There are a couple or three ways to add tags into your translation using Studio, and they can be applied using the mouse or using the keyboard. This article is just a simple introduction to using tags in Studio.
Setting the display options and understanding the tags
First of all let’s consider the following:
This sentence is made up of tag pairs and placeholders. You can tell the difference between them because a tag pair always has a starting tag and an ending tag formatted as follows:
Start tag with the right hand end pointed :
End tag with the left hand end pointed;
Placeholder with flat ends:
Sometimes, especially if you are working with PDF files you can have a lot of tags which can make the sentence difficult to read and make it tricky to make sure you are placing the right tags into the right place in the target translation.
So, a quick tip is to use the formatting display toolbar to change the way they look. You can find this toolbar in the top of the Studio display when the file is open in the Editor… it looks like this:
The different options in this toolbar are as follows:
So depending on how busy the text is and how well you wish to see the tags there are several options here for displaying them. The last one, Ctrl+Shift+H, is very useful because as you can see the formatting tags around the word “sentence” and the word “tags” disappear if I toggle this on an off. Studio has a WYSIWYG capability for known formatting tags and this is sometimes the reason for users creating a bit of a tag soup in the target and potential mismatches with the source. We’ll look at that in a minute after we review the last option, the Tag ID.
This is probably (in my opinion) the best way to work with a taggy document and this is because each tag is given an ID that is unique throughout the document making it very simple to make sure you select the correct tag pair or placeholder and use it in the target column. So a tag pair will have two tags with the same number and showing the pointed ends in opposite directions, and a placeholder will have a single tag.
There is one more setting relating to working with tags, and that is in the Tools – Options dialogue here:
This controls the default for the Ctrl+Shift+H and also determines whether you want the WYSIWYG effect on or off. I think this is really a matter of personal preferences and I know translators who prefer to always work with no formatting at all (so plain text) and all the tags showing, and I also know those who work with all tags showing and the formatting. The plain text option would look like this:
So this option starts to look more like Tag Editor, with the plain text, and will be a consistent view no matter what kind of document you work with… really a case of “horses for courses” I think.
With the mouse
There are several ways to work with the tags in your target segment. I’m going to leave the formatting as showing all tags but not formatting for this exercise, and will work in Tag ID mode because I hope it will be easier to see what I’m doing. First let’s consider the mouse. This technique is handy if you like to type the translation first and add the tags later. So my starting point is like this (I don’t want the language to confuse here so I am translating English to English for clarity):
To add the first tag pair to the word sentence I can highlight the word “sentence” in the target segment and the move the mouse over the words in the source. As I move over the word I’m interested in, in this case “sentence”, I press the Ctrl key and you can see the relevant word and associated tags are highlighted like this:
I then press the left mouse key and the tags are added to the word I highlighted in the target like this:
So I can work through the segment adding tags like this, quite quickly and easily. If I don’t select the word in the target first then the tags will be inserted wherever the mouse was in the target like this:
With the keyboard
Another way to add the tags is to use the keyboard. So I can highlight the word and then press Ctrl+comma:
This brings up a list of all the available tags in the segment and I can select the one I need with the keyboard and press enter. This will then surround the word with the appropriate tag pair. If I don’t highlight the word then only one of the tags, the first one from the pair, will be inserted and the second one will be displayed in a faded format like this:
This is what Studio refers to as a “Ghost Tag”. This is simply telling you that you have entered the first tag and that there is another required in order to correctly finish off the tag pair so it matches your source segment. This is probably better when you add the tags as you work because you may type like this:
This -> space -> Ctrl+comma (and select the first tag) ->sentence->Ctrl+comma (and select the closing tag)->space etc…
Alternatively you can automatically ensure the correct closing tag is being used with Ctrl+fullstop and then you don’t even have to select the closing tag at all. So the above sequence would become this:
This -> space -> Ctrl+comma (and select the first tag) ->sentence->Ctrl+fullstop->space etc…
I can then work through the rest of the segment like this finally adding placeholders, such as Tags ID #4 and #5, that are added the same way although normally you’d add them one at a time:
In this case the two tags are actually bookmarks from MS Word and these are logically linked, so they can be added as a single Group rather than having to add them as separate placeholders. Studio will organise this for you.
Using Quick Inserts
Studio also has many formatting and special symbol options that can be added to your target segment from the Quick Insert Toolbar here:
I quite often see Translators using this toolbar to apply the formatting that is controlled by the tags in the source, rather than using the appropriate tags. I think the reason for this is that when you choose to display the formatting and hide recognised formatting tags then you don’t see the tags. So for example in this sentence I may choose to use the Quick Inserts to apply the bold and italic text like this:
All looks fine, but if I display the formatting tags using Ctrl+Shift+H then I see this:
So you can immediately see that the target segment is not using the same tags as the source. In this case you would not have a problem because the Quick Inserts are all supported for this format (MS Word), but sometimes, particularly if you create your own custom quick inserts you might add something that is not supported in the target file… when working with XML files for example.
If you always transfer the tags appropriately, and use the Quick Inserts sparingly to emphasise words that need to be emphasised in the target text and not in the source, then you won’t go wrong. So this segment should rather look like this where the formatting is still as required:
Other ways to handle the tags
Just a final mention of two obvious ways to manage the tags. First you can copy and paste tags by selecting them in the source and copying and pasting as you would text… and secondly you could simply copy source to target for the entire segment and then translate in-between the tags (Ctrl+Ins). I have met some translators who prefer to work this way and always show all the tags from the start.
You can of course find more information on how to work with Tags in the SDL Trados Studio help.