I’ve been talking about this image for around a year in various presentations where we talked about the plans for Studio 2014. As of today to be able to finally present it as a fait accompli feels good… in fact it feels wonderful! Whilst this is a good headline it’s not everything you get with SP2 and there are some other things in here well worth a mention. I’m not going to cover them all but I will pick out the headliners that I’m pretty sure people have been asking for. But let’s start with terminology because after nearly 8-years of reading about Java problems, and that’s just my time with SDL and the Trados based software, this is a historical moment worth relishing. Quite a nice 30-yr birthday present for Trados too!
Did I mention that Java has gone? Well it has, so in addition to no more Java errors I can now do this in Studio with the MultiTerm integration:
- Select the termbase viewer and it instantly appears. No more shuddering windows.
- I can add a term with a single click or keyboard shortcut, so no need to follow up the add term with F12, or save. This is possible with the new “Quick Add New Term” option:
I can still add terms the normal way so if I have more fields I wish to add detail for then this is possible. But if I’m just collecting terms for my simple glossary and to use with AutoSuggest then this is perfect.
- I can also delete terms I don’t want in my termbase directly from within Studio which is also something we have not been able to do before. So when you mistakenly add the wrong term as you whizz through with the new “Quick Add New Term” you’ll be able to immediately remove it without having to resort to opening MultiTerm and doing it in there:
- And if I’m also using the Glossary Plugin from the SDL OpenExchange (now RWS AppStore) then my terminology experience is complete! Create a new termbase, import a spreadsheet to create a termbase or export to a spreadsheet… these and more are things I can do for my projects in just a couple of clicks.
I think I can honestly say that the terminology experience in Trados related products has just gone from less than satisfactory to way above average. Oh yes… did I mention that Java has gone? I’ve also found that moving my windows like the example below is quite a neat and easy way to work giving me complete flexibility over what I think is useful to see and what I need to get access to when working with terminology in Studio. So I have the term recognition window on the bottom right as the list could be long, and then the termbase viewer on the top right. If you’re not sure how to move the windows around maybe review this article when you have a minute or three.
Automatic recognition of Alphanumeric characters
How often have you had product codes like these “NOM-072-SSA1-2012” (Example quoted from a tweet by Emma Goldsmith) throughout a document and would like Studio to be able to handle them all easily as placeables? This is what this feature is all about and for the most part it does a good job without you having to do anything clever at all… it just works! So you see this kind of thing in Studio where each placeable is now recognised with the blue line under each one (obviously I doctored the image as you will only see one at a time in practice!):
This is great because now you’ll only need to confirm one of them to your TM and you’ll get 100% matches for all the rest without having to do any additional work at all. I have tested this with as many examples of product codes and other similar types of things as I could find in ProZ and other forums, and on the whole I think this is a long awaited improvement that works well and is very good to see. However, now take a look at these two that I have made up… well the first is kind of made up, but still based on a real code I came across on a website, and the second is a real code I found in a medical product database:
Here we see the sort of problem we used to see for the first three. This is because there are exceptions. This is what we see in the updated release notes (the originals were wrong as noted by some of the comments below):
- must not start or end with underscores, hyphens or full stops
- must not contain both dashes and full stops
- must contain at least one number and one letter
- must not contain lowercase characters and dashes
In these last two cases I think we’re also seeing some mixed results based on Acronym recognition and the new Alphanumeric recognition. So not perfect by any means, but still a step in the right direction and will probably resolve placeable issues for the majority of users. The actual rules in the release notes are these:
- Studio now recognizes as tokens (placeables) any strings made up of combinations of:
- Letters (lowercase and/or UPPERCASE) + numbers
- Optionally with:
- underscores: NAME_4001_co
- full stops: BVO.mxm.072.531
- Optionally with:
- UPPERCASE letters + dashes + numbers
- Optionally with:
- underscores: 17620-ZY8_003
- Optionally with:
- Letters (lowercase and/or UPPERCASE) + numbers
I ran a few tests in Studio with a few examples to make these a little more clear (I hope). You can see the results here:
So how can these be handled in Studio? Well you have a couple of options. The first would be to use the TermInjector which I’ve written about in the past so I won’t do this again now, and the second is to use something like Regex AutoSuggest which is a new application available on the OpenExchange from last week. This is very clever and extremely flexible allowing me to handle these last two codes like this for example:
I won’t get the benefit of placeable matching as I do with the Alphanumeric recognition feature, and also with the TermInjector, but I do have a very flexible and instant solution to being able to quickly match the patterns and make use of the Studio AutoSuggest capability for these things. I did this quickly and without trying to refine the expression as “economy of accuracy” is key here. Get what you need quickly and with the minimum of fuss. If you don’t know how to use regular expressions take a look at these articles which are appropriate for Studio.
