It’s funny how questions seem to appear like London buses… you don’t get any and then they all come at once! More often than not it’s very specific questions that behave this way too. So you don’t see them for ages and then you get the same question in a number of places for a day or two and then it goes quiet again! One of the topics that falls into this category is changing the view in the Editor. By this I mean the colour of the text, the font types or the background you’re working on. All these things can be changed in Studio to make it easier if you’re dealing with documents that don’t display well and you want to work in wysiwyg mode.
Since the release of Studio 2009 the things I’ll cover here have always been available through the options, but now that we have the ribbon in Studion 2014 it’s even easier. To make this easier to see (hopefully!) I addressed where the options are in this article and then I recorded a short video so you can see in one go how these work in practice. This is the text I’m working with, “theview“, which is obviously a deliberately prepared file containing some things that can make it very difficult to read and work with when working in the default view and you can download it to have a play if you like.
But first lets see where all the options are.
File -> Options – Editor -> Font Adaptation
This location is the main view for changing related settings in the Editor.
In here you have two main groups that relate to how fonts and text colours can be handled to make them easier to work with.
Adapt Font Sizes
This setting, when enabled, gives you the ability to control the maximum or minimum font size for the source and/or target text. This only affects the view in the Editor, it does not affect the target translation at all.
The ability to control the source and target separately is very neat because the font that is used for some languages by default (mostly Asian) can vary in size, so when working with the defaults you can have a large source and and difficult to read target, or maybe the other way around. Changing the target to be larger to suit your eyes can level this up. It also means that the font will be consistent in size without losing the rest of the wysiwyg capability.
Adapt text colors
This setting, spelt with the American “colors” which makes me think it’s a typo every time I look at it, is a little known feature, but very handy:
This setting can automatically adjust the contrast between the font and the Editor background to make it easier to see fonts that would otherwise be lost. This becomes more clear (excuse the pun) when you watch the video at the end.
Using the Ribbon
Since SDL released the 2014version of Studio it’s also possible to access these settings through the ribbon in the View menu. The Font Adaptation group is tucked away at the far right and will look something like this depending on the size and resolution of your screen… so you may see it more clearly than I do on my laptop:
This is pretty cool because you can quickly switch off the wysiwyg font sizes by clicking on this . You can then use the large A to make all the font larger, or the small A to make it smaller.
If you click on the little “dinky” at the bottom right of the group, (the little arrow going down left to right) , then you are taken directly to the Font Adaptation settings we discussed above.
Formatting Display Style
I’ve added this one in here because this is also an important feature that allows you to quickly remove the wysiwyg display altogether and always work showing plain text and all the tags. Many translators always work in this mode and when you do this all issues around formatting, colours, tags etc. disappear. You can find this option in File -> Options -> Editor:
There are three settings for this but the one shown here is the only one to remove all formatting. I have discussed this before with regard to tag handling so for a more detailed dicsussion of this one take a look at this article.
File -> Options -> Colors
If none of the options above are working for you then you also have another option and this is to change the default colours in the view itself. The options here are a little limiting in respect of this article, but you can make fine adjustments that might be helpful for you if all else fails and you are looking for a very specific way to view the text and colours. In here it’s really the top three that are going to be the most helpful I think… but take a look at all the options as there are some things you can do here for other reasons that you may not have known about:
The Background color will change the colour of the Editor view entirely, similarly with the Text color. This might be useful for users with some sight difficulties. So you could completely change the display to be a blackground with white text for example… I’ll show this in the video. The choice of colours in here is quite limited for may well be adequate for your needs. The Active segment background color only changes the colour of the segment you are working in. This may similarly be useful as it allows you to set up a better contrast to suit your needs.
But the best solution for all of these is to have a play… you won’t break anything and you can always hit the Reset to default in each settings pane if you completely mess it up!