SDL Trados Studio and Déjà Vu: side by side

DVX3_studio iconsAfter reading my Studio 2014 and memoQ side-by-side comparison last year, David Turner (the developer behind CodeZapper and a keen Déjà Vu user) kindly offered to add a column for DVX3. Unfortunately, 3-column tables in are quite unwieldy so we decided to write a separate post to compare Studio 2014 and DVX3. I couldn’t resist the temptation to download a demo of DVX3 to find out more, and ended up buying a license. Yes, the first difference is in the price. The list prices for Studio and DVX3 are €695 and €420, respectively.


There are huge similarities between the two programs (look back at the Studio 2014/memoQ post to see the features that all CAT tools should have). The table below shows the differences we’ve found, with David’s comments about Déjà Vu on the right and mine about Studio on the left.


  • Studio 2014 has a ribbon, giving the whole interface a familiar feel to new users, with ribbon tabs emulating Office programs (home, view, advanced, etc.). Its Quick Access Toolbar isn’t customisable (yet).
  • The Editor window only displays segments side by side, not above-below.


  • DVX3 has a customizable ribbon with tabs similar to MS Office programs (File, Home, Project, Lexicon, Insert, View and Review). It has a customizable Quick Access Toolbar.
  • No full above-below view, but the active segment can be displayed and edited source above target.
  • You can display multiple views horizontally or vertically using the SmartView feature.
  • AutoSearch results can be split into convenient segment and portion views.
Word processing
  • AutoCorrect has been repeatedly requested on the SDL Ideas site, but is still missing in Studio.
  • Basic formatting is handled through tags and Word-like commands that work in a rather quirky way. You can set the display to WYSIWYG and hide these tags.
  • DVX3 has AutoCorrect and AutoText features similar to Microsoft Word’s and from which you can import entries, but it doesn’t autocorrect tHIS or THis.
  • Basic formatting (bold, italics, etc.) is simple because you can use all the Word shortcuts, exactly the same way as in Word. This leads to fewer tags in the source.
Filtering, Find&Replace and Autopropagation
  • Studio’s search engine is based on regular expressions, so you can filter wider ranges of strings, such as segments containing certain number formats, or words spelt in two different ways.
  • You can’t search in source and target simultaneously, or perform a filter within a filter.
  • Find&Replace is a powerful tool when combined with regular expressions.
  • Replace operations automatically make segment status switch to draft, but there’s no report on number of replacements made.
  • DVX3 lets you filter strings in the source and target segments at the same time.
  • SQL statements offer powerful filtering and even without SQL you can perform a filter within a filter.
  • After performing a Replace operation, the segments remain confirmed, which is confusing. Also, it’s hard to locate these changed segments. A new “edit” status is definitely required. However, DVX3 does report the number of replacements made.
  • You can’t autopropagate to confirmed segments, but you can choose to autopropagate to all files in a project, and there are Fuzzy Propagation options.
User friendliness
  • First-time Studio users can get help under the “Get Started” tab in the Welcome view, where there are videos and PDF guides.
  • Experienced users can find out what’s new in the same view.
  • The “New” heading under the “File” tab is extremely comprehensive and “Open” has a useful list of recent project files, translation memories and termbases.
  • Help documentation is out of date and only refers to the old DVX2 version.
  • When adding files, there’s no file drag and drop option and the dialog box is pre-Win7 (no favourites in left margin). You can, however, drag and drop files or whole folders into the advanced project explorer.
  • Out of the box, Studio 2014 lets you merge selected or all files on the fly and in a customised order.
  • In the Editor you can jump to another file in the selected view simply by clicking the filename.
  • You can only merge neighbouring segments in the Editor if there is no hard return between them.
  • DVX3’s default view is the All files project view. You can open all files in one view and/or as individual files. No need to close one or the other first.
  • You can only open a selection of files as a single view using an SQL statement.
  • In the all file view you can’t easily navigate to a specific file.
  • Merging neighbouring segments works on all segments with some filters (Office, PDF, etc.). Some filters don’t allow merging.
Working with projects
  • The Editor window in Studio lets you open several projects at once, under different tabs. This is useful if you’re working on one project, and have to make a quick change to another.
  • In the Analyze batch task, you can customise fuzzy match bands, select one, several or all files for analysis, and report locked segments separately.
  • You can open unlimited/multiple instances of DVX3 to work on several projects at once, including different projects that use the same resources (TM, TB, etc.).
