Every other year, Trados developers announce a new Studio version in our beta-testing forum and we enthusiastically download a series of builds over the course of several weeks, until a fully fledged release candidate appears, ready for launch to the wider world. Trados Studio 2022 has arrived, two years since Trados Studio 2021 appeared on the scene. Here is a review of the changes it brings, starting with the disappearance of the name-date paradox.
Table of contents
- Names and icons
- Manager view
- AppStore improvements and new apps
- File types
- Editor fonts
- Cloud integration
Names and icons
Until now, the year appended to the name referred to a product released the previous year. (For example, Trados Studio 2021 was launched in 2020.) I’m glad the developers decided to bring the name in line with the actual year of release. Welcome, Trados Studio 2022!
A redesigned icon makes Studio easy to spot in the task bar. Unlike the 2021 tilted green icon, the new blue triangle and white-on-black S stands out from Trados Business Manager and other programs.
Trados Studio 2022 launched in a splash of colour: traditional teal with shocking pink and lime green, offset by a smiling guy in a tropical shirt. Quite a contrast to the sober desktop icon.
Anyway, enough on colours. Before we get under the hood, let’s look at the biggest visible change.
This brand new Studio view has been released as a beta opt-in, which helps set users’ expectations (functionality is understandably limited) while encouraging engagement through a dedicated feedback panel. You can’t even see the Manager until you’ve activated it in the top right corner of Studio, next to the Tell me tab.
Restart Studio when prompted and you’ll see Manager (Beta) now appears in the navigation pane in the bottom left corner:
The Manager gives an overview of on-going projects, files and languages. All in the same space. Amazingly, it doesn’t feel crowded with all that information.
With this beta release, you can:
- give feedback (see note below)
- collapse or pin panes
- open projects and packages and create new projects
- sort the project list order by word count, due date, creation date or alphabetical order
- access project settings, project location or create a project template
- drag and dock tabs to view projects side by side or top and bottom
- double click a file to open it in the Editor and start translating
- select one or several files and click Translate to open them in a merged view in the Editor for translation, review or sign-off
- run a batch task on one or more files
- drag columns to reorder left or right
- click Info to see more project details
- click Confirmation Statistics to check overall progress on one, several or all files in a project
- click Analysis Statistics to view original word count and fuzzy match breakdown
- click icons 11-13 again to hide the pane after viewing
Perhaps the best news is that you can finally view source and target file lists in a single window. No doubt in the past you’ve opened a source file for translation by mistake and been flummoxed by the generic error message: “Object reference not set to an instance of an object”. Opening a source file isn’t only a rookie mistake; it last happened to me when I was giving a webinar!
More features will be added to the Manager to make our workflow easier to control in this new centralised space. Although the full feature set of the dedicated project and file views may not make it into the Manager, I hope some of these functions will appear soon:
- Add and delete files in an existing project
- Remember customised layout after closing Studio
- View statistics breakdown by file when all files are selected in a project
- Process files in cloud projects
- Add and remove column fields in the file list
- View subfolders in a project view
For me, the Manager will only really be useful when the first three points in the above pending list are implemented. And this is where the feedback panel comes in handy. I’ve duly submitted my requests and graded the Manager 4/5 on the Likert satisfaction scale to encourage the developers! Feedback is anonymous, so do go ahead and share your impressions with the team, too.
AppStore improvements and new apps
AppStore access improved exponentially in Trados Studio 2021 with a pop-up window in the Welcome view. Now, searches return hits from app descriptions as well as names, making it easier to find an app. Also, you can sort apps by Newly added and Last updated as well as the previous options.
As usual, it takes a while for existing apps to be adapted to new Trados Studio releases, especially those published by independent developers. At the time of writing, 110 apps are available out of the 196 Studio apps in the AppStore.
This new app – also available for Trados Studio 2021 – shows comments and DSI (document structure information) on the fly. Before, you had to hover or click to pull up these details. Now, you can quickly glance at a dedicated, dockable window to read comments and know whether you’re translating a paragraph, title or footer. Read more about the DSI Viewer app in this Wiki article or see below for a practical example.
People who offer transcreation services may be interested in this app, which allows you to create a transcreation project and add multiple alternative translation solutions for your source copy, make comments, and even back translate the alternatives to help your client understand the nuances. Read more about Trados Transcreate in this Wiki article.
This app (Trados Studio 2022 only) brings a new file type to Studio, as described below.
New file types
Microsoft .NET binary files
Trados Studio 2022 now supports non-text visual controls, such as buttons and check boxes in WinForms and WPF. Localizing labels on these controls can now be done in context, with real-time preview.
Multilingual Excel FileType
Passolo, the software localization app, was brought into Studio two years ago. I’ve never needed to explore this tool, because my infrequent forays into software string translation have been covered by the bilingual Excel file type. However, the new Multilingual Excel FileType app not only makes it possible to translate strings into multiple languages, but also simplifies the processing of embedded content and placeholders, allows both types to be combined, and respects font formatting – all in the same file type. And if you work in the gaming industry, you’ll be pleased to hear that the app handles character and pixel length restrictions too.
I tested the new app recently on an Excel file I was preparing for Cosnautas, a multilingual online platform. My brief was to translate the blue-filled cells in column C, so the first step was to hide all non-blue cells in the Excel column. Fortunately, I wrote a blog post on filtering in Excel a few years ago, so I followed my own instructions to do this.
Then, in Studio, I installed the new file type and set it up, checking my progress via the file preview.
To tweak the file type, I followed the Wiki article and Paul Filkin’s video in that article. Excellent resources!
The screenshot below shows the Excel file in Studio, with the placeholders and other code in the source file replaced with tags:
Note the DSI Viewer app pinned to the right in the above screenshot, making it easy to read the comment in the active row at a glance. Also, I’ve changed the comment severity level to warning so that my own comments are highlighted in peach, while all others display in the original pale yellow.
Continuing in the editor, in Trados Studio 2022 the text rendering interface has been updated from GDI to Direct2D. Those names may mean little to you or me, but in practice the change brings sharper fonts, faster processing, and support for special fonts and all Unicode characters. Emojis, anyone?
Tip: use emojis sparingly 😬
Beta anecdote 🌼
While the new font rendering was being tested in our beta group, I spent several weeks with a mystery bug that affected the Fragment Match window. The flowery font, as the bug became known, was hard to pin down because I was the only user seeing it. Happily, my Fragment Match window font is back to normal, but the flower font was pretty while it lasted:
SDL Trados Live, a system for translating in a browser, was launched two years ago. Everyone who purchased a perpetual Trados Studio 2021 license received one year’s access to the Essential edition. The cloud version was very green at launch and I was disappointed by the lack of basic functions, such as directly importing and exporting termbases and translation memories, and creating projects indistinctly for use in Studio or the cloud. I was also concerned about the subscription-plus-perpetual license model.
All these problems have been solved. Trados Live Essential (as it became known) is now part of Trados Studio, rebranded as “cloud capabilities”. Missing features have been added. Now I just need to find time to try it again!
Should you upgrade?
People often ask me this question when a new version appears. My answer is always the same: keep up to date! It’s always less expensive to upgrade from the previous version than older versions and a 30% discount (or 35% if you belong to one of RWS’s partner translation associations) brings the cost down to about €145 for the Freelance Plus edition. Check out exact prices in the Trados Store and read the full release notes here.
By staying on top of your game and improving your soft skills, you can then focus on what really matters: producing top-quality translations.