Is MultiTerm really that hard to learn?

Learning MultiTermSomething we see some users of SDL products saying, and often non-users even promoting, is that MultiTerm is a complex product and very hard to use.  Is this true?  Well if I’m honest there probably isn’t any smoke without fire… but perhaps this is really all down to a lack of good documentation with plenty of examples to explain how to do things?  Or perhaps this is down to converting spreadsheets or other formats into MultiTerm format; so specific operations rather than simply being able to use MultiTerm itself?  Certainly MultiTerm Convert, which you need to use in order to create a termbase from another format can be quite complicated if you don’t understand a little about the structure of a termbase in MultiTerm.  If you only want a simple glossary the entire process is much simplified thanks to the Glossary Converter available free through the Open Exchange… but is this enough and does this represent a majority of usecases?
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If I knew then what I know now!

Just learningPeople often tell me that using Studio is complicated.  Other people, who have been working with Studio tell me it’s actually quite logical once you get your mind around it.  I clearly lean towards the latter and whilst I always try hard to see the difficulties the conclusion I always come back to, rightly or wrongly, is that many users who used Trados in the past expect Studio to be similar and then struggle when they discover it’s not.
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DOGS and CATS… Regular Expressions Part 4!

DOGS and CATS...When I first started adding articles about how to use regular expressions I thought I’d only write three… but I had an interesting question from one of our resellers, Agenor (actually Agenor always asks me the hardest questions!), about how to use the display filter to find segments that contain one word, but not another.  It was tricky, but once you have it you can use the expression all the time.  I have a collection of such things from when people ask me, so I thought I’d share how this problem was solved and also post a list of some of the useful regular expressions I have saved for  the display filter in Studio 2011.
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Great news for terminology exchange…

Terminology Exchange... TBX… and this will be particularly good news for users working in SDL Trados Studio with SDL WorldServer.  Today the Glossary Converter was updated on the OpenExchange with a number of very cool enhancements.  These are support for users still working with SDL MultiTerm 2009, support for Microsoft Excel workbooks containing multiple worksheets, Spanish user interface, a number of smaller usability improvements and bugfixes and the one I’m most interested in here… support for TBX.  TBX is a TermBase eXchange format that was developed for sharing terminology between different tools.  The reason I’m so interested is because if you want to use a TBX file in Studio as a resource for your AutoSuggest then you have to use MultiTerm Convert in order to create a MultiTerm TermBase.  This is not too difficult, but it can take a little work if there is a complex structure in the TBX… and of course it can take a little while as it’s at least a two-step process.  So making this easier would be great.
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Translating Literature…

Cartoon by Martin RowsonAs I’m writing this I can hear the cry of “Use a CAT tool for translating literature, or prose… no way!”  This is a discussion I see from time to time and there are some pretty strong feelings on this subject for a number of reasons. One of the reasons given is that you cannot take this type of material sentence by sentence and just do a literal translation.  Other reasons may be more detail around this same point, and also touch on the need for a creative flow because this type of translation requires a very creative writing style rather than literally translating the words.
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My favourite OpenExchange apps in 2012…

When I started writing this blog the first article I wrote was about the SDL OpenExchange.  I thought I’d start this year off by sharing my favorite applications … my favourite FREE applications.  We had a fair few of these over the course of the year but I’ll pick out six that I think are well worth a look.  In no particular order (well… alphabetical order) these six are:

  • Glossary Converter
  • Package Reader
  • SDLTmReverseLangs
  • SDLXLIFF Compare
  • SDLXLIFF to Legacy Converter
  • Terminjector

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