Tag Archives: interoperability

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:

But that’s enough of what I have covered in the past, now let’s take a look at the things I haven’t!

Copy Tags

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!

Vertical Review

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!!


001Years ago, when I was still in the Army, there was a saying that we used to live by for routine inspections.  “If it looks right, it is right”… or perhaps more fittingly “bullshit baffles brains”.  These were really all about making sure that you knew what had to be addressed in order to satisfy an often trivial inspection, and to a large extent this approach worked as long as nobody dug a little deeper to get at the truth.  This approach is not limited to the Army however, and today it’s easy to create a polished website, make statements with plenty of smiling users, offer something for free and then share it all over social media.  But what is different today is that there is potential to reach tens of thousands of people and not all of them will dig a little deeper… so the potential for reward is high, and the potential for disappointment is similarly high.

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001Probably you’re all far more educated than me and when you read COTI you probably didn’t think “chuckling on the inside” did you?  I googled it and looked at four acronym websites, none of which found the correct definition… but two of them returned the title of this article so it must be right!!  Oh how I wish it was… just to bring a little levity to the ever so serious tasks of interoperability.  But no, it stands for Common Translation Interface (COTI).  This is a project pioneered by DERCOM which is the “Association Of German Manufacturers Of Authoring And Content Management Systems”… so nothing to be amused about there!

The subject of interoperability is in fact a serious one and many tools like to claim they are more interoperable than others as a unique selling point for anyone prepared to listen.  It’s also a big topic and whilst I am always going to be guilty of a little bias I do believe there isn’t a tool as interoperable as the SDL language Platform because it’s been built with support for APIs in mind.  This of course means it’s possible for developers outside of SDL to hook their products into the SDL Language Platform without even having to speak to SDL.  Now that’s interoperability!  It’s also why I probably hadn’t heard of COTI until the development was complete and I was asked to sign a plugin for SDL Trados Studio by Kaleidosope… outside of SDL I think they are the Kings of integration between other systems and the SDL language portfolio.
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01I first wrote about the Glossary Converter on September 17, 2012… over three years ago.  Not only is it a surprisingly long time ago, but I still meet people at every conference I attend who have never heard of this marvelous little tool, and in some cases never heard of the OpenExchange either.  So when I toyed with the idea of writing an article about Xmas coming early and talking about the OpenExchange and all the goodies inside, part of me couldn’t resist writing about this tool again.  In the three years since it was first released it’s morphed beyond all recognition and today it’s awash with features that belie it’s appearance.

I like to take a little credit for the emergence of this tool because back in 2012 I asked around trying to get someone to create one so that it was straightforward for anyone to create a MultiTerm Glossary from a simple two column spreadsheet… the sort of glossary that most translators use for their day to day needs.  I was over the moon when Gerhard (the developer) was interested and created the tool I wrote about back then.  But I can take no credit whatsoever for what the tool has become today and it’s well worth revisiting!

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01Updated to support Studio 2017, also it’s now an sdlplugin rather than a standalone tool, September 2016

… is a theme I’ve used before to describe how easy it is to share resources in the desktop version of Studio because of the open and friendly technology platform used.  It’s easy because Studio allows you to take good advantage of the sort of things (maybe even more than a 100 😉) you may already use on a daily basis, like dropbox, or google drive for example.  I was talking about what users could do before, so this time I’m really excited to see how we can perhaps extend this idea of sharing and pool the expertise that only a developer can bring to the table so that developers can gain from each others work, and users of the software see what this can achieve as well.  Romulus Crisan started this off when he began moving many of the OpenExchange applications he had developed, and some of the older ones as well, into Github as OpenSource projects.

This is a new concept for SDL Language Technologies that was started earlier this year, and whilst we have only seen a few contributions from developers adding their own improvements and paying them back for others to use, I do know that this idea of sharing examples of real applications is starting to pay off, and many developers have been able to progress their own ideas after getting a little inspiration from the work of others. Read More


When the developer of the Word Cloud plugin for SDL Trados Studio first showed me the application he developed I was pretty impressed… mainly because it just looked so cool, but also because I could think of a couple of useful applications for it.

  1. You could see at a glance what the content of the project was and how interesting it might be for you
  2. It looks cool… or did I say that already?

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01This article is all about out with the old and in with the new in more ways than one!  In the last week I have been asked three times about converting Wordfast translation memories and Wordfast glossaries into resources that could be used in Studio and MultiTerm.  Normally, for the TXT translation memories I get I would go the traditional route and use a copy of Wordfast to export as TMX.  Then it’s simple, but what if you don’t have Wordfast or don’t want to have to try and use it?  Wordfast glossaries are new territory for me as I’d never looked at these before.  But on a quick check it looked as though they are also TXT files so I decided to take a better look.

Before I get into the detail I’ll just add that I’m not very familiar with Wordfast so I’m basing my suggestions on the small number of files I have received, or created, and the process I used to convert them to formats more useful for a Studio user.  I’ll start with the glossaries as this is where I got the idea from,  I better explain my opening statement too… this is because after I did an initial conversion using the Glossary Converter from the SDL Openexchange I was asked to explain how this would work with MultiTerm Convert.  This of course made me think about the old versus the new… I wouldn’t compare Wordfast and Studio in this way at all 😉 Read More

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