Over the years I’ve had quite a varied career from selling insurance to building houses, six years in the Royal Engineers, 12 years as a civil engineer building roads and bridges and then 11 years in the IT industry rolling out Enterprise Financial and Project Accounting solutions and Content Management Systems and now localization tools as part of a Global Information Management strategy.

Over all of this time I like to think I’ve picked up a few skills along the way for making IT a little easier, so I decided to create this blog so I could easily share some of the things I find useful and interesting.

There may be a bias towards the things I do at the moment working for RWS, but I hope you find them interesting and maybe even useful too.  If you want to contact me you can use the comments on this blog, or use the contact me link on my homepage.  I don’t have a Facebook or instagram account anymore, nor do I use LinkedIn and finally I dumped twitter too… I’m so fed up with all the advertising and and crap coming into these feeds I’ve closed them all.  I do still use youtube as it’s useful for now, but depending on what happens in the future me and youtube are on thin ice!.

54 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi
    I wonder if you could help me somehow.
    I purchased and installed Studio 2014.
    I successfully managed to create a Project and need to send a package to another translator.
    But I’m not able to create a package because the ‘Create Project Pakage’, ‘Create Studio 2009 Package’ and ‘Create Return Package’ buttons won’t get enabled/activated at all.
    I searched the KB, Solution Finder and FAQ on Help but couldn’t find a solution
    Could you please advise on how to sort this out?
    Thanks and regards

    1. Hello Walter, the most likely explanation is that you are using the Freelance edition rather than the Professional edition. Creation of Project Packages is only possible with the Professional edition. But if you do have Professional then perhaps you simply don’t have a Project selected… by selected I mean actually activated so it is bold in the Projects list.

  2. Hi Paul, thanks a lot for your reply. I have the Freelance edition and I thought about it but when I watch the help video from this version it shows these featutes/buttons being enabled. All I wanted to know from SDL is whether the Freelance edition can or cannot create packages – then everything would be explained. But I don’t even manage to get this information on SDL websites, and I’m not willing to pay US$ 215 just to get this answer. Regardless of all that I appreciate your reply and I’d like to thank you very much for your kind feedback. Best regards, Walter.

    1. A good starting article is this one – Version Differences where you can see the second item in the list is “Create and email packages”. You certainly don’t need to purchase support to find this out. You could use the live chat or you could post a question on one of the public forums.
      In your case perhaps you can just send the SDLXLIFF? Make sure you take the one from your target language folder and then your colleagues can handle the files and send them back. You lose any settings you wanted them to use for QA etc. and have no traceability over the workflow but at least you can share the work.

  3. I see! Although the vídeo shows it can be done – the freelance edition program itself cannot create packages. Sure in the vídeo they use the pro edition. I’ll try sending the SDLXLIFF although my resources work with 2009 and 2011 versions and I don’t know if they will be able to open it. That’s why I wanted to create the 2009 package. But I’ll try anyway. Once again I really appreciate all your help and sorry for disturbing you 🙂 Thanks a lot! Walter

  4. Hi Paul,
    I have got a csv file to translate, in which I would like Tag Pairs to be converted into Inline Tags in the SDLXLIFF files. How can I do?
    Thanks for your help

    1. Hi Stéphanie, the CSV filetype does not support inline tags. So if you need to handle many of them this is what I would do. First, if the CSV already has target translations in it then I would open the CSV in Studio, create a TM, and update them all into the TM (this step won’t be necessary if there is no translated target already in the file). Then I would open the CSV in Excel and save it as an Excel file. Next I’d copy the contents of the source column into the target column, hide the source column and then open the Excel file in Studio using the embedded content feature to handle the tags. I’d pre-translate from the TM I created using a 90% rate perhaps to ensure I got matches even where there are now tag differences, finish the translation, save the target Excel and then open the target in Excel, unhide the original source and save it as a CSV.
      I hope that was clear?

  5. “Over the years I’ve had quite a varied career from selling insurance to building houses, six years in the Royal Engineers, 12 years as a civil engineer building roads and bridges and then 11 years in the IT industry rolling out Enterprise Financial and Project Accounting solutions and Content Management Systems…” Jeez — you don’t look like you’re 68…

  6. I agree (on the last part 🙂 but I also counted some years for the insurance and building houses part that you mention, plus some more for your SDL career… and I suppose you had to wait a while after birth until you could start working.

