Highlighting Tool – Documentation

Highlighting Tool iconHighlighting Tool makes it very easy to use color highlighting to simplify editing work. With its help, you can apply color highlighting to any text that matches reusable lists of search expressions, clear color highlighting, or navigate between text highlighted with specific colors.

Detailed information about Highlighting Tool

How Highlighting Tool can help you in your work

  • Proofread with accuracy: create a list of commonly misspelt words, common translation mistakes, words or phrases which require special attention during proofreading, and highlight all of them for an initial proofreading pass.
  • Find potential problems: identify potential problems after export from your CAT tool, during document formatting / DTP, etc. Some sample usages:
    1. Find numbers which were not properly localized (when the decimal point or thousand separator character is not in accordance with the target language).
    2. Check the document for correct typography. For example, find all regular dashes (-) in order to replace them with EN-dashes (–), minus sign (−) or EM-dashes (—). Use this regex to find a regular dash which is not inside a word: (?<!\p{L})\u002D(?!\p{L})
    3. Find problems with punctuation. For example, you can check for a missing space after final punctuation. This regular expression will highlight fragments where a full stop, exclamation mark, question mark or comma occur between letters: \p{L}[.!?,]\p{L}
    4. Find untranslated words by checking for specific Unicode characters using a regular expression. For example, you can highlight all words containing Cyrillic characters using this regex: \p{L}*?\p{IsCyrillic}\p{L}* . Similarly, you can find special CJK symbols, etc.
    5. Find symbols which were incorrectly recognized by your PDF conversion tool.
  • Clear highlighting as the final pre-flight step. Clear Highlighting tool can clear highlighting from the entire document, which is not possible by selecting everything and setting Highlight Color to None (as this affects the body of the document only, ignoring headers and footers, textboxes, etc.).
  • Clear highlighting after checking for potential mistakes highlighted using Apply Highlighting tool above, or highlighted with other TransTools tools.
  • Navigate between fragments highlighted with a certain color, e.g. by one of your colleagues. When there are several highlight colors used in a document, finding one specific color can be strenuous, and Find Highlighting tool will help you enormously.
  • Find highlighted text which is difficult to notice. For example, highlighting applied to a punctuation sign may be left unnoticed and end up on printed documents.
  • New in version 1.2: you can process multiple Word documents with Highlighting Tool (namely, Apply Highlighting and Clear Highlighting commands) by using Document Processing Tool. Click here for more information about this tool.

Download TransTools+ brochure to see real-life examples of how Highlighting Tool and other TransTools+ features can help you increase quality and productivity.

Where to find the tool

To run Highlighting Tool, click Highlighting Tool button on TransTools+ ribbon:

Highlighting Tool button on TransTools+ ribbon

This will open Highlighting Tool pane to the right of the current document.

Highlighting Tool pane

Using Highlighting Tool

Highlighting Tool consists of three commands which are described below.

Apply Highlighting command

Apply Highlighting feature allows you to apply a specific highlight color to text on the basis of search expressions.

Apply Highlighting subtool

The tool applies highlighting to all matches for the listed search expressions. There are two types of search expressions: standard text items (Text search) and regular expression items (Regular expression search):

  • Standard text items describe the parameters for finding text using Microsoft Word’s text search options.

    To use standard text search, select Text option button in the Item Editor.

    In the Find What field, enter the text search string. You can insert special symbols such as ^l for manual line break by clicking Insert... button or typing the appropriate code. To make the expression easier to read, you can change the font size by clicking the buttons to the right of the Find What field.

    Check Match Case checkbox to perform case-sensitive text search.

    Check Find Whole Words Only checkbox if the text must match full words, i.e. without spanning only part of a word. For example, this is useful for finding the singular form of a noun: if you enter “spider” and check Find Whole Words Only checkbox, the tool will find “spider”, but not “spiders”.

    Check Use Wildcards checkbox if you want to use Word’s special wildcard symbols. When this checkbox is checked, Insert... button allows you to insert special wildcard codes. Note: although some people use the name “Word regular expressions” to call Word wildcards, these are very different from .NET regular expressions and you should be careful not to use .NET regular expressions for Text search expressions or Word wildcards for Regular expressions.

    In the Description field, you can add a short note to make it easier to understand what kind of text will be found by the expression.

    Standard text search

  • Regular expression items describe the parameters for finding text using Microsoft .NET regular expression mechanism. NOTE: The search is conducted in each individual paragraph, so this type of search can only be used when the match (i.e. text described by the regular expression) does not span several paragraphs, i.e. it is located inside a single paragraph.

    To use regular expression search, select Regular Expression option button in the Item Editor.

    In the Find What field, enter the search string. You can insert regular expression operators and constructs by clicking Insert... button. To make the expression easier to read, you can change the font size by clicking the buttons to the right of the Find What field.

    Uncheck Match Case checkbox if the regular expression must be case-insensitive (regular expressions are case-sensitive by default).

    If your regular expression contains a capturing group, you can match the text found by this capturing group instead of the text found by the entire regular expression. To do this, check “Find capturing group...” checkbox and then select the sequential number of the group from the dropdown list.

    In the Description field, you can add a short note to make it easier to understand what kind of text will be found by the expression.

    Regular expression search

Editing the search entries: Click Add button to add a new entry to the current list. Edit button allows you to edit the selected entry. Remove button removes entries which were selected in the list. Clear button removes all entries currently displayed in the list. You need to click Save button in order to record these changes in the file where the appropriate list is stored.

To create a new list, make sure that [New List] is selected in the dropdown list, then add entries using Add button or import entries from another list, external file or clipboard by using Import button. Then save the changes using Save button or export the search entries by clicking Export button. An alternative method is to click Create New List button located to the right of the dropdown list, assign a name to the new list, and then add entries to it.

To use search entries from an existing list, select the list from the dropdown list, or click the right-most button (Open) to open a list stored in an external file. If you need to use several search entries only, simply remove the unneeded entries using Remove button. The changes will not be recorded in the appropriate list file unless you click Save button.

To