XML Length Restrictions

01This week I spent some time in Stockholm attending one of the SDL Roadshows.  As usual it was a great event, and we have more to come.  In fact this year I get to attend a fair few so if you’re attending Copenhagen, Milan or Paris in May then I’ll look forward to seeing you there!

But I’m not writing about the roadshows.  I also enjoyed a day before the roadshow with some of our very technical customers in a small workshop and as usual they had lots of interesting questions to tax our software and my brain!  But this time I had reinforcements in the shape of Iulia who is a QA Engineer from our Cluj office.  The team in Cluj never cease to amaze me with their dedication to making the products better and in supporting our customers, in addition to their knowledge of our products.  But the reason I want to mention Iulia in particular is because these technical sessions always involve questions around how we handle XML in Studio.  This time was no exception and one question in particular had me dreaming up all kinds of workarounds… they were interesting I think, but unnecessary because Studio has some clever features here I’d never looked at before, but Iulia had.  Of course I don’t know why I’d expect anything less from a team that QA our products, but I thought it would be good to share.

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Unclean… who thought of that?

001I spent the weekend at my Mothers house the week before last and was digging around looking for photographs of myself when I was the same age as my son.  I found a few… a few I wouldn’t share with anyone else but my son!  What was I thinking with the baggy trousers and platform shoes…!

I also found some old Army pictures including these two taken during my basic training, which did an excellent job of shaking me out of my baggy trousers and platform shoes!  Also provided me with the most tenuous link yet into the translation environment because I wanted to write about clean and unclean files.  I don’t know who came up with this terminology, but if I think about it, the description probably fits quite well.  But the first time I heard it I’m sure something like these photos would have been closer to mind!

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Psst… wanna know a few things about file types?

01Studio has some excellent capabilities for getting more from your file types, and I’m often surprised by the reaction of Studio users when they find out what’s possible.

It seems we’ve been keeping a big secret that nobody was supposed to know… so I thought it would be worth taking a quick look at just one file type, everyones favourite, Microsoft Word.  The mechanism for finding these options in any filetype and seeing how they can benefit you will be the same as it is for Microsoft Word… and just as simple.  It’s a long post but hopefully useful.

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Handling taggy Excel files in Studio…

#01By taggy files I mean “embedded xml or html content” that is written into an Excel file alongside translatable text.  In the last article I wrote I documented a method sometimes used by people to handle tagged content in a Word file… funnily enough I came across a Word file containing the XML components of an IDML file today and I guess it must have been prepared in a very similar way judging by the enormous number of tags using the tw4win style to hide them when opened by any SDL Trados version!  Proof for me that this practice is sadly alive and well.  But I digress… because this time I want to cover how to handle a similar problem when you find HTML or XML tagged content in an Excel file.  This crops up quite a bit on ProZ so I thought it might be better to document it once and for all so I have something else to refer to in addition to the Studio help.
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More Regex? No, it's time for something completely different.

#02Now that we’ve learned enough about regular expressions, and because I get so many requests for custom filetypes I thought it might be useful to take a dip into the world of XPath.  So what exactly is XPath?
Well as far as most CAT tools go it probably is something completely different… certainly it was not used in the old Trados days.  But as a tool it’s nothing new and is simply a language used to find parts of an XML document and what’s more it’s a language that is recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium W3C.  So there is nothing proprietary here.
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The SDLXLIFF to Legacy Converter

#01This application, free on the SDL OpenExchange, has been around for about a year and a half and is one of the most popular applications on there.  It was written by Patrick Hartnett and is incredibly useful in more ways than one.  In fact it’s so useful I have referred to it quite often and used it for working around other issues in many of the articles I have written… so why haven’t I written specifically about it here until now?  The answer is I have no idea… but I should have done!  What prompted me to write now is that Patrick hasn’t released many updates to this tool, mainly because it did what was needed from the start and has been a really reliable and useful application; but he has released an update this week.
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Glueing your files…

#01Update January 2015 : Note that this is possible in Studio 2014, but now you can also merge after the project is created too!
The use of the term “glue” in describing what “Trados Glue” was used for made it very clear what it was intended to do.  In fact the term “glue” for merging files together is almost a standard!  I have no idea whether it was Trados that first coined the term in the context of CAT tools but it certainly stuck 😉
Today I see the question of how to “glue” files together to make it easier to manage them quite often… sometimes accompanied by the phrase “Trados Glue”.  So it seems appropriate to provide a quick article on how this is achieved with today’s CAT, SDL Trados Studio.  Studio has had a similar feature since it was launched back in 2009 but it is not called “Studio Glue”, although perhaps it should have been, it is simply called “Merge Files”.  It is also a big improvement over the original Trados version allowing you to merge any filetypes you like and work on them as a single file.
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Glossary to TM… been there, done that…

#01So now let’s flip the process on its head!
I’m not sure how often the need arises to create a Translation Memory from a Termbase but I can tell you that the article I wrote previously called “Creating a TM from a Termbase, or Glossary, in SDL Trados Studio” is the most popular article I have ever written… closely followed by an article on why wordcounts differ between tools called “So how many words do you think it is?“.  It’s an unfair competition because the latter was written some 4-months afterwards so needs more time to catch up… but there is no denying that the process of converting a Glossary to a Translation Memory is something people are interested in.
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Duplicates and Roadshows…

#1A strange title, and a stranger image with a pair of zebras and a road, but in keeping with the current fascination with animals during the SDL Spring Roadshows I thought it was quite fitting.  Nothing at all to do with the subject other than the Zebras may be duplicated and they are hovering a road to somewhere that looks cold!
The problem posed at the SDL Trados Roadshow in Helsinki by some very technical attendees, after the event was over, was about how to efficiently work on a Translation Memory (TM) so you could remove all the unnecessary duplicates.
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