New features in Studio 2014 SP1: the good and the bad

SDL Trados Studio SP1: new alignment editorSDL Trados Studio 2014 SP1 has been released this week. The biggest change is an alignment editor to enhance the automatic alignment tool that replaced WinAlign in Studio 2014. This blog post will be an honest report (as always!) of the main new features in the SP1 release:


  1. Alignment editor
  2. DPI awareness
  3. Customer Experience Improvement Program
  4. Terminology recognition repetition threshold
  5. Confirm segment behaviour
  6. Auto-propagation with track changes

1. Alignment editor

This is big news. Studio will now align your bilingual resources and then open the aligned file in the alignment editor for fine-tuning by hand.

It sounds simple: disconnect a mismatching segment, then click in the number column and drag your mouse to create the new connection.

You can also use the “Alignment Edit Mode” button to connect up to 3 segments on one side with 1 or 2 on the other. The check boxes are useful in this mode.

Good news

  • Editing possibilities are now very versatile: you can edit in the alignment window (this should be your place of choice), but you can also save as an .sdlxliff file and edit in the Editor window, or save as a TM and edit in the Translation Memories window. See screenshot below for these saving options.
  • Automatic alignment is very, very fast.
  • Segmentation rules work well because they’re taken from your own TM.
  • If the alignment result is poor, disconnect all segments (Disconnect All), pick a few key segments to align by hand, and then click Realign. This is a life saver.
  • You can merge segments by connecting several segments at once.

Alignment ribbon in SDL Trados Studio 2014 SP1

Bad news

  • Fine-tuning the connections isn’t intuitive. It took me quite a time to get familiar with the alignment buttons, actions and editing modes. After practising with several documents, I still feel it’s taking too long to get the job done.
  • The segment columns have separate scroll behaviour and they’re hard to control. They have a mind of their own.
  • No split segment feature.

My take on the new alignment editor? It’s still a bit rough around the edges.

Note: You can still drop files into the alignment wizard and perform an automatic alignment. To do this, select the “Align multiple files” option and disable “Save alignment result for later review”. The result is an .sdltm translation memory that can be added immediately to a translation project.

2. DPI awareness

Good news

  • Studio 2014 is now a DPI-aware app.
  • Fonts don’t look blurry when you increase Windows scaling (In Windows Explorer: Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Display).
  • Studio icons and the ribbon are very clear when you switch from one monitor to another.
  • I don’t know if this is related, but the Windows Magnifier now works in the ribbon too.



Bad news

  • Windows scaling above 100% still cuts off displayed text in some windows and dialog boxes.

3. Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP)

While this isn’t an exciting new feature for users, SDL now has a system to collect information on how we use Studio. Many programs have a similar feedback system in place and I think it’s a good idea if it helps improve the software. Of course, you have to give your permission first. To enable or disable the CEIP, go to Help tab>Customer Feedback. I find it strange that there’s such a long list of the things SDL won’t collect, and actually no details about what it will do.

SDL Customer Experience Improvement Program

4. Terminology recognition repetition threshold

When you move to a new segment in the Editor, Studio highlights terms found in your termbase. (This is old hat.)

Good news

  • By default it now ignores terms that are repeated more than nine times in that segment, which stops common words such as “the” and “to” from being looked up. You can still customise this threshold value within a range of 2 to 20 by going to File tab>Options>Language Pairs>All Language Pairs>Termbases>Search Settings.

Termbase repetition threshold

4. Confirm segment behaviour

Confirm segment options have been expanded and now include “Confirm but do not move to next segment”. This is self-explanatory.

Good news

  • Useful for people who like to hop around the document while they’re translating. (Yes, I’ve met people who do.)
  • You can now keep an eye on locked segments that would otherwise be skipped.

5. Auto-propagation with track changes

Auto-propagation (AP) used to be disabled with track changes, but now the two almost work well together.

Good news

  • When you work in track change (TC) mode, changes are auto-propagated according to your settings under File tab>Options>Editor>Auto-propagation.

Bad news

  • When you accept or reject changes, you can’t rely on AP working. Specifically, rejecting deletions and accepting additions fail in auto-propagated segments (this is essentially when the segment returns to its original state). Until this is fixed, I recommend using auto-propagation for reviewing in TC mode, but switching it off if, for example, you’re running through TCs and accepting or rejecting them.

