Many translators have already asked me if they should upgrade their Trados 2007 version to Trados Studio 2009. I always answered with a clear “Yes!”, mostly because I love the fact that Trados Studio took over SDLX’s view of the source and target texts in table form and also because it functions within one window, not to mention all the wonderful new functions and features that make translators’ work so much easier.
In the past couple of months, I have been getting a different question, namely “Should I upgrade from Trados Studio 2009 to 2011?” Again, my answer is a clear “Yes!” In the new Trados Studio version (Service Pack 1), SDL has gotten rid of quite a few bugs and apart from that added a couple of very cool new features that make work even easier. In this post, I will describe the two features that, in my opinion, make this newest Trados version absolutely brilliant, especially for translation project managers.
Compatibility with bilingual MS Word and TTX files
This feature is an absolute gem for project managers in the new Trados Studio version, since it enables you to use the two file formats that were used for bilingual files in the old Trados versions and also many other CAT tools – as a lot of translators still aren’t using Trados Studio and most CAT tools haven’t reacted to the new SDL file format (SDLXLIFF), this is something that was really missing in Trados Studio 2009.
How does it work with bilingual MS Word files? Simply ask the translators to deliver bilingual files in Word file format. You can open those with Trados Studio 2011 and save them in the new file format, i.e. SDLXLIFF, to process them further. You can then save them as bilingual Word files and clean them in Translator’s Workbench. This last part is the only downside here – you need to have Trados 2007 or earlier to clean the files … OR, if you don’t intend to keep any of the old TMX files, you can simply search for hidden text in the unclean Word file and replace it with, well, nothing – this will erase the source text and tags in the file. Another solution, if you would like to get target only files from Trados Studio is to work with TTX files.
How does it work with bilingual TTX files? If your translators use Trados 2007 or earlier, simply ask them to translate the text in TagEditor. If your translators are using other CAT tools, it’s better to prepare TTX files for translation yourself (do mind, however, that many CAT tools do support the SDLXLIFF file format, as it is based on the very common XLIFF format – so check with the translators to save up some time). The great news is, you can create TTX files without having Trados 2007 or earlier installed! A special app is supplied with Trados Studio 2011, called TTX It! (you should find it under All Programs > SDL > SDL Trados Studio 2011 > OpenExchange Apps), that converts most MS Office and other files into TTX. All you have to do is open the files you would like to convert in the app, select the source language, and convert them. When you have the translated, bilingual files back, simply go to File > Save Target As in Trados Studio 2011 and you will be able to save the text in TTX or the original file format (!).
Using track changes
If you are a translator, proofreader, or translation project manager, you should know this MS Word feature very well … and if you do, you will know how wonderful it is that it is now available in Trados Studio 2011!
How does it work? It works pretty much the same way as it does in Word – you turn on track changes mode (by default, you can only see the track changes toolbar in review mode, but you can always enable it in translation mode as well: simply go to the View menu in Trados Studio 2011 > Toolbars > enable Track Changes) and then all of your insertions and deletions will be marked in track changes mode, i.e. insertions written in blue and underlined, deletions in red and stricken through. You can also insert comments by selecting the text you would like to comment on, click on it with the right mouse button, and select Add Comment.
The even better feature is that you can convert SDLXLIFF files in track changes mode to a Word file. Again, there is an extra app for this supplied with your Trados Studio, called SDL XLIFF Converter for Microsoft Office (you should find it under All Programs > SDL > SDL Trados Studio 2011 > OpenExchange Apps). The thus created Word file consists of a table with both source and target texts. You can see any changes made in track changes mode in this Word file, including any comments. Such a file can, for example, be sent to proofreaders who don’t have Trados Studio – they can accept or deny the changes, write comments, and make new changes in track changes mode and all of these can be converted back to the SDLXLIFF file with the above mentioned converter app. You can then see the new changes and comments in Trados Studio 2011.
Trados Studio 2011 of course offers many more very useful features. One of the others I like and use a lot are the new display filters that in Editor View help display translation units according to their status. I will do my best to report on any other interesting new features of the newest Trados version in my future articles.