SDL 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:
- Alignment editor
- DPI awareness
- Customer Experience Improvement Program
- Terminology recognition repetition threshold
- Confirm segment behaviour
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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.)
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- When you work in track change (TC) mode, changes are auto-propagated according to your settings under File tab>Options>Editor>Auto-propagation.
- 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.