  • In the Analyze function, you can’t adjust fuzzy match bands or select specific files to analyse. It is possible, however, to use the Divide & Dispatch feature in the Workgroup version to create more specific analyses of specific file groups and adjust weighing percentages for the standard fuzzy match bands.
Translation Memory management
  • You can only scroll through 200 units at a time in the TM editor window.
  • TMs aren’t multilingual and you can’t reverse language direction (except with an OpenExchange app).
  • You can’t easily display the end of a TM (where the latest segments are stored) unless you set up a filter.
  • Filters are a little tricky to set up.
  • Duplicates are displayed one at a time, not in a long list.
  • DVX3 TMs are multilingual and multidirectional. You can switch source and target, scroll through from start to finish and filter in either direction.
  • You can merge two identical source segments with translations in different languages.
  • The TM interface allows TMs to be sorted alphabetically.
  • You need to understand SQL statements to set up most filters.
  • It’s easy to add a new segment in the TM window.
  • Duplicates are displayed in a list and are easy to delete. The Consolidate feature allows automated deletion of segments, taking client and subject differences into account.
  • Only one target segment is ever displayed at a time in the TM window.
Track changes
  • Studio handles source files with track changes in native Word format.
  • It saves target track changes in the final formatted Word file.
  • These two features combined make Studio compliant with regulated industry requirements.
  • DVX3 does not yet have a track changes function.
  • Terminology extraction is only available as a separate program.
  • Termbase creation is only easy if you use the Glossary Converter app.
  • Use of forbidden terms can be flagged in QA, but you need to set them up in MultiTerm first.
  • Lexicons extract project-specific terminology and can be built on during the translation process. They take priority over TB and TM entries.
  • Termbase creation is simple.
  • Terms can’t be labelled as forbidden, and flagged in QA
Subsegment suggestions / autosuggest / concordance
  • Studio builds autosuggest dictionaries from translation memories (with at least 10,000 segments). Unfortunately, the dictionary creation tool is an optional extra in the Studio Freelance edition.
  • AutoSuggest (equivalent of AutoWrite) is based on TBs, A/S dictionaries and AutoText lists. The combination makes typing much faster.
  • Full customisation of AutoSuggest (order of resources, minimum characters needed, maximum number of suggestions) means that autosuggest offers relevant suggestions, and virtually no noise.
  • Automatic concordance kicks in when no matches are returned in the TM.
  • AutoWrite (equivalent of Autosuggest) works directly with existing databases: there’s no need to build or prepare dictionaries.
  • It’s interactive and refines its predictive proposals instantaneously as you type, using entries from the Lexicon, TB, TM, DeepMiner and MT. Preference is cleverly given according to occurrences in the current project, by client match, age of record, etc.
  • You can’t customise number of suggestions or number of characters.
  • Scan (equivalent of Concordance) pops up in a separate window, which blocks the main view.
  • You can’t edit the grid when the Scan window is open.
  • There’s no Scan option for target segments.
  • For translators, Studio’s OpenExchange is a great way to have access to lots of features that would overcrowd the core product if they were all packed in there. KISS (Keep It Simple Strategy) works with the OE.
  • For third party developers, the OpenExchange provides access through an API to add customised features.
  • Not applicable to DVX3 although some of the features available through Open Exchange are already built-in.
  • The Workgroup version API can be customized but it’s not well documented.

Why I’ll be sticking with Studio

After trying out DVX3 for a few weeks, I’ll be going back to Studio, because I like the level of customisation it offers (tag display options, autosuggest and autopropagation options, etc.). In DVX3 I’ve missed the progress bar showing a word count, and clearly marked segment numbers. I’ve also missed Xbench integration.

I think the deep mining in DVX3 is an exciting new feature, but this, together fuzzy match repairs and auto-assemble options, lead to a lot of noise and extra post-editing.

I’d love to be able to merge across ALL segments in Studio and have proper word processing features. But I’ll stick with Studio because I need to use track changes sometimes, and I like its compatibility with other tools’ filetypes.

Also, contrary to other users’ reports, I find Studio very stable, while DVX3 crashed on me several times in just a few weeks, and threw up entirely black segments and white file names at times. At the end of the day, reliability counts.

Why David will be sticking with DVX3

I wouldn’t change DVX3 for Studio as I would miss its ability to work seamlessly on a number of files in the same project and its powerful sorting and filtering possibilities.