  7. Hi Paul,
    I have licenses of both Trados Studio 2011 and 2014, so I thought I’d deactivate 2011 to remove the program. It didn’t work, but instead I discovered that Trados Studio 2014 isn’t working.
    The program claims I have it installed somewhere else where I should deactivate it, but that’s not the case.
    Could you point me in the right direction of what I should do or whom I should turn to?
    Best, Madeleine

    1. Hi Madeleine, you need to use the solution finder in the knowledgebase and send a support request to the licensing team. Go to the Knowledgebase;
      Then go to the tab called Solution Finder and now go here;
      Licensing Problems
      – I use SDL Trados Studio / SDL Passolo – 2011 or 2014
      — I need to have my license reset
      Pick the correct route for you and if appropriate you will be presented with a form that you can fill in to generate a support request and you will be contacted, normally within a day. In fact the licensing team are incredibly fast!
      Also make sure your email address is entered correctly or nobody will be able to get back in touch with you.

  8. Hi Paul,
    I hope you can help me with the following issue. Due to a disk crash, I had to change disk and reinstall everything on my computer. Obviously I did not deactivate my SLD Trados Studio 2014 licence on the old disk, so now, when I try to reactivate the licence on the new disk, it tells me it’s active on another computer and I have to deactivate it… Which I cannot do either online or offline, since the “deactivate” option does not show. Could up please advise?

    1. Hi Anne, the only people who can sort this out are the SDL Licensing team. But the process is very simple. Go to the Knowledgebase;
      Then go to the tab called Solution Finder ( http://kb.sdl.com/?cid=23&tab=sf ) and now go here;
      Licensing Problems
      – I use SDL Trados Studio / SDL Passolo – 2011 or 2014
      — I need to have my license reset
      Pick the correct route for you and if appropriate you will be presented with a form that you can fill in to generate a support request and you will be contacted, normally within a day.
      Also use the Chrome browser to log the case if you have it; you’ll get more success in completing the form, and make sure your email address is entered correctly or nobody will be able to get back in touch with you. Also watch out for pop ups that might be active behind your open window that you need to click if the form does not load.
      I hope this helps… but if you can’t do this let me know.

  9. Dear Paul,
    I have a query about SDL World Server and I hope you may be able to help. We have been told by a client that SDLXLIFF segments we send them which have been translated in another CAT tool (i.e. MemoQ) still contain the translation origin=”not-translated”, even if myself as the project manager finalising the project has Trados Studio (2014). Apparently this prevents those segments being imported into the World Server memory at the client’s end. Are you able to give any more information about how SDL World Server works? The translators using an alternative CAT tool have always told us that the tool is completely compatible with Studio projects, so we were not aware that this could cause problems.
    Many thanks in advance,

    1. Perhaps they are unconfirmed autopropagated segments from memoQ, or MT segments perhaps? If the segments are not properly confirmed then finalising the project is not enough. You will have to go into the Project in Studio and properly confirm them before finalising (if you have to finalise as this is probably not necessary). WorldServer will have no problem with segments that are correctly confirmed.
      On compatibility from other CAT tools. I think there are many things in different workflows that may need to be addressed in the originating tool before returning the files if you wish to avoid all problems. Handling the sdlxliff and sending back a translation is one thing, the same as Studio handling someone elses files. Most of the time it may well be fine, but none of these tools are 100% compatible with each other.

  10. Dear Paul,
    I wonder if you could help me with an XML problem. I need to translate a few XML files in Trados Studio 2011. They contain pairs of CDATA segments. Each pair consists of one segment for the Source language (which contains Spanish text) and one for the Target language (which is empty and needs to be populated by my Greek translation). Trados only sees the source CDATA segment and ignores the target CDATA segment. Is there a way to have the source segments in the left column and the target segments in the right column of Trados? This way I could prepare the bilingual xml file very easily. Thank you in advance for your time and help on this. Keep up the good work.

    1. Dear Spyros,
      I’m afraid this is not possible out of the box in Studio. If you are a developer then you could do this using the SDL/API, but there is no facility in Studio that will support bilingual XML files. If you can get the XML file prepared so that the source is copied to the target before you start then it would be straightforward. You could then translate the target element.
      Maybe worth noting we also have a support community where you can ask for help… I don’t think it will help in this case, but worth noting for the future perhaps.

  11. Hi Paul,
    I’ve been trying to attend your Advanced Class at the ATA conference for two years but it looks like I will have to miss out on your Wednesday pre-conference again. I’m needed at work, so I can only get in for Friday and Saturday. Maybe only Saturday. Are there any other opportunities to study under you in person for the Advanced Class? Or do you have a webinar or online classes? I can’t find anything about your events on the site. Thank you! Joanna

    1. Hi Joanna, I’m not really a trainer so I only really do this type of thing at events. We do have some days in Amsterdam next month where we are offerring a free for all so if you’re in Europe perhaps you can make that event? Otherwise please feel fre to visit the booth during the ATA, I’ll be there for the duration and will be happy to try and help you if you have specific things you’d like to cover.

