SDL Trados Studio 2017: Advanced Display Filter


SDL Trados Studio 2017 comes with an Advanced Display Filter out of the box. This post looks at the new feature in detail and compares it with filtering options from previous versions.

Search or filter?

Before we look at new and old filter options, let’s just clarify the difference between searching and filtering. You can search for a word or string using the shortcut Ctrl+F and Studio will take you through all instances of that word, one by one, while running through the file. Microsoft Word has a very similar search feature, with the same shortcut.

Filtering is when you search for a word or string, but in this case all instances found in segments are singled out and displayed one below another. This visual selection makes it much easier to edit the filtered segments and get an overall view. Microsoft Word has a similar filter display when you perform a search; it displays results in a navigation pane on the left.

Advanced Display Filter

layout_advanced-display-filterIn Studio 2017, there’s a new filter tool with more options than before. You’ll find it hiding (on Auto-Hide) on the far right. Click on or hover over the tab to open the window.

With this feature, you can filter by:

  • a word or string in source and/or target segments
  • attributes (segment status, match, repetition, etc.)
  • comments
  • document structure (header/footer, table, bullet point item, etc.)

Similarities and differences: ribbon filter, app filter, advanced filter

Ribbon filter

The Advanced Display Filter is similar to the filter on the review tab in the ribbon. The ribbon filter is still there: you can call it up with the shortcut Ctrl+F6.


In the ribbon, simply enter the word or string you want to find, and click enter. To search in target segments, click the arrow next to Source. You can also decide whether to make the filter case sensitive (upper/lowercase exactly as the word appears in the filter box) and the type of segment to search in (all, draft, locked, etc.).

However, the ribbon filter has some limitations. You can’t filter words in source and target segments at the same time. You can’t combine segment-type filters. Also, the ribbon filter performs searches with regex (regular expressions) only, so unless you are regex-savvy, you can’t search for $100 or even a simple full stop.

The Advanced Display Filter does all that.

Integrated Search Views app

The Advanced Display Filter is very similar to the Studio 2015 Integrated Search Views app, which I reviewed in a post earlier this year.


substantial modification

(Click any screenshot to enlarge it in a separate window)

The Integrated Search Views app overcomes the limitations of the ribbon filter. You can find strings in source and target segments at the same time and combine filters in a much more flexible way.

The Advanced Display Filter does all that too.


Advanced Display Filter

How it works

Simply enter a word or string in the source and/or target segment boxes and click enter. Clear the filter with the shortcut Ctrl+Alt+F6.

Take a look at all the options under Filter Attributes. Select several options from the left column at the same time using Ctrl+click and transfer them to the right by clicking the arrow in the centre.

The options under Document Structure show all the structure elements (table, header, bullet list, table, etc.) available in the current file.


In addition, the new tool tells you how many segments are filtered (i.e., how many instances have been found) and it shows which filters are currently applied.


In practice

When you’re translating with the filter on, bear in mind a couple of idiosyncrasies:

  • Find & replace operations affect only the displayed text.
  • Auto-propagation is applied to the whole file.

Room for improvement

Unfortunately, a couple of excellent features from the app and the ribbon filter haven’t been implemented in the Advanced Display Filter.

  • The Boolean operators or and not, (available in the app) are missing from the new tool. At the moment, only advanced regex users can filter to exclude a word. *
  • A filter for placeholders**
  • A drop-down filter history (this is available in the ribbon filter).
  • A shortcut to call up the filter source box.
* The regex solution, kindly supplied by Fasil Aziz, is ^((?!word).)*$
**The regex solution, kindly supplied by Paul Filkin, is \b(?=\S*[a-zA-Z])(?=\S*[0-9])\b([^\s.]*)

When a 100% match isn’t simply 100%

The theory:

With the ribbon filter, a 100% match logically includes CM (context matches), PM (perfect matches) and auto-propagated matches.

In the Advanced Display Filter, the attribute breakdown is more detailed, so a 100% match (under Origin) doesn’t include the others – you have to add them one by one.

Under Previous Origin, 100% matches represent segments that were originally 100% matches but have since been edited.

In practice:

With the ribbon filter, it’s impossible to filter by non-100% matches. With the Advanced Filter, you can do this by excluding 100% matches, PMs, CMs and auto-propagated matches:


Filter combinations: almost infinite possibilities 

Here are some ideas of what you can achieve by combining different filters. They all cropped up while I was beta testing Studio 2017, and show the real potential of the new advanced filter in your daily work:

  • Display locked auto-propagated segments
  • See a word count for all text boxes
  • Find comments added in headers/footers (N.B., they’re not displayed in Word)
  • Check for a specific word in target segments copied from source
  • Lock the content of a Ppt presentation and translate just the slide notes (or vice versa)
  • Lock number-only segments in tables
  • View 100% matches that aren’t number-only segments


New Studio users often don’t know that a filter option exists, or where to find it once they start looking. Many intermediate users don’t know about the various search apps on the SDL AppStore. So I think it’s a good idea that filtering options have been improved in the core product – all ready and waiting to be used!

Translators talk Trados

If you found this blog post useful, you might want to check out the SDL series called Translators talk Trados, where other translators look at different features and explain how they use Studio in their workflow. A great chance to learn more about Studio from colleagues!

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5 Responses to SDL Trados Studio 2017: Advanced Display Filter

  1. Pingback: (CAT) – SDL Trados Studio 2017: Advanced Display Filter | Emma Goldsmith – Glossarissimo!

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  3. Pingback: How to search source and target segments in SDL Trados Studio 2015 | Signs & Symptoms of Translation

  4. Roman says:

    It’s not working correctly, I am unable to filter out all repetitions and see only first occurences + unknown segments, which would be very useful for editing. I still need to use workarounds here.

    • Yes, I see what you mean, Roman. This would be a case for the missing feature I mentioned in the blog post: and/or/not operators in the search box.

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