I would also find it hard to do without DV’s unique project-specific Lexicon which is one of its best features, and also AutoWrite which, despite its lack of settings or options, still seems to me to be better than anything else on offer. It just works.

DeepMiner can also do wonders in repairing fuzzy matches.

The new Live filter is also a real pleasure to work with: large files are imported in seconds rather than minutes, bold and other inline formatting can be added at a keystroke and the grid is virtually tag free. The real-time preview also works across all Office, PDF and IDML files in the project.

It also seems to be very stable and quick to start and load projects. I like its small download size and its clean, frill-free lines which maximize screen space.

The Verdict

The jury is out. Have your say in the comments below, or download and test Studio 2014 or DVX3 for yourself.

D TurnerDavid Turner is a French/Spanish to English freelance translator based in the Paris area with more than 25 years’ experience, specialised in the aerospace, defence, naval, energy, transport, environment, information and communication fields, experienced user of various CAT tools and developer of the CodeZapper, PhraseMiner and FormatFixer macro sets.

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51 Responses to SDL Trados Studio and Déjà Vu: side by side

  1. Pingback: SDL Trados Studio and memoQ: side by side | Signs & Symptoms of Translation

  2. paulfilkin says:

    Nice analysis Emma, and David! You’re becoming the goto person on all things CAT tools!! The only comment I’d make really is on the OpenExchange. This is because many users comment on this as though it’s a finite number of apps that add a few features to the tool. In reality this is just the tip of the iceberg and in my opinion there is no tool that even comes close to providing the capability that is available for anyone with a Studio license at no additional costs from SDL at all.

  3. A very nice summary Emma and David.

    I support your decisions to stay with the environment you know best.

    As experienced users that took the time (and hassle) to learn the ins and outs of what the translation environment of choice offers and to develop efficient workflows, it makes most sense to stick with it (unless you are unhappy with it of course, but this is not the case here).
    All translation environments offer the same basic — and even more advanced — functionality, and the minor, almost anecdotal even, differences usually have the biggest impact.

    There is no such thing as a better tool — the definition of better is subjective and depends on needs and preferences — and I think you did an excellent job of emphasizing this in the way you covered the differences and presented your respective reasoning.

    I would love to revisit Déjà vu when I’ll get a chance, some points in the table above made me a little curious.

  4. Jason Willis-Lee says:

    Thanks for the post Emma and David! I used to be a die-hard DVX fan, indeed I cut my translator teeth on this tool and was in regular contact with Atril for a number of years. I gradually started using it less and less, mainly I think because I found the codes increasingly bothersome. I imagine this problem has cleared up now. Still very happy with Studio and did not even install DVX , for which I still have a licence, on a two new machines recently. I agree with Paul, very technical analysis of two commonly used tools in the industry.

  5. mariosphere says:

    I was surprised that Cosnautas tweeted about this side-by-side comparison. I wish the analysis had been a bit more elaborate on the terminology side. For example (as a user of both SDL Trados and Deja Vu X3), using MultiTerm coupled with SDL Trados is an added complication, although they finally got rid of Java, which was consuming more cycles.

    Why an added complication? In DVX3, I use F11 to add a new term on the fly (but, admittedly, only on the project’s window, not while perusing a TM), whereas I have to use CTRL+Shift+F2 to add AND save a new term on the fly. The Glossary Converter app, which I have but I haven’t used, is another set of steps to be added to my workflow, so, no thanks.

    Another wrinkle in the SDL Trados/MultiTerm pair: the creation of terminology databases has to be done first in MultiTerm, either by importing a termbase or by setting it up. Again, more steps to perform before getting to brass tacks in SDL Trados. Conversely, I can set up a terminology database right there in DVX3 (well, in any version of Deja Vu, really) while working on my project.

    In short, David is too modest with the terminology advantages of DVX3. Come on, David!

    As for Autopropagate, I wasn’t aware that confirmed segments are ignored in DVX3. Something to fix, Atril.

    About Emma’s argument about a lot of noise with the Deepmining’s Repair option, I can only guess that it might be because of too many options appearing in the context menu (I’ve seen it happen). It depends on whether you’re using too many TMs or if you segregate TMs per client or project. I would also like to see options for Autocorrect or Repair implemented in future versions. Right now, however, DVX3’s Repair option kicks the arse of every other competitor.

