Every now and then I see an application and I think… this one is going to be a game changer for Studio users. There have been a few, but the top two for me have been the “SDLXLIFF to Legacy Converter” which really helped users working with mixed workflows between the old Trados tools and the new Studio 2009, and the “Glossary Converter” which has totally changed the way translators view working with terminology and in my opinion has also been responsible for some of the improvements we see in the Studio/MultiTerm products today. There are many more, and AnyTM is a contender, but if I were to only pick my top three where I instantly thought WOW!, then the first two would feature. So what about the third? You could say I have the benefit of hindsight with the first two although I’m not joking about my reaction when I first saw them, but the third is brand new and I’m already predicting success!
It’s been a while since I wrote anything about the SDLXLIFF Toolkit.. in fact I haven’t done since it was first released with the 2014 version of Studio. Now that we have added a few new things such as SDLPLUGINS so that apps are better integrated and can be more easily distributed with Studio we have launched a new version of the toolkit for Studio 2017. What’s new? To be honest not a lot, but there are a couple of things that I think warrant this visit.
First of all, the app is now a plugin and this means it loads faster, is always available and there are a few tricks to being able to get the most from this. Secondly, there are a few fixes to the search & replace features that make it possible to complete tasks that Studio will fail with and to do this the API team completely rebuilt the regex engine. So whilst you won’t see too many changes, there are a few under the hood.
The best way to illustrate this is to show you so I have created a short video below where I have tried to explain how best to use the toolkit now it’s a plugin and not a standalone application, and I used the problems described below to demonstrate how it works. If you want to know what else it can do I have reproduced part of the original guide below the video as that seems to have been lost over the years. This might be helpful for a few of the more obscure features you may not have realised were possible.
Wow… how time flies! Over three years ago I wrote an article called AutoCorrect… for everything! which explained how to use AutoHotkey so you had a similar functionality to Microsoft Word for autocorrect, except it worked in all your windows applications. This was, and still is, pretty cool I think and I still use autohotkey today for many things, and not just autocorrect. Since writing that article we released Studio 2015, and in fact Studio 2017 is just around the corner, so it was a while back and some things have moved on. For example, Studio 2015 introduced an autocorrect feature into Studio which meant things should be easier for all Studio users, especially if they had not come across autohotkey before.
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring:
There shallow Draughts intoxicate the Brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
I’m quoting Alexander Pope in 1709, rightly or wrongly, for hitting the nail on the head when it comes to the truly intoxicating mix of language and technology. A little knowledge is indeed a dangerous thing and it’s something I know I’ve been guilty of all my life… I learn a little something new and now I’m an expert. That is of course until I learn a bit more, and then a little more after that, and before I know it I realise I know nothing at all! Translation technology is great for dropping us all into this trap… Trados user since Trados 5, translator for over 20-years… can handle any type of file. Falling into this trap is pretty easy in fact, especially when the tools available for translation today take a lot of the effort out of the tasks at hand. But not everything is what it seems and sometimes it takes a mistake or three to sober us up again! There’s a reason why well organised and successful translation companies, dealing in all kinds of content, have Project Managers, Translators and Localization Engineers within their midst.
Update Sept 2016: You can find an excellent filetype plugin for JSON files on the SDL AppStore if you don’t want to tackle this yourself.
So what are these file types and how can you handle them with Studio 2014, or even 2009/2011? In this article I’m going to look at the regex filetype as this is very well suited to files like this, but before we get into that detail let’s take a look at what they are. Read More
The AutoSuggest feature in Studio has been around since the launch of Studio 2009 and based on the questions I see from time to time I think it’s a feature that could use a little explanation on what it’s all about. In simple terms it’s a mechanism for prompting you as you type with suggested target text that is based on the source text of the document you are translating. So sometimes it might be a translation of some or all of the text in the source segment, and sometimes it might be providing an easy way to replicate the source text into the target. This is done by you entering a character via the keyboard and then Studio suggests suitable text that can be applied with a single keystroke. In terms of productivity this is a great feature and given how many other translation tools have copied this in one form or another I think it’s clear it really works too!
AutoSuggest comes from a number of different sources, some out of the box with every version of the product, and some requiring a specific license. The ability to create resources for AutoSuggest is also controlled by license for some things, but not for all. When you purchase Studio, any version at all, you have the ability to use the AutoSuggest resources out of the box from three places: Read More
… because the head is listening!
In my last article I wrote about the FIT XXth World Congress in Berlin hosted by the BDÜ, and the idea they had of attempting to elicit questions prior to the event through their Conference Bulletin Board. This was a really great idea because it gives the tool vendors the opportunity to focus their presentations and workshops on the things users really want to know about.
There can be nothing worse, for an experienced user, than turning up to an hours presentation and listening to the same presentation on how to do the basics with a translation tool that you hear every time you make the effort to improve your knowledge.
So the idea of raising questions from people who wish to attend prior to the event is a really good one because not only does it mean the content should be more relevant to the things users really want to know, but it also gives the vendor time to prepare for any really tricky questions that might otherwise have to be taken off line. So I thought I’d use this article to do two things.
- Shamelessly promote a couple of conferences I’m attending this year where there are opportunities to ask questions
- Get some questions!!