  12. Hi Paul,
    Thanks a lot for your blog and sorry if I duplicate already asked questions, but I have a couple of questions I am not sure about, so if you could advise/help. Many thanks in advance.
    1) Let’s suppose I’m given an SDLXLIFF to proofread under Studio. I only have that SDLXLIFF. What can I do? Is it possible to generate a source and a target file from the SLDXLIFF only?
    2) What is the best practice/caveats to know if I have, say package 1 loaded and started for translation… then package 2 comes to cancel and replace package 1… with the following options/scenarios:
    case1 – package 2 contains a newer version of files already existing in 1
    case2 – package 2 contains the same files as package 1 + new files
    case3 – package 2 contains a bigger TM compared to package 1
    case4 – I don’t know anything about the differences between package 1 et package 2

    1. Hi JC,
      On 1) this depends on whether the original source file was embedded into the SDLXLIFF or not, and also whether it was created with a filetype you have on your system or not. If you have all the parts you need then yes, you can create a target or recreate the source. If not then no you can’t do either. But you can proof it as an SDLXLIFF and return it.
      On 2) If the replacement packages come in and they are updating the same files you have just been working on then you have two options at least. The first and best solution is to use Perfect Match. This is exactly what this is for. But you need the Professional Edition for this.
      The second would be to remove the old Project from Studio and use the TM you have been saving in the new Project. You can use “Translate to fuzzy” for example to see what the differences are and ensure you don’t lose any of your old work. This is longer than Perfect Match but you can do it with the Freelance Edition.
      But I would recommend you use the SDL Community for these kind of questions.

      1. Thanks a lot Paul, yes, sorry, I did dive into your page without thinking and I will ask the SDL community for other, similar questions. Thanks for taking the time to give me some leads and have a nice day. JCB

  13. Hello Paul,
    thank you for your blog.
    I am not sure you already receveid this question: could you please suggest me what to do to integrate the grammar and spell check of the freeware “Language Tool” in Trados alongside with MS Word spellchecker? After contacting the concerned team of developer for that tool, it fits “only” OpenOffice and some browsers but not a CAT tool. Do you think is there any way of getting it working in Trados Studio 2015?
    Thank you

    1. Hello Davide, anything is possible. We already have a plugin that uses the Microsoft Grammar checker developed by a plugin developer, and we do have an API for spell checking (currently not a public API but we can expose it very easily for anyone interested). So any developer who was interested could do this depending on the capabilities of the API in the spelling tool. Best place to start asking questions is in the developer community.

  14. Hi Paul,
    I have a question on Studio 2017: Is there a way / an app to count the characters in a certain segment or in multiple selected segments?
    I’m translating a non-fiction book with many single columns, and it is essential that the translation fits in there, so I always need to keep an eye on the character count.
    The only workaround I’ve found so far is merging paragraphs into one segment, so I can compare the text length more easily, but this has sometimes caused me problems in the past and files wouldn’t export in the end or Studio broke down when you accidentally try to merge segments from two paragraphs. That’s why I’m wondering if there is another way to do it.
    I’d greatly appreciate any hint because it is a very big project and it would be great to know if there is a way that would make it a little easier.
    Thanks so much in advance for your help!!!
    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Julia, definitely better to ask these questions in the SDL Community. However, there is a character count in the bottom right of the screen for each segment so that might help. Another way is to use a script in AutoHotkey for example. Selcuk Akyuz posted one in Proz a while ago that looks like this:
      ; Count characters in a segment
      Send, ^c
      Chars := StrLen(Clipboard)
      MsgBox % “The highlighted text is ” Chars ” characters in length and contains ” Spaces ” spaces.”

      1. Thanks so much for your quick reply, Paul! It’s not really what I’d been look for (I need to be able to count multiple selected segments in both source and target text) but might try to find out more in the Community. Not sure about using a script, I’d been hoping for a more straightforward solution. Anyway, thanks again for your help!
        Best, Julia

        1. Hi Julia, I do think you should give AHK a chance. That script will allow you to select text across segments and it will return a count of whatever you have selected. I think it’s exactly what you need. If you have any questions on this take a look at this thread in the Community. I was inspired by your post to do something I’d thought about for a while which is create a forum in the community specifically for AHK. I’m glad I did because it’s already getting lots of interesting scripts.

          1. Hi Paul, thanks again, I’ll try to check it out soon. The thing is at the moment I have no idea how to go about it, I’ve never used any scripts and must admit I’m a bit scared sth. might go wrong. I can’t afford any technical issues right now in the middle of that project. Anyway, I’m happy to hear about your new forum and will have a look!