    David’s point about the dialog box being pre-Windows 7 is so true. So are other boxes in DVX3: no resizing corners, no favorites, typeface is too small even when I set my Windows 7 system to 125%. Oh, and the Options layout shows many descenders truncated, like the g and p instances in phrases. That display snafu is simply unacceptable and is detrimental to user friendliness.

    Another excellent point brought up: DVX3’s documentation is awfully incomplete and at times obsolete. Atril needs to put together a serious team of technical writers to remedy this. And the Segmentation panel needs a new metaphor: get rid of those carets, Ws and $s. I don’t understand them.

    • Thanks for adding to the discussion, Mariosphere. A couple of comments about your points on Studio terminology.
      1. It’s very easy to customise the “add term” shortcut. You can change it from Ctrl+Shift+F2 to F11 if you like. It automatically saves the term, by the way.
      2. The Glossary Plug-in lets you create a new project termbase directly in Studio in two clicks: Alt+F8, Enter. No need to open MultiTerm at all.

      Surprised that Cosnautas tweeted about this side-by-side comparison? Not really. I share Cosnautas’ news, too. It’s an excellent resource for Sp-En medical translators.

    • David Turner says:

      Not sure whether I was being too modest about DVX3’s terminology advantages or not but my aim was to be as fair and objective as possible in pointing out the tool’s strengths and weaknesses in a calm, measured tone without the usual swipes and back-biting these conversations often seem to end in. I thought Emma’s column provided a very fair, honest assessment of Studio and I was impressed by how quickly she learnt DVX3 and mastered many of its advanced features.

      • Michelle says:

        I have been using DV2 and all other incarnations since 1998. The late Emilio Benito used to tell us that the most useful feature of DV was the Terminology Database, and that we should keep adding to it with every segment translated. Well, after all those years, I still add many terms to my TDBs every day. Together, the TDB and the Lexicon (which is specific to a project) are making my life and my work so much easier!

        • Excellent point, Michelle, about the importance of terminology and growing your termbase with every segment (or at least every day). Termbases are probably one of the most underused features of all CAT tools.

  6. Pingback: (CAT) – SDL Trados Studio & Déjà Vu: side by side | Emma Goldsmith | Glossarissimo!

  7. mariosphere says:

    Thanks, Emma. I was surprised because Cosnautas usually sticks to medicine bits of advice. I also follow them.

    Shai, I agree that there’s no such thing as a better tool (objectively speaking, that is). However, it all depends on one’s workflow to translate, and I mean “workflow” in the broadest sense.

    What I think to be important to convey to up-and-coming translators and translation students is not to get too attached to one or the other tool, but to understand the working principles behind any tool. Also, knowing how to use opensource formats such as TMX for translation memories is an advantageous bit for any translator.

    • I agree, mariosphere.
      In my opinion, the most important thing is to develop the translation (and business) skills. Too much emphasis is given to the supporting technology, which is only a tool — an enabler and nothing more. Only then, when one has at least some idea about one’s workflow, needs, etc., the tools should come into play.

      That said, if you look at the translation workflow from the broadest perspective, any tool would probably do. They all do the same “major” things in one way or another. In my opinion it is the small differences that make all the big difference, and these are dependent on a more narrow and personal workflow(s).

      • Mariosphere and Shai,
        I think it’s very hard for up-and-coming translators to decide which tool to use. We all agree (I think) that they have the same essential features, but testing 3 or 4 different tools is hard if you’re starting from zero. You need to get a grasp of their working principles and can only do that efficiently with one tool at a time, and by that time it’s likely that the first tool you tried will be the one you stick with because it’ll feel like home.

        It’s good that some tools come with a free or lite version, because 30 or 45 days isn’t long enough to learn a tool in depth. But pick your free/lite version with care. Studio Starter has a 5000 segment TM limit and no termbase creation; DVX3 Free doesn’t come with any QA or Autopropagation; memoQ Translator Free makes you create a new TM for each project…

        • It is indeed almost impossible, for an inexperienced translator to make an informed decision about the tools they need. Even excellent comparison such as this one won’t help much, I suspect — because the list of features is valuable, but very vague if one lacks the experience to put them into context.

          Many beginners buy a tool because someone tells them to, which is the worst way to go about it. This (and more) is why I believe the tools are just secondary in importance and there are more important skills to develop and refine than the “technical” skills. This is also why I recommend those who are interested to learn what a translation environment tool is all about, and how it fits into their workflow and needs, it at all, to start with OmegaT.