A couple of things I didn’t mention, the first is where do you find this option for using the new alphanumeric string recognition. This is not a global setting, so you won’t find it under All Language Pairs. It’s under the Auto-substitution rules for each specific language pair you work with which allows you to have finer control on a multilingual project. For example, you can see it here under my specific en(GB) – de(DE) language pair:
The last but important point to note is that your existing Translation Memories will need to be re-indexed to take advantage of this new capability. So if you install Studio and find that you don’t get any recognition for a placeable that should be recognised then this is most probably the reason. The way to handle this is simple, just go to the Translation Memories View, right-click on a TM and select Settings. Then select Fields and Settings and make sure that Alphanumeric strings is checked:
Finally go to Performance and Tuning and click on Re-index Translation Memory… :
This takes around 20 seconds to do a 50,000 TU Translation Memory on my laptop so the time will vary depending on what you are using. But after this all alphanumeric variables in your translation file that meet the criteria will be recognised with this TM.
UPDATE: There is a small tool available on the SDL OpenExchange (now RWS AppStore) that can do this for you in batches. I did a test with 100 TMs, each containing approx. 50,000 TUs. This took 65 minutes on my laptop. To do one of these TMs manually takes me approx. 1 minute 10 seconds. So assuming I was able to sit there and consistently manually do these one at a time back to back it would take almost 2 hours. But of course I wouldn’t do this so the saving is significant in time and effort. Well worth taking a look if you have a lot of Translation Memories to re-index.
Edit source for (almost) all supported filetypes
This doesn’t need much of an explanation. In the previous version you could edit source for a couple of file formats only; Word and Powerpoint files. SP2 allows you to edit source for all file formats apart from one. That one is ITD which is the bilingual format provided by SDLX. During testing I believe it proved to be too much of a risk as it had the potential to cause problems when returning the files to SDLX, so it has been disabled for this format only. Fortunately this format is on the decline so I don’t see this as a problem.
You still need to allow “Edit Source” on the Project:
But once done, activating Edit Source is simple. Just right-click and select “Edit Source” or use a keyboard shortcut. The default is Alt+F2. This places a gold outline around the source segment and now it can be changed as you see fit. This is another much requested item so hopefully it will be well received:
Sort Translation Memory results by date
A fairly common posting on the public forums is “How do I show the most recent translations first?”. Seems a fairly straightforward thing to be able to do, but in earlier versions this was not possible. The default behaviour of Studio is now to sort the results by the match value first (CM -> 100% -> Fuzzy value), then by the last edited, and finally the last added translation unit. So this option will ensure that the very last Translation Unit you worked on in your Translation Memory will always come first.
If you want to revert to the old behaviour then you can do so by unchecking the option for this in the Search options for your specific language pair. This can be a global setting on All Language Pairs or set specifically for just one of the language pairs you work with. For example, if I have these six different language pairs set up in my Options and I wanted this setting on only en(US) – de(DE) then I could do this here and this will only effect this one language pair. If I wanted this to be my default setting for all language pairs I worked with then I could make the change in All Language Pairs instead:
Tag Verifier no longer a separate setting on each filetype
If you worked on a Project that contained multiple file-types and you wanted to change the default verification settings for handling tags then you would have to enter the settings for each file-type and change them in each location. SP2 has changed this behaviour and now these are available in a single location as a global option under the verification settings, either in your File -> Options or your Project Settings.
The options themselves remain unchanged, but this is a welcome change making it far easier to control the error messages that are reported as well as moving them to the Verification settings which is a more logical location that on the file-types themselves. In case you have never looked at these before they allow you to control the reporting for these kind of things either as you work or when running a verification check (default keyboard shortcut F8):
- Tags added
- Tags deleted
- Tag order change
- Ghost tags (the greyed out incomplete tag shown here)
- Spacing around tags
- Ignore formatting tags
- Ignore locked segments
- Ignore difference between normal and non-breaking space
For a complete list of the enhancements in SP2 you should take a look at the release notes that are installed with the release and are also available in the SDL knowledgebase. I think there is a some good stuff in here that will really make the lives of translators a lot easier, including the removal of Java which has been without a doubt the single biggest thorn in the side of our users and support teams for years! If you’ve been wondering whether to take the plunge and upgrade to Studio 2014, or even wondered whether this is the software for you, then there has never been a better time to consider it!