Santa’s little helper…

Santa’s little helper… and if any of you are fans of “The Simpsons” I’m not talking about a greyhound… is a xmas gift from the SDL Community and SDL AppStore teams to make it easier to get help when you’re working in SDL Trados Studio.  The SDL Community has become incredibly busy in the last few years, so on the whole I’m confident people have learned how to find where to post and navigate through the myriad of forums available to them.  Certainly we have some good short links and I have written about the communities before:

But I do still hear from the occasional user that finding their way around the forums is complicated, and they don’t always know where to post their question.

SDL Community Inside

So this is where SDL Community Inside comes in!  The name was inherited from an internal competition we ran at SDL some years ago and we had a team who wanted to build an integration of the community inside the products to make it easier for all users.  We didn’t win… but the name stuck with us… so when we had an opportunity to start looking at this again we kept it.  Given a free hand I’d have gone with the jailbird image similar to this one… probably a good job we have more professional people in the team!

The Community Inside plugin, now available on the SDL AppStore for Trados Studio 2019 is the first iteration of our original plans to put a community inside.  There is no single sign on with Studio yet because we need some development work done on the community backend.  That single sign on will let us do more things such as incorporate notifications into Studio for questions you have asked and then not getting notifications will be a thing of the past.  But we still have a lot more plans to make this useful.  To begin with we kept it simple.

Where is it?

First of all you download and install it from the appstore as you would any plugin.  Once you’ve done that you’ll find it here in the Help ribbon:

If you use the community forums a lot you might find adding it to your Quick Access Toolbar in the top left of the image above is helpful because it’ll then be acessible from anywhere in the application:

You can even create a custom keyboard shorcut for it under File -> Options -> Keyboard Shortcuts -> CommunityInside.

Using it!

This is simplicity itself!  Click on the icon in the Help ribbon, the quick acess toolbar or your keyboard shortcut and you’ll be presented with a list of the forums that form part of the Translation Productivity Group:

There’s basically two things you can do.  If you click on the forum name you’ll be taken to that forum page… so here I clicked on the SDL AppStore Applications and I’m taken to here where I can search this forum, scroll through the posts etc.

Or I can click on the small plus symbol in the circle on the left and this takes me directly to the forum I clicked so I can ask my question:

A really cool feature is that as you type your subject you’ll get an automatic search allowing you to click on the ones that popup and see if they solved your problem for you:

If they don’t look as though they’re relevant for you just click into the subject line again and you can finish your question and post it.  You should find you’ll get a response fairly quickly because the community is getting busier and busier.

The End!

Now, if you got to the end of this and realised you really wanted Homer Simpson after all then try this forum instead!  Otherwise have a great xmas, don’t forget to download the SDL Community Inside plugin, and we hope to see you inside soon!  And don’t forget… if you know the answer to something you see, don’t be shy and keep it to yourself.  We love to see more participation!

The Story of “Studio” Colours…

Once upon a time, of course, the translation environment was just black and white with gray in between.  Black and white and gray?  The AppStore gods were understandably bored and angry, so they went looking for other colours to brighten the world for their users.  The resulting colours emerged from the Microsoft Word palette resulting in fifteen colours to choose from.  The AppStore gods were so happy with these colours they decided to paint the translation environment from the AppStore.  They opened Visual Studio and flung the colours around, resulting in a brand new app. they called “Wordlight” and a new colourful feature for the “Community Advanced Display Filter”.

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Who’s up for a little bit of Passolo?

I can remember being asked in early 2007 to organise a report on the benefits of Passolo compared to other tools that also supported visual software localization.  In the same year, shortly after that, SDL purchased Pass Engineering and SDL Passolo was born.  At the time I didn’t know a lot about Trados Workbench or SDLX either as I had a very different role, and I only started getting interested in the technology we (and our competitors) use in 2008 just prior to the release of SDL Trados Studio 2009 the following year.  In all that time since then, until a few months ago, I’m ashamed to say I’ve never taken more than a cursory look at it.  It’s taken a course I’m doing at the moment at the University of Strasbourg to really bring home the value.  One of the modules on this course is “Localization of Graphical User Interfaces” and under some expert tutorage I’m plugging many of the gaps I have in my knowledge of this industry.  I’m even putting it to good use in my daily work!

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Audio Visual Translation in Studio

When I started to look at the subtitling industry little did I know just how fragmented it would be!  For years we have talked about SRT and yet when I look at the filetypes that tools like Subtitle Edit claim to support I find over 200!  Normally I’m not a big fan of standards but that’s probably because I live in a world where there is little variation and supporting different bilingual files is trivial in comparison.  But if there was ever a good argument for one it would be here!  Asking people what format they see most often does help to narrow it down, but as we often find when developing software, the interest usually comes after the event and not before!  So what formats can a translation tool support today?

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Apply a TM Template

Ever since the release of Studio 2009 we have had the concept of Language Resource Templates, and ever since the release of Studio 2009 I’d risk a bet that most users don’t know what they’re for or how to use them.  To be fair this is hardly a surprise since their use is actually quite limited out of the box and access to the goodies inside is pretty hard to get at.  It’s been something I used to see users complain about a long time ago but for some years now I rarely see them mentioned anymore.  This article, I hope, might change that.

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Wot! No target!!

The origin of Chad (if you’re British) or Kilroy (if you’re American) seems largely supposition.  The most likely story I could find, or rather the one I like the most, is that it was created by the late cartoonist George Edward Chatterton ‘Chat’ in 1937 to advertise dance events at a local RAF (Royal Air Force) base.  After that Chad is remembered for bringing attention to any shortages, or shortcomings, in wartime Britain with messages like Wot! No eggs!!, and Wot! No fags!!.  It’s not used a lot these days, but for those of us aware of the symbolism it’s probably a fitting exclamation when you can’t save your target file after completing a translation in Trados Studio!  At least that would be the polite exclamation since this is one of the most frustrating scenarios you may come across!

At the start of this article I fully intended this to be a simple description of the problems around saving the target file, but like so many things I write it hasn’t turned out that way!  But I found it a useful exercise so I hope you will too.  So, let’s start simple despite that introduction because the reasons for this problem usually boil down to one or more of these three things:

  1. Not preparing the project so it’s suitable for sharing
  2. Corruption of a project file
  3. A problem with the source file or the Studio filetype

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A business resolution for 2019…

There are three things that have stood out for me this year.  The first is how much support SDL have provided to their users to make sure they are able to work successfully with their investment.  The second is how little many users are aware of this, and the third is just how many users have used Trados for a decade or more and were not aware of what a support & maintenance contract can bring you.  This last one has been the biggest surprise to me as I’ve spoken to people who thought a support contract was more than the cost of the software; to people who thought it was support only and to people who didn’t know SDL provided any support at all!  So, one of my resolutions for 2019 will be to try and make sure that all our users are more aware of how to get help, even if they don’t want to purchase a support & maintenance contract.  So, I’ll cover these things:

  • Support & Maintenance Contract
  • SDL Community
  • The Customer Experience Team
  • The SDL AppStore Team
  • The SDL Marketing Team
  • Training
  • Customer Experience Program

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