          That said, in my opinion you can’t really go wrong starting with any reputable translation environment, and keeping an open mind — not as a form of “CAT hopping” but as an investment in your business and career is always recommended.

  8. Selcuk Akyuz says:

    Funny comparison! It’s kinda, hey these are the features of Studio (as if they are the standard features of a CAT tool) and then say, you see, DVX fails.

    Make it the other way, list DVX features in the first column and then write, you see Studio does not have these features and fails.

    • Interesting that you think that the comparison is Studio biased, Selcuk. It’s true that David wrote his original column based on the Studio/memoQ comparison, but we tweaked both sides considerably in several editing phases. David was free to add any features he thought made DVX3 stand out in comparison with Studio (maybe he’ll drop in to confirm this).

      Also, if you read the post carefully, I think you’ll agree that the message isn’t: “Hey, Studio does this and DVX fails”. Word Processing and TM Management are clearly better in DVX. Track Changes are clearly better in Studio. The other features have pros and cons for each tool.

      Still, if you don’t agree, Selcuk, feel free to add the features that make DVX3 better for you. I look forward to learning more about Déjà Vu.

      • mariosphere says:

        I felt curious when I read about Track Changes. I never use that in any CAT or TEnT tool, only in MS Word whenever I need to revise a document and insert changes or comments.

        In my standard workflow, I remove (or ask the client to remove) any track changes still present in any of the MS Office documents, because I consider them drafts if they still have any track changes. It stands to reason that, if a Word file is being CAT-processed for translation with track changes, then that file is not the final source language version, is it?

        • paulfilkin says:

          Track changes get used in many workflows that involve review and sign-off, and this could be for any filetype, not just MSWord. Managing tracked changes in Word files is also the “standard” approach for dealing with many legislative workflows, like the pharmaceutical industry for example. This was a big driver for the capability in Studio.
          But in a simple workflow I think you’re right… if there are tracked changes in the source it stands to reason that the files are not final and should go back to the client to make sure before you spend their money. When handling MSWord files this was the reasoning behind the Trados approach and that of early versions of Studio… but it was inadequate.

          • mariosphere says:

            Thanks, Paul, for that explanation; I had no idea. I guess my idea of an optimized translation workflow (i.e. the way a translator’s workplan goes) excludes interim copies or drafts because they multiply the time involved in finishing the translation. In that situation, the translator would do well in charging by the hour, but that’s a chapter for another book.

            Sometimes, the inclusion of track changes in Word files is more indicative of the degree of disorganization rather than any particular need for a particular project.

            On a side note, I wonder if those pharmaceutical companies want to run the translations through Legal to make sure there are no unauthorized changes. This happens quite a bit in the regulatory side of medical device/pharmaceutical translations.

          • paulfilkin says:

            That’s exactly what happens. In pharma labelling for example, EN to 22 other languages, and translation itself is not enough because of things like legal variations. So the track changes workflow is very important and needs to be handled in source and target as documents are reviewed by non-linguists in Word and brought back into the translation environment tracking every change for approval as they go from initial draft through to production of the drugs for market.

          • David Turner says:

            I think DVX3 will include a track changes or monolingual review feature before too long but I must confess that I’ve always been a bit mystified about the excitement and hype over this fairly new feature, especially as I think it really only works for relatively minor changes. In the same way as in Word, major revisions quickly become way too complicated to follow and are probably best treated as a completely new document.
            However, you’ve always been able to do something similar very simply in DVX.
            Just make a copy of the project, reverse the source and target languages in project properties, import the reviewed translation, pretranslate, review and update the fuzzy matches and send the project to the multidirectional TM.

          • paulfilkin says:

            It’s all about traceability… very important in many industries. Translation is just a part of the process and this is one reason why Studio remains the tool of choice for many. There’s always a bigger picture.

          • paulfilkin says:

            I’d also add this is isn’t really a new feature either. We used to support this kind of workflow for large pharmaceuticals through SDL TeamWorks years ago and this had a special feature that allowed the regulated industries to handle this kind of work as they needed. Most translators would never see this because then the review commenting and change tracking was handled in TeamWorks through an online web interface. But then things changed because working in Word was preferable for non-translation professionals (Doctors, Lawyers, Chemists etc.). So a new approach was sought… Studio fully supports this new approach. But since adding it many customers have found this to be very useful, particularly because the changes are not only visible and workable in Studio, but also in Word. So the compatibility between the two works well.

