Something 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?
People 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.
I guess everyone apart from me, and the user who asked me through the SDL ideas site, knows this already. But if you have created a Project which has got lots of files in it, maybe lots of folders too and you want a print out of the files in a list so you can either mark the list with a pen as you go along, or use it to provide feedback to your client, then how do you do this?
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.
… 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.
As 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.