SDL Trados Studio 2011 SP2: Updated release

SDL has just released an update to Studio 2011 SP2. There are several features worth mentioning and a couple of things to be aware of.

Replace function using regular expressions

You can now use regular expressions (Regex) in Find&Replace. Note that unlike replacing in Word, where you would use \ as the back reference, Studio works with the .NET flavour of Regex, which means you have to use $ as the replace syntax.

I use Regex to change the euro symbol from the end of some figures to the start, because in Spanish, prices are usually written X € whereas in English they should be localised to €X.  I have already customised Studio to localise the thousand separator from a period to a comma, so now I only need to change the position of the € sign.

For example, to change 4,000 € to €4,000:
Enter this in the Find box:
(\d+)(\,)(\d+) (€)
And this in the Replace box:

d = Any digit
+ = Matches the previous element one or more times.
$ = Replace syntax in NET

I also used Regex in Find&Replace the other day to add a 0 in front of the decimal point of a long list of numbers where it was missing.
I entered this in the Find box:
And this in the Replace box:

d = Any digit
^ = Start of a line or string
{x} = x repetitions of the previous element

Click to enlarge the screenshot

Centre active row in the Editor

This new feature brings the active segment to the middle of your screen. You can enable it in Tools>Options>Editor. Lots of translators have asked for this user enhancement, but to be honest I find it a bit off-putting for my active segment to jump to the middle of the Editor window when I’m about to translate a sentence. There’s good feedback on it but I’m not convinced, so I’ve gone back to working without this option enabled.

Double-click a project

If you double click a project in the Project View, you now go straight to the Files view. And when you close the last file in the Editor Window, you’ll switch straight back to the Files view. These are little improvements that save you quite a few clicks in a day’s work.

Display Filter History

When you perform several searches using the Display Filter feature, Studio will now keep a record of the 20 most recent ones. That’s great if you’re experimenting with Regex and need to find what you last entered. Searches that match the first characters you type will pop up in a list.

Bugs solved:

Three important bugs have been solved, among many others:

  • Some segments were auto-propagated at 100% with missing tags in the first instance, and this has been solved.
  • Language variants have been sorted out so that there are no error messages when importing files with different language flavours into a Translation Memory.
  • Opening, processing and saving SDLXLIFF files is generally faster.

Retain Comments in Translated File: Faded into oblivion

For me there is one big drawback right now. SP2 saw the introduction of transferring comments added in Studio to the target .docx file. This was a great improvement for me, but I’m disappointed that this has been disabled in the latest SP2 update. I’ve been told that this is temporary and that the feature will be restored quite soon, which is why the option is still there (but greyed out) when you go to Tools>Options>File Types>Microsoft Word 2007-2010>Common>Retain Comments in Translated File.

Retain comments

In fact, I found this new feature so useful in SP2 that I’m going to reinstall the original SP2 release until “Retain Comments” returns. I’ll post an update here when I hear it’s back.

By the way, if anyone would like to buy the Regex mug pictured above, you can get it at I’m going to put it on my wish list.

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23 Responses to SDL Trados Studio 2011 SP2: Updated release

  1. paulfilkin says:

    Nice summary Emma… interesting that you find the ability to add comments that appear in a target doc more useful than the regex… which you are clearly enjoying. Doesn’t the export for external review work better for you as you can import the comments back as well?

    • Thanks for dropping by, Paul. Well, I’ve got to toss up right now between Regex in F&R and comments in the target doc… and the comments have won. Export for external review is great in some situations, but not when I want to make comments to the final client in a clean file.

  2. Anna Kuzminsky says:

    Hi Emma – again – great blog! And your regex examples are very informative (I have not really played with it before, but you inspired me to try some!) However I do not agree with you regarding the function for centering the active row. I really like it, though it took me a bit of time to get used to the “jumping” Many of the files I translate and the custom layout that I like very often had the effect of half of the segment not showing, so it is working for me!

  3. Paul, it’s no surprise to me that she found comments in the target file useful. Atril has offered that for some time in DVX, and it’s very helpful. Good to see you’ve added centering of the active row – this is one of my favorite features, switched off in memoQ only when I’m using a preview below the working grid.

    Nice examples, Emma. Now WHERE do I get one of those regex mugs?!

    • You’re right, Kevin. Retaining comments in the target file is a very useful feature. Not being able to do so gave me nearly an hour of extra work in a project I did yesterday.

      The regex mug is creating quite a bit of interest. I see there have been 18 clicks through to the Zazzle link at the bottom of my post. Were you one of them?!

      • I missed the mug link before, Emma, but I clicked through now. Thanks for the tip!

        It really baffles me why a great feature like the comments would be turned off. I would almost expect that for source text editing, which was grudgingly implemented, after which some at SDL still tried to explain why it was a bad idea and we didn’t need it. This demonstrates a clear lack of understanding of the real workflows many of us face.

      • paulfilkin says:

        Hi Kevin, I wouldn’t say a lack of understanding. This feature was unfinished in that you could not turn off the comments being exported. There are still more exciting things to do as part of this overall reviewing workflow that will be released in due course, but as we had more people complaining about not being able to turn the feature off than people singing its praises the decision was made to temporarily disable it. I guess it’s part of the problem we get when people complain about the things they don’t like more than they sing praises for the things they do like (present company excepted of course..!).

      • Hm… looks like we’ve reached the final depth of replies. I hope this ends up in the right place.