      • Selcuk Akyuz says:

        Hi Emma,
        Any comparison between 2 CATs will be biased if a set of common or must-have features are not listed at the beginning (but I am not sure if there are such features). One would add cross platform support for instance. A tool runs only on Windows and/or Mac, Linux as well. If this was a comparison between CafeTran (or Wordfast Pro) and another CAT tool, and if CafeTran was on the first column, think about the “weaknesses” of the second tool. When we list the features of a CAT tool and then look at the second one to see if they are available in the second one as well, the comparison will not be so helpful, or even biased. Just another example, CafeTran and MemoQ support multilingual Excel files (both can import existing translations). If we call it a must -have feature, then all other CAT tools will look underdeveloped.

      • David Turner says:

        Absolutely. I did post an initial version of the blog on the DVX3 beta group list a couple of weeks ago and a more or less final version a few days ago, asking whether anyone had anything else to add, correct or delete but only one person came back to me with a couple of suggestions (and it wasn’t you ;-)).

  9. indextran says:

    I wanted to comment briefly on my own experiences regarding software stability, a matter briefly touched on in the Goodman/Turner article. While I have never used Déjà Vu, I can say that I have guarded views at best regarding the stability of Studio. Having acquired my CAT tool experience mainly by working with WordFast I got my start in SDL with Studio 2011 and acquired a modest amount of experience with that version. I completed one fairly large project (a joint endeavor involving the participation of multiple translators) and also a couple of small projects that consisted of proofing jobs. A couple of months went by. Then, when trying to do a test translation using Studio, I found the program no longer worked. Somehow, in the course of two months or so of sitting on my computer, the program had become corrupt. Unable to fix the problem on my own, I ended up having to schedule a tech support remote session on my computer. Tech support uninstalled my 2011 version and upgraded me to 2014, a version which I admittedly haven’t used much. If and when I do use it, I hope it will prove more stable than my 2011.

    Meanwhile, at the request of a certain agency that, within the past year, switched from using Studio as its main platform to MemoQ, I have gained some MemoQ experience, aided by temp licenses provided courtesy of the agency. To date I have completed two good-sized projects, once again the kind requiring the participation of multiple translators. Thanks probably in large part to my previous Studio experience, I didn’t find MemoQ all that hard to learn or get used to. As for stability issues, MemoQ hasn’t presented any problems so far.

    • Thanks for your comment, Indextran.
      Your and my accounts of stability issues with Studio/DVX3 are of anecdotal value only, but show how important a user’s first-time experience is with any software. First impressions are lasting.
      I do agree that picking up other CAT tools is pretty easy if you already use one. The learning curve is steepest the first time round, and insurmountable if you don’t read up on it / watch some videos before you take the plunge. (Hence my “like” for Mariosphere’s comment below on learning translation tool basics and the Photoshop analogy.)

  10. mariosphere says:

    Some translators might say that none of the major toolmakers caters to the Mac-based translators. With tools such as Boot Camp, Parallels 9/10 and VirtualBox, it is now possible to work on two platforms, Windows and Mac OSX 10.x, on the same machine. That’s less incentive for SDL, Atril and Kilgray, to name the main ones, to develop tool versions for the Mac.

    However, the price of Macs keeps them out of the hands of a large proportion of translators. Why spend $1,000 on an iMac when you can have a Windows 8/10 machine for almost half. Arguments for and against one or the other computer can be made, but I subscribe to the thinking already explained here: use the tool that suits your workflow.

    Beyond these useful comparisons (thanks, Emma and David), much more needs to be done to teach entrants in the profession about the basics of translation tools. The tool a better translator does not make any more than Photoshop creates works of art out of your smartphone camera.

    • Why spend € 600 for a CAT tool that underperforms, whereas you can get one for € 140 that’s as good or better? Or even a free one?
      My € 1,800 iMac is the cheapest work computer I ever bought, and that includes brands like IBM, Wang, Tulip, HP, CompaQ, Lenovo, and more. Purchase price doesn’t show the whole picture. Besides, no malware, no OS related crashes, no repairs, and apart from adding 8 GB RAM (€ 40) no additional costs. Since October 2010.
      On topic: I like the comparison, although I do regret that Dave has been “tricked” into taking Emma’s feature list as a starting point. Inevitable, I suppose.
      And for people who want to use OS X for work:

      • David Turner says:

        I certainly didn’t feel like I was being “tricked” over the feature list. Emma was very fair and honest. The 11 headings are fairly wide-ranging and, in the same way as a side-by-side comparison for a smartphone, a car or a computer, the verdict on a CAT tool will necessarily depend to some extent on feature boxes being ticked. DVX3 doesn’t have track changes or Open Exchange so that makes 2-0 for Studio. “Working with projects” is pretty wide-ranging but on the basis of the 2 points she makes, you could score that one to Studio as well. OK, 3-0. But what about the other 8 criteria? As Emma says, the jury is out.

