here : the SDLXLIFF to Legacy Converter
The logo is quite fitting because what this application actually does is provide the ability for you to convert your files that had been prepared for a hare into ones for a tortoise 😉 So you can prepare your projects in SDL Trados Studio which gives you SDLXLIFF files, and then convert them to the following:
- Bilingual Doc(x)
- Bilingual TTX
- TMX Translation Memory
The obvious benefit of this application is that you can prepare your files in Studio, convert them to an older bilingual format (Doc(x), TTX) and send them to a translator or reviewer who is working with an older CAT technology that cannot handle SDLXLIFF. But it gets better… once you make the change in the older bilingual format you can use the Legacy Converter to update the SDLXLIFF file so you don’t have to manually apply the changes.
An important point to note however, and this often leads to confusion for some users, is that the TTX or Bilingual Doc(x) that is created is based on the SDLXLIFF. So this is a bit like running an SDLXLIFF through the old Translators Workbench…. but without the XLIFF. The file you get will clean up into an old Trados 2007 Translation Memory but the target file will be nothing more than text. It will not be the same filetype as the file that was originally used to create the SDLXLIFF. So this is really a tool, when used in this way, for enabling a workflow to get translations or reviews completed by subject matter experts who still use the older tools.
The update this week contains, amongst others, enhancements for a couple of things that users have been asking Patrick for to make this even more useful.
- Included new filter option ‘Un-locked segment’
Included 2 new general options related to empty target translations, as follows:
- Copy source to target for empty translations during export
Ignore empty translations
It was these that really prompted me to add an article about this tool because the first one makes some of the workarounds I use this tool for much easier to apply as you can now use regular expressions in Studio to find the text you want and then lock it, rather than to find the text you don’t want (which is often harder) and lock that. For example, if you wanted to calculate the analysis of a file without the numbers in Studio then you can now do this by filtering on the numbers, locking them, export all the rest to TTX and then reanalyse the TTX. Previously you would have to select everything apart from the numbers so you could export the contents of the locked segments to get an analysis of the file without numbers. This is often a harder regular expression to concoct. You can read that article here.
So you can find this new filter option for “Un-locked segments” in the filter settings here:
The second most interesting and useful enhancement was spelled out nicely at the ETUG (European Trados User Group) conference in Berlin last week by Andreas Ljungström, a trainer and consultant, who uses this application a lot for outsourced work to old tool users. In the previous version when you created a legacy bilingual file then any segments that had no match in Studio were filled with the content of the source. This meant that the translator had to first remove the target content in order to get their TM match automatically added which slowed them down quite a bit. So now the files can be prepared by automatically copying source to target for empty translations or not (during export) and/or ignoring empty translations (during export/import):
I’m sure many users of this application will be pleased to see that one!
What’s next? Patrick is working on the release of an API (Application Programming Interface) library and command line exe so that anyone using the Studio API for automation of their workflows will be able to integrate the Legacy Converter as well. In this way they will be able to use Studio to prepare all of their work in an automated way and prepare TTX or Bilingual Doc(x) files for those still using older, or different technology for translation. Keep an eye on the SDL OpenExchange (now RWS AppStore) for that one!
To finish off I thought a quick demonstration of how the application works would be best, so I created a short video that I hope will be useful for anyone wondering how this excellent application works:
Video : 8 minutes 36 seconds