More features in SP1 include:

  • New embedded content processors for handling XML files (read Sébastien Desautel’s post for more details)
  • New BeGlobal Enterpise location settings
  • New subfolder connection feature for GroupShare servers

For more details about these features, check out the Release Notes for Studio 2014 SP1.

SP1 is a free update for Studio 2014 users. Close Studio (you don’t have to uninstall it or return the licence). Download SP1 from your SDL account and install it. All in all, it’s worth updating, but I’m sure SDL will be working hard on its cumulative updates.


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19 Responses to New features in Studio 2014 SP1: the good and the bad

  1. Thank you, Emma. I was wondering whether to update and thanks to you, I’ve decided I will. You’re generous, helpful and a real friend to any translator.

  2. Ahmad says:

    Thanks so much 🙂

  3. Philip Madsen says:

    Would you be kind enough to upload the update package to Dropbox or the like, as it seems I cannot download it, for some strange reason…? Would be much appreciate by a fellow translator.

  4. I haven’t been able to download it either, Philip. Any attempt to do so sends me to my account page and there’s nowhere to go from there. I’ve filled out a support ticket for that problem and will post the reply if Emma doesn’t do so first.

    • Hi Philip and Margarita,
      Sorry to hear you’re having problems with the download. It should be available in My Account>Downloads section>”SP1 now available” in red inside the Studio 2014 item. If it’s not, then SDL may still be updating everyone’s accounts.
      If the download itself is not working, then I agree with Margarita that filling in a support ticket is the way to go.
      Hope you get it sorted soon!

      • Philip Madsen says:

        Could you please upload your update package to Dropbox…? I would really appreciate this!

        • Hi Philip,
          It must be frustrating, Philip, but please follow the advice I gave in my previous reply. I wouldn’t feel happy sharing program files on Dropbox.
          I hope that’s OK,

      • Hooray! I found it! You were probably right, Emma; they must have been updating the accounts. It was under the upgrade from Trados Studio 2011 to Trados Studio 2014. Yours will probably show up soon, Philip.

  5. Nicholas X says:

    Thanks for all your helpful comments. I ran SP1 this morning (noticing that the update incudes Java). As usual with Trados there was a major problem after updating – termbase no longer worked – a message said that the Java version was too old with the request to update Java. Even after clicking the prompt to update Java I still can’t use termbase. Time wasted at least 1 hour so fat

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  7. Carmen says:

    I just updated to SP1 and I am completely blocked because the list of available languages is empty!! I tried to contact support but with no success…does anyone has any idea about what to do?

    Best regards,


    • Hi Carmen,
      I haven’t met this before, but I’d try doing this:

      Close Studio and then delete these 3 files:
      – BaseSettings.xml
      – plugincache.xml
      – UserSettings.xml

      from this folder:
      C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\SDL\SDL Trados Studio\

      The files will be recreated when you reopen Studio.
      If that doesn’t work, then try to repair Studio from your Control Panel.
      And if that doesn’t work, then you’ll have to wait for SDL to contact you. The best way to get support is to go through the Knowledge Base:
      – Go to
      – Click the Solution Finder tab
      – Expand “Download and Installation problems” and continue until you come to a form you can fill in (if you don’t see the form, try with another browser).


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  9. Saulius says:

    Terminology recognition became hard to use, because terms in SP1 Editor are presented not in the order they appear in the segment, but in the rather unpredictable order. Also the rate of unrecognized terms is higher than in Studio 2014, despite they are in the termbase. Therm that differ by one letter is not recognized, but three letters of 10 letters word are marked as recognized term.

    • I agree, Saulius, that term recognition is irrational at times since SP1. I get red brackets over a single term inside bigger brackets of longer terms, and this didn’t happen pre-SP1. Let’s hope it’s sorted soon.

  10. Hi everyone,

    Comments on this post are now closed. If you need help with Studio issues, I recommend the Studio User group on Yahoo Groups or the SDL Trados support forum on ProZ.

    If you’d like my advice about solving specific Studio issues or personal guidance as you start out with Studio, please click the contact tab above to arrange a consultancy session.


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