          2. It’s me again, Paul, I just wanted to let you know that I tried AutoHotKey and the script you recommended – setting it up was quite simple and it works perfectly! Thank you so much for your help and the great tip! :o)

  15. Dear Paul and team,
    I would like to know if the following is possible with Studio when updating TMs:
    When the same type of documents (repetitive content) are translated in different projects and we want to add fields to see which segment belongs to which project, is there any way to overwrite the segments but to add the fields to the existing fields so we have a list with all projects that contain a specific segment?
    Many thanks!

  16. Hi, I have learnt a lot by reading your posts, thank you.
    We are a small LSP and have a very large specialized termbase that took many years to build and we are weary of sharing it around.
    Do you know of any tool that will make a sort of “project termbase” by comparing a termbase and source files to make a small termbase with the terms that are relevant for the source files and that we can share?
    Thank you

  17. Hi Paul

    I followed your instructions and it doesn’t work, did it unsuccessfully several times. SDL Studio rejects the file with an error message (sorry I have a German version) “Error reading import file make sure this is a valid file with autocorrect-settings”

    Any idea?

    All my best


  18. Hi Paul

    My fellow students an I got the link to your blog about IATE (How to you eat an elephant? and What a whopper!) from our professor at the ZHAW, where we study Translation of Special Texts in a masters degree. Your very helpful experiences form the base of the lesson we have to prepare about why the interchange of termbank files is so much more complicated than the exchange of translation memory files.
    Therefore, I’d like to ask you two questions that would help us very much with the understanding of that topic:

    First, do you share the experience of the difficulties in sharing term files compared with the sharing of TM files our professor mentioned? And if so, do you have any ideas, why that is so?

    Second, as your posts originated in 2014, I wondered if there have been significant changes in that field since?

    Thank you so much for sharing your vast experience in this field!

    Best regards,


    1. Hello Andrea, nice to see my blog has reached the dizzy heights of ZHAW! On your questions…

      do you share the experience of the difficulties in sharing term files compared with the sharing of TM files our professor mentioned? And if so, do you have any ideas, why that is so?

      Absolutely. The main reasons are these I think:

      • the structure of a terminology database is quite loose. Even the standards for TBX (of which there are now several) allow for considerable flexibility in the definition of each term database
      • not all translation or terminology tools have the same capability… some only support simple glossaries… some only support flat csv or excel imports
      • the volume of data that can be held in a comprehensive terminology solution, per entry, can be enormous. File exchange becomes unworkable because very few tools (that use terminology for translation) will manage datasets that large

      as your posts originated in 2014, I wondered if there have been significant changes in that field since?

      Significant yes… extensively adopted I’d have to say no. We do have more online solutions, and many support an API which could remove the need for data exchange at the file level. But sadly I see very little adoption of the possible by tool vendors. We also see the terminology standards evolving, but still based around the use of file exchange. We even see XLIFF adding modules to include terminology data. All of this fails to address the problems of handling large datasets and I’ve yet to see a more efficient use of database technology available today that can manage TBX properly. In my opinion , the way technology is evolving online, and the way terminology data itself is evolving into a far richer ontology that’s needed to support AI as we go forward, means we’ll leave today’s standards and file-based exchange long before the problems inherent with its use are ever addressed properly.

  19. Dear Paul, I have noticed that I’ve missed out your latest posts. I used to get an email notification each time you published a new post, but this isn’t working any longer (maybe since you updated its look & feel?). What would you recommend to get notified? Thank you for all the effort you put into your blog.

  20. I simply felt the need to show my appreciation for what you are doing here.
    This blog is a goldmine.
    Thank you for all your work Paul.


  21. Hello Paul, I’m not sure what would be the best way to contact you, so I’ll try this channel. Needless to say, I’m always awed by your jaw-dropping contributions to Trados conundrums (gee, or should it be ‘conundra’? Classic Philology MA here), and I wondered if you could help me with a particular issue. I read your posts about replacing quotes in Trados and they were a great help – especially the one suggesting the use of Regex [Find (\s)”(.+?)” And then replace with: $1“$2”]. I’m still stuck with the first (now blissfully rounded) quote still being uppercase (I mean, positioned higher) rather than lowercase necessary in Polish translations. Knowst thou the answer to that, o oracle? 🙂

    1. Hello Ewa, I think your best action would be to post a question, along with example texts of what you have and what you want, into the RWS community forums. It’s risky to provide a suggestion for regex without a proper set of examples because if you don’t really understand why you are doing what you are doing then you won’t know when to apply if and when not to. Based on your example it seems a simple enough thing to use the “lowercase quote instead of the “uppercase” one you have shown. But use the forum and provide some proper examples people can base a response on to help you.

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