After many months of teasers, hints and glimpses, SDL Trados Studio 2014 is finally out! I’ve really enjoyed taking part in the beta testing phase, where a group of keen users work side by side with the developers to try out new features, identify bugs and discuss the changes. There are too many features to cover in a single blog post, so I thought I would look at some that will be useful for beginners here, and then follow up with another post on new features that may interest intermediate and advanced users.
In this post I’ll look at:
- The Ribbon
- Welcome View
- User ID
- Drag and Drop
In my follow-up post I’ll cover:
- OpenExchange apps
- Compatibility with previous versions
- File analysis
- Locked segments
- Display filter
- Getting up to speed
Let’s make a start.
This is big news for beginners. The ribbon sorts everything you need in Studio into tabs. The tabs that are displayed will vary depending which view you’re in. In the Editor View you’ll see tabs called File, Home, Review, Advanced, View, Add-Ins and Help.
It’s much more intuitive than before. Now, when you’re looking for a zoom button, you’ll naturally go to the View Tab and spot the font adaptation icons on the far right. Click on one of the icons to increase or decrease font size, or click the dialog box launcher (little arrow in the bottom right-hand corner, also known as “dinky”) to open up the full options for font adaptation.
With the ribbon it’s almost impossible to get confused between general Studio settings and project-specific settings. To change your general settings, go to File Tab>Options. To change project settings, just click on the huge “Project Settings” icon under the Home Tab. Make sure you’re in the right project by checking the project name at the top of the screen.
The Help Tab is displayed in all Studio views. Not only does it contain the usual help topics (F1) but it also has some excellent links to take you straight to your SDL account, Knowledge Base articles, video tutorials and even to Paul Filkin’s blog. (I do wish it had been labelled “Multifarious” and not just a boring-sounding “Studio Blog”.) Anyway, labels apart, at last no one can complain that SDL’s help is hard to find.
When starting up Studio for the very first time, a complete newbie gets immediate help here. Click on the “Getting Started” tab to access specific video tutorials and learn how to open a single file for translation, set up a new project or get started with Multiterm. If you’re upgrading from Trados 2007, go to the “More Resources” tab and check out the Migration Guide (it’s got an excellent section on working on TTX files in Studio).
Studio now automatically backs up your SDLXLIFF file (the one you see in the Editor view). It’s enabled by default. To disable it or change the saving interval (every 10 minutes by default) go to File Tab>Options>Editor. This is useful to fall back on if your computer crashes unexpectedly.
How can I change my user ID in a Translation Memory? That used to be a common question on user forums. And the answer was, you couldn’t. Studio used to simply apply your Windows username, which wasn’t what I would have chosen to share in a TM. Now, you can set your user ID when you launch Studio the very first time, or later by going to File Tab>Setup>Users.
Drag and drop
You can now simply drag and drop a file into the Studio Editor window to start translating, or add it to an existing project (source file view) using drag and drop. I often have Windows Explorer open on a second monitor, so dragging the file over into a Studio project saves quite a few clicks. If you drop the file into your target file list by mistake, Studio will ask you if you want to add the file to your source file list or keep it for reference.
And, by the way, if you use the old method of clicking “Add files” instead of Drag and Drop and you’re in the target file view by mistake, Studio will now switch to the source file list without even asking. Cool.
If you’ve got past translations in separate source/target files, you can now align them with the new SDL Alignment Tool. From the Welcome View, click the “Align Documents” icon under the Home Tab.
- The tool accepts just about every single file format you can think of.
- It’s fast and easy.
- The output format is a TM ready to use in Studio.
- You can do minor editing afterwards in the TM window.
- You can’t edit it before the alignment is exported so unless your original files are formatted exactly the same, the results may be disappointing. I’m sure it won’t be long before SDL comes up with an editing feature for the alignment tool. In the meantime, I’m using András Farkas’ LF Aligner.
A concordance search is still triggered by highlighting a term in the source or target and clicking F3. But now, concordance is also automatically performed on a whole segment when no matches are found in your TM. This is a great improvement and I’ve found it offers lots of meaningful results.
To copy and paste concordance results, you can easily jump to the concordance search window using Ctrl+Tab. If you use project and main TMs, make sure that “Search both project and main translation memories” is enabled in Project Settings>Language Pairs>Translation Memory and Automated Translation>Search.
I hope this post helps newish users decide whether they want to upgrade to the new Studio 2014 and encourage complete beginners to take the plunge. Stay tuned for the follow-up post on new features for intermediate/advanced users and in the meantime keep track of #Studio2014 on Twitter for other translators’ views.