        • You weren’t tricked, Dave, that’s why I used the quotation marks. It’s just that in situations like this, you’d (I’d) start from the given points – Emma’s points – rather than starting from DV strong point. It makes a difference.

      • mariosphere says:

        Wow, Hans, them are fighting words. Where is your proof or analysis that a CAT tool underperforms? According to what parameters? Which CAT tools are you taking into consideration in your statement?

        You seem to forget that “free” software is never free. Development cycles, localization cycles, support, alpha and beta testing, they all cost money. Never mind the necessary marketing costs. I’m not just throwing words here; I have worked inside software companies since 1998.

        I also have a Mac (a 2009 MacBook running 3 operating systems with 8 GB RAM). How does that jibe with the conversation?

        • I don’t have proof of underperforming CAT tools (well…), Mario. Just like you don’t have proof of Macs are too expensive. And I’m not so sure “free” (as in free beer) is never free. And to stick with CAT tools, I think OmegaT, and more recently, Heartsome, are free (beer and libre) tools that do perform. There are probably others around. They may lack support and development to some extent, but they can be very functional, and suitable for most translators and for most jobs.

          Far more interesting than fanboyism (and yes, I plead guilty), is your remark above that you should “…use the tool that suits your workflow.” That’s true of course, but I think it also holds true that the tool influences your workflow. I think a CAT tool newbie doesn’t have a workflow, and an experienced user is heavily influenced by his (first) CAT tool. I still “think DejaVu,” for example. No wonder, as I used DV from 1997 till 2010.

  11. In my opinion, all the comments that are shown above are each valid in their own way.
    I am one of those people, who always uses the very latest version of any software. (I know, it is not always wise.)

    My first CAT tool was SDL Trados Studio 2009. Because it used to crash quite often and particularly, because target files would refuse to export, especially when deadlines were looming, I looked at other tools. And of course, whenever there was a Java update, 2009 would stop working altogether. To all intents and purposes, I started using MemoQ (yes, still written with a capital ‘M’ at that time) and stuck with it for about a year and a bit. I also obtained DV2 and Swordfish. However, when more and more of my customers started to demand delivery of SDLXLIFFs and actually to specify the use of Studio, I returned to Studio, which had advanced to version 2011 by that time. It saved me having to do conversions at the end of projects. I only used one of the other tools, if something had to be ‘repaired’, in order to get a target file.

    With the advent of Studio 2014 and the disappearance of Java, all earlier problems seem to have disappeared, Studio has become my tool of choice. Not because it is better or worse than any of the other excellent tools, but, in my particular environment, it boosts my productivity because it allows me to make the most efficient use of my time.

    • mariosphere says:

      Abdul’s comment reminded me of a key point that neither Emma nor David seemed to have noticed in their comparison: backward compatibility. Deja Vu wins hands down. DVX3 can open and work with projects, translation memories and termbases created with Deja Vu 3.x, 7.x and DVX2. Can SDL Trados say the same? No. I’ve run into intractable problems between SDL Trados 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2014 (I admit, the latest iteration is far better and cleaner). Deja Vu versions run without major glitches, in my experience in Windows XP and Windows 7, either in a physical or a virtual machine.

