In this follow-up to last week’s post on SDL Trados Studio 2014: new features for beginners, I’m going to look at details that may be useful for people who already know their way around Studio. Again, there’s lots to talk about, so I’ll concentrate on the following topics:
- OpenExchange apps
- Compatibility with previous versions
- File analysis
- Locked segments
- Display filter
- Getting up to speed
You can now launch OpenExchange apps directly from Studio. Cool. I used to keep a bunch of these apps on my desktop and had to search for the right one each time. Now, I just go to the Studio Welcome View, and the left-hand menu lists all the apps that can be launched with a single click. There’s also a link to the OpenExchange App Store right there.
And, if you use the new Menu Maker app, you can even customise the list of apps in the Welcome view.
Compatibility with previous versions
Studio 2011 and 2014 use the same project and package formats. So the transition when you upgrade will be smoother than between 2009 and 2011 (where projects are only compatible if you select the right option in advance). If you work with Trados 2007 buffs who want your TM returned with field values and all, you can now export your studio TM to TMX and carry over your text fields and attributes. To do this, select “Export to Workbench-optimized TMX format for use in Trados 2007” in the TMX export wizard.
You can now do a quick analysis on a new file by simply opening it in Studio (Welcome View>Translate Single Document). Studio saves it in the background so that batch tasks are immediately available. And while I’m on the subject of analysing files, you can now report locked segments separately in the analysis.
There are three improvements in this area.
- If you work with those terrible agencies that don’t pay you to translate 100% matches, you can now lock them in the pre-translation task to make sure you don’t go near them. It’s not just agencies that benefit from this. I’ve just set up a project that has 75,000 words in 100% matches from a previous job I did. By locking these segments during “pre-translate” I can just concentrate on the remaining 5,000 words that I’ve got left to do.
- In the Editor View, you can now set the status of a group of adjacent segments as locked or unlocked even if they have a mixture of locked/unlocked segments inside them. Select the segments and toggle between the two using Ctrl+L.
- When you’re translating, after confirming a segment, Studio now skips locked segments and goes to the next unlocked segment. Just a minor detail, but it speeds up your work!
The display filter is located under the Review Tab in the ribbon. It has been expanded in Studio 2014 and the old “duplicate” filter has been replaced with a “repetitions” filter. This is excellent for checking that auto-propagation has been performed correctly (yes, AP does get hiccups sometimes). If you’re using the “case sensitive” options, right now Studio can’t cope with a search that starts with an uppercase letter. It gets switched to lowercase. The workaround until this is corrected is to type any letter, then your real search in uppercase and then delete the prefixed letter.
Keep an eye on the current filter down in the status bar at the bottom of the screen and double click the icon to call up the filter display in the ribbon. It’s nice to have these details on permanent display down here:
If you’re translating a segment you can easily switch the focus to the filter display by clicking Ctrl+F6. Reset the filter by using Ctrl+Alt+F6. Those two shortcuts are brilliant!
The comments feature has at last been brought back after disappearing a year ago. And it has returned bigger and better! You can choose to “Retain Studio target comments in target file” under File Tab>Options>File Types>Microsoft Word 2007-2013>Common. Don’t miss the useful feature immediately above this option, where you can choose whether to import Word comments into Studio as translatable text or as Studio comments. Nice!
Getting up to speed
In Studio 2014 I’ve noticed improved speed in these areas:
- Batch processing. The progress bar no longer falls asleep at 95% when I add a file to a project.
- Opening TTX files
- Saving SDLXLIFF files in general
- And a different sort of speed improvement: To access general Studio settings, simply press Alt+F followed by T. Couldn’t be faster!
In addition to the old feature of merging files together when you create a new project, Studio 2014 now lets you merge any files together on the fly in a virtual way, with all the advantages that this brings in terms of auto-propagation, spell-checking, etc. The other day I wanted to change something in a set of files I’d translated, but I couldn’t remember which file it was in. I opened them all with QuickMerge and found it immediately with Ctrl+F.
How do you perform QuickMerge? Simply select a group of files in the target file view and press Enter to open them as a single “virtually” merged file.
A few useful tricks to know when you’re using QuickMerge:
- If you select a group of adjacent files using the shift key, Studio will merge them in the order they appear in the files list.
- To specify the order the files are merged in, select each file from the list using Ctrl + left mouse click and Studio will open them in the order that you selected them.
- If you have a lot of files and want to shuffle them around first, then programs such as Bulk Rename will let you re-order your file list, prefix an incremental number to each filename, [translate in Studio with QuickMerge] and then remove the prefix, as explained in more detail by Paul Filkin in his blog post on Advanced Renamer and … QuickMerge.
- To open several files at a time, unmerged and under separate tabs, just select the files and click Ctrl+Enter.
- Segment numbering restarts at the beginning of each file, so if you’re searching, say, for segment 20 using GoTo (Ctrl+G), you can jump between the different no. 20s by using Previous and Next (Ctrl+J).
- In the Editor view you can easily see where one file ends and the next one starts in the navigation pane on the left. Click a file name there if you want to jump to the same file in your translation.
One last point about QuickMerge: you can’t use it to merge several files for external review. They’re only “virtually” merged after all, and would fall apart on their way over to Word.
I was going to add a final comment about the new Studio 2014 Ribbon for advanced users, but there’s such a lot to say that I’ll save it for another post. Don’t miss it!