        Paul, before I say anything else, I do want to say that right now SDL has done the best job of any tools vendor in implementing the practical details of some of the review workflows that are most important to me. Certainly not perfect nor as innovative as some of the rather unfinished approaches I see from Kilgray in this regard, but they follow familiar paradigms and actually work. The more all of you can borrow each others’ best approaches and combine them, the happier we mere mortal users will be.

        I suppose I understand why you might turn off that feature for now, but it’s really a very small thing to delete all comments in a document. I would rather have that inconvenience than miss out on the ability to have those comments in the target document. Despite the fact that I would have to clean up 80% of my target documents. Comment inclusion in the target is very high on my wish list for your competitors, and I hope you and your team continue to keep them running to catch up as you and others add more practical review functions.

      • paulfilkin says:

        Hi Kevin,
        Of course you’re right… it is very simple to delete the comments and you could always keep two copies of the sdlxliff… one with comments and one without… easy with a filebased system like this. But I guess there were considerations relating to management of the code branches along with the complaints that made the engineering decision what it is. Shouldn’t be too long before it’s back… and better.

  4. Hi Emma, I so wish I’d read this before installing the update yesterday. I’ve also found that exporting comments has been the best new feature. I’m with you – I’ll uninstall as soon as I get a free moment, and reinstall the original SP2. Do you have any tips on the best way to do this (as I haven’t had to uninstall a Studio update before)?

  5. Hi Jayne. If you still have the .exe file saved on your machine from the original SP2 version, you can roll back like this: Close Studio, uninstall it through Control Panel (SDL Trados 2011… Remove Suite of Products) and then reinstall the old version. You don’t need to return your licence as you’re not changing your machine or hard disk format in any way. You’ll find that the “retain comments” feature is still greyed out in the old SP2 but it actually works.

    In general, I’d recommend people to stay with the new release and enjoy its new features (especially Regex F&R!) and we’ll all look forward to getting back the comments feature in due course plus the “exciting things” Paul mentions in his reply to Kevin.
    All the best,

  6. Thanks Emma, I’ll probably roll back as soon as I get a moment to do so. I’ve been including more comments in documents because of the ease of export, and my clients have noticed and thanked me for it. It’s an excellent feature and I’m very keen to get it back. As Kevin says, it’s easy to delete unwanted comments, but much more time-consuming to add them back in.

  7. Pingback: SDL Trados Studio 2011 SP2: Updated release | Signs & Symptoms ... | Translation Memory |

  8. Robert Bevington says:

    Thanks Emma, for once more delivering a great write-up on this new version. Just the right amount of details. However, it gets me thinking. Aren’t we doing SDL’s job for them by explaining what’s new in SP2. I got a mail telling me there was an update, but it was by no way as informative as your write-up. You should be on their pay roll 🙂 Keep the good work up.


    • Thanks for your kind words, Robert! To be honest, there were lots of useful links in the SDL email, and in fact I based much of this blog post on information available on the SDL website. Still, I agree that it’s interesting for people to read about “real” translators’ experience at first hand, and as you say, we’re not getting paid, so there’s no chance of bias.
      Thanks again for your comment,

  9. Alexa Dubreuil-Storer says:

    Hi Emma
    FYI the “retain comments in translated file” option seems to be back – apparently it was brought back in one of the recent cumulative update (October 2013). My version is Studio Trados Studio 2011 SP2R – 10.4.3109.2 and the latest update I downloaded was “Cumulative update 12 (released on 23 October 2013)” (

    Now Paul, if you read this, can you tell us if there are any plans in the future to allow users whether to enable or disable this option? Why is this option greyed out? I was happy when it was removed because, among other reasons, retaining the comments disrupts my two spell checking tools, Antidote and Prolexis, which I run in the translated files. To manage my comments I prefer using the External Review feature. Thank you.


    • Hi, Alexa, thanks for the news about CU12 for Studio 2011. However, if you say the “retain comments” feature is still greyed out, then I don’t understand why you think it has been brought back? It sounds as if things haven’t changed on that front at all.

      That said, I’m now on Studio 2014 and delighted to be using the “retain comments” feature and all the other new things that 2014 has brought.

      • Alexa Dubreuil-Storer says:

        Hi Emma
        Things have definitely changed. The “retain comments” feature is greyed out AND enabled. Previously it was greyed out AND disabled. When I say “greyed out” I mean that it’s not possible to change this setting. The other reason why I think it has been brought back is very simple: when I open my translated file, I see my comments (just like with external review documents) – this wasn’t the case before CU12.

        I haven’t moved to Studio 2014 yet but maybe you can tell me something: is it possible in Studio 2014 to choose whether to enable/disable such comments in the translated file?

        • That’s interesting, Alexa. I’d have thought that it’s good news that it’s greyed out and enabled, because then surely you can simply “delete all comments” in Word if you don’t want them?
          Yes, there’s full functionality in Studio 2014. You can definitely enable/disable target file comments there.

  10. Alexa Dubreuil-Storer says:

    Hi Emma. I guess translators have different needs and preferences, depending on the language combinations, tools they use etc. If you would like to understand why this is option is not convenient for me, you can read the post which I have just published on this 2012 thread:

    At least it’s good news that Studio 2014 offers more flexibility.

  11. Erika says:

    Great post, thanks!
    Does anyone know if the display filter history can be cleared?

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