Radical Anxiety Termination…

… Really Awful Tucker, Radically Altered Terminology, Rheumatoid Arthritis Test, Race Against Time, Recurrent Acute Tonsillitis, Real Acquisition Technology, Republicans Against Trump… the list goes on!  All with the same acronym RAT.  A comment on the SDL AppStore this week relating to a new plugin called the RAT inspired me to write this article this evening.  Everyone is loving this plugin so far but one user had an objection to the name, the acronym, because he didn’t get it.  Actually to be fair someone else on the SDL Community didn’t like it either… Rats are dirty!

Well they may well have a bad rap.  There’s a great article here explaining how useful they are in detecting landmines and detecting disease, not to mention how affectionate they can be.  According to this Harvard review they’re also smarter than your average human!  What’s more, as I was helpfully reminded in the SDL Community, 2020 is the Chinese year of the Rat!  So what better explanation for the acronym than Rapid Add Term?

Rapid Add Term

The RAT plugin has been designed to out perform the traditional methods of adding terminology to your termbase, and it does this by a long way!  Out of the box in Studio you have two basic methods for adding terminology:

  1. Add New Term (Ctrl+F2)
  2. Quick Add New Term (Ctrl+Shift+F2)

The difference between them when you’re working in the default mode in MultiTerm is actually nil.  Both methods add the terms immediately to your termbase, no questions asked (unless there are duplicates of course).  But if you’re working with any of the other layouts in MultiTerm the difference is considerable and this is why the feature of “Quick Add New Term” was introduced in the first place.  If you’re wondering what the difference between these layouts is then this might help:

You can select the layout you want by using the little drop down in the top left menu of the Termbase Viewer.  The reason the difference between “Quick Add Term” and “Add Term” is considerable compared to the default layout is that all other layouts open the terms for editing when you add them and you have to either save or cancel to be able to move on:

So the introduction of the “Quick Add Term” was an extremely welcome addition at the time as you can imagine.  However, or rather HOWEVER, even with the “Quick Add Term” the Termbase Viewer will popout and redraw the data in the termbase… and if it’s docked in place it will just redraw the data.  That is somewhat annoying for two reasons at least:

  1. the constant popping out, or redrawing of the data is an irritant, and
  2. if you have a large termbase, and it doesn’t have to be that large, the time it takes to do this completely slows down the process of quickly adding terms and getting on with your work.

So, the RAT was developed to avoid both of these things.  It simply adds the terms no questions asked (unless you have duplicates).  You don’t even get a confirmation, it just completes it’s task efficiently and fast… it’s extremely rapid!  Hence the name of course!

You can activate the RAT in three ways:

  1. Use the ribbon icon in the Add-Ins menu:
  2. Right-Click on the selected terms:
  3. Use a keyboard shortcut.  The default instalation does not set one so you need to go to your keyboard shortcuts, look for File -> Options -> Keyboard Shortcuts -> RapidAddTerm:

    You can use whatever you like here, even remove the out of the box shortcuts for adding terms to replace with this instead!  The reason there are two is that one relates to the ribbon action, the other to the right-click action.You only need a shortcut on one of them for the solution to work.

To give you some idea of how this works in practice compared to the out of the box approaches I created a short video:

So, don’t be hard on our friend the rat… he’s actually pretty helpful!

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:

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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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Hunspell dictionaries in Studio

When I write these articles I always start with thinking about the image at the top.  I do this for two reasons, the first is because it usually helps me think of some bizarre introduction (like this!) that helps me start writing, and the second is because every now and again I like to play around with Gimp which is the free image software I occassionally use.  It’s always nice to spend a little time doing something frivolous because it’s good thinking time without being distracted by the job!  I don’t really know how to use this software at all, but it’s fun seeing what turns out… and I confess I often use a combination of powerpoint and Gimp simply because some things are just easier in powerpoint!  Eventually I might actually learn how to use it properly… I’ll keep practicing anyway.

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