  12. Dujncan R. Bell says:

    A note on “DVX3 – You can only open a selection of files as a single view using an SQL statement.” (“Merging” section).
    There is another, far easier way, that requires no knowledge of SQL: if you have a project that is dedicated to one client (as we do in many cases, because these clients have different terminology and translation memories, so we need to access different databases for them), you end up with many translated files in the same project. Once you have delivered them, and sent their finalised version to the translation memory for reuse in the future, you can lock those files in the Project Explorer, which is DVX3’s internal file manager. Simply right-click on a file name, and select “Lock file” in the context menu.
    You will end up with all files in the project locked (unless you have some in progress).
    When you next import files for translation, open the Project Explorer, and double-click on the top-most entry (it is in bold text, and is actually the DVX3 project name).
    DVX3 then opens all files in all sub-folders (if, for example, you have a sub-folder per job, as we do),
    Now select “All Except Locked Segments” display (drop-down list at the top of the screen).
    DVX3 will display only the content of the currently unlockec files (unless some were still in progress, should just be the ones you just imported – easy to check and fix, as mentioned above, if not).
    You can pretranslate all these files at once, propagate between them, sort them alphabetically (Studio doesn’t do that!), spell-check them all at once, and do consistency checks and other QA to them all at once. In other words, you can treat them as a single text.
    Easy! Much quicker than reading how 🙂
    And you can of course display all segments in all files, or segments with some other status, by changing the selection in the drop-down list at the top of the screen, whenever you want. No need for SQL knowledge. This function has been available since DV2 in at least 2002, when we first bought it.

    • Thanks for the tip about right clicking to lock files in the Project Explorer, Dujncan. Sounds like a good way to select specific files to open in one go, although it would take time to go back and revert the selection or select others, if necessary.
      I understand that it’s quicker to do than to write about, but I think Studio is even faster, just ctrl+click the ones you want to open. 😉

  13. Duncan R. Bell says:

    I think that use of this function depends on whether a file is finished or not: in practice, we virtually never open files that are finished, checked and delivered. Their content is saved to TM for reference, so there is no need to. It’s different if we’re working on a set of files: it’s unlikely that we would lock any of them, and miss out on auto-propagation across files, and other benefits of editing multiple files at once. That’s true in DVX3 and Studio. However, there’s not much time difference between “Ctrl+click” and Right-click+”click “Lock file” or “Unlock file” option. (Spelt my name right this time 🙂

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  18. David Turner says:
    This wasn’t mentioned in the comparison but I guess it could come under “Working with projects”. DVX3’s TMs are multi-language and multi-directional so you can use a TM in the reverse language direction out of the box. No need for plug-ins, exporting and reimporting or Olifant. Just create a project with the language directions reversed and attach the TM. You could also have an TM with English, French and Spanish entries, say, and use it for E->F, F->S, S->E, E->F&S projects, etc. A given project can have several target languages. Same goes for TBs, of course.

    • Selcuk Akyuz says:

      Hi Dave,
      Is there a limit of languages for each TM/TB, like in projects? DVX databases are limited to max. columns of MS Access, so there should be a limitation for it. On the other hand MultiTerm termbases support any number of languages.

      • mariosphere says:

        Selcuk, as a DVX3 user, I can tell you that the more streamlined terminology database facility in the program allows for an unlimited number of languages (unlike SDL Trados Freelance 2014, which only allows 5) in TMs and termbases.

    • Hmm, the post you link to is about Studio 2011, David, so, yes, the solutions suggested there include exporting, re-importing and Olifant.

      In DVX3 you could also export a TMX, reverse the languages in Olifant and re-import. But why would you want to do that if the program already does it for you? Helpful suggestions aren’t always the best ones.

      Studio 2014 reads TMs in reverse language direction too – not out of the box – but with a plug-in. Once you install the plug-in it’s as automatic in Studio 2014 as it is in DVX3.

  19. David Turner says:

    One thing under “Find & Replace” that I hadn’t noticed in SDL Studio is that you apparently need to download and install a special application to do a batch S&R on all the files in a project, unless you’ve previously merged them, presumably. Otherwise you have to open each file and do the S&R one by one! Seems quite cumbersome compared with what DVX3 does out of the box.

    • This plug-in was one of the very first on Open Exchange. It was designed for Studio 2009 and it still works for later versions. It is even installed automatically when you install Studio (not a user decision to download and install separately). You could classify it as an “out-of-the-box” feature.
      Having said that, I never use it, because merging all files together in Studio 2014 is as quick as clicking Ctrl+A, Enter.
      I’d say that batch S&R works as fast in Studio 2014 as it does in DVX3. 🙂

  20. David Turner says:

    But having merged all the files together, can you then unmerge them one by one (for delivery, if necessary)? I can’t remember ever having received merged sdlxliff files. If an agency has 50 files to translate, they’ll send you a package with 50 sdlxliff files. No problem in DVX3 of course as there’s no need for merging and unmerging.

    • After merging on the fly just close the Editor window and deliver separate files (no unmerging required).
      If an agency has 50 files to translate, they can send it as a package with 50 sdlxliff files or as a single merged file. The translator would return exactly what they receive.

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