SDL Trados Studio is up to Studio 2017 which is the fifth major version since Studio 2009 was first released some eight years ago now. During these eight years I think it’s fair to say we have seen less and less requirement for the old Trados features, yet despite that we do see some interesting tools making an appearance in the SDL AppStore that mirror some of the old functionality. In fact some of these apps are quite recent and seem to have been driven by requests from users who miss some of the things you could do in Trados but still cannot do in the out of the box Studio solution. So I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of these apps and if you are one of those translators who remembers all the good things Trados could do… and can I say forgotten the things it could not… then perhaps you’ll find these apps useful!
But before I look at these maybe a little reminder of some of the things discussed before as they are still useful and very retro! First it’s worth reviewing Life without Trados as I covered many interesting apps in detail, apps like:
- SDL Legit! – excellent tool for preparing source files as Bilingual DOC or TTX before you translate them in Studio
- tw4winClean – handy utility for cleaning up bilingual DOC files after translating them in Studio
- SDL Trados 2007 Translation Memory Plug-in – allows you to connect directly to a TMW translation memory without conversion in read only mode
- Legacy Bilingual Compatibility Guide for Studio 2015 users – hasn’t been updated for 2017 but still relevant
But that’s enough of what I have covered in the past, now let’s take a look at the things I haven’t!
Some time ago I wrote an article on how to handle tags in Studio. I think it’s pretty comprehensive and is still relevant today, but it missed a nice feature that was available in the old TagEditor relating to copying the tags only. You had these icons which related to copying the previous, current or next placeables very quickly with keyboard shortcuts:
Studio will let you do this too, but it seems more complicated to many users and they just want to be able to quickly get the tags from the source into the target so they can translate around them. In an example like this it’s far easier to add the text between the tags for some users than it is to place the tags as you go:
The Copy Tag app in the SDL AppStore (created by Jesse Good who is a regular app developer with some brilliant apps you can find here) is a smart little plugin that adds a shortcut and a menu option so you can quickly copy the tags only from the source to the target with a single action. Once installed you can find this in your right-click menu:
The keyboard shortcut is customisable, but whether you use the keyboard or the right-click option it is a nifty little time saver and apparently very retro!
Most users today have got to grips with the side by side editor in Studio… in fact most modern translation tools use this layout because it’s considered to be more productive than the horizontal layout. HOWEVER… and I’ll write this in capitals because it’s a big HOWEVER… I often meet translators today who feel very strongly about this subject and they would much prefer to have the old layout that was possible in TagEditor or when translating in Microsoft Word with Workbench, a bit like this:
So you can see the source on top and the target directly underneath it as you work. I can see how when reviewing that this would be a lot easier and saves on eye strain looking from side to side as you work through the document. In fact I’d never thought about this too much until last week when I was looking at how Studio automatically handled SI units, and not being able to compare them easily with the source above the target to see the differences immediately was a bit of a strain. But fortunately some help was at hand with another neat little retro app called Vertical Review that’s available on the SDL AppStore. This app allows you to work through the file in the review window or in the Studio Editor and it shows you the view you need. I thought it would be easier to show this in a short video:
This app was developed by Mikael Weiner who is a serial “great app” developer responsible for the Weblookup plugin, Word Count Copy, Integrated Segment Actions, Integrated Search Views and probably more I don’t even know about!!
You may be wondering why I’m covering this in here, after all Studio does have an alignment tool that is available to you as part of the product. That’s true, but sometimes it can be a little tricky to use which is borne out by this article being one of the most read articles I have ever written, in fact the video is the most viewed video I have ever made by a long way!
So what do we have in the AppStore for this… well we actually don’t have anything, but you may not have realised that the old WinAlign that was part of Trados is installed with Studio, in fact it’s even installed with Studio 2017. You can find it here:
c:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\SDL\T2007\TT\Winalign.exe
You can just create a windows shortcut from this file to your desktop and then you can also run this old tool as long as the files you are aligning are supported by Trados 2007. Given the age of the product that may be a bit of a hurdle and you might have to downsave the files in the native application if possible to an older format, or perhaps use the Legacy Converter to create a TTX from the SDLXLIFF and then align them. This works nicely and is a simple workaround but you do need to watch out for language codes in the TTX. Studio will be using codes in some cases that WinAlign won’t know and then you’ll get errors, so just double check them with a text editor. Just look for SourceLanguage=”ES-X-MO-SDL” and lang=”ES-X-MO-SDL” for example. In this case I would need to replace these modern codes for Spanish with SourceLanguage=”ES-ES” and lang=”ES-ES” and then all is ok. You may not have to do this at all, but the number of languages available today has significantly increased, so if you get an error when you use Win Align just check these codes.
In case this is a little confusing I created a quick video to explain what I mean:
That’s it for this article… hopefully interesting with some useful tips inspired by the way things used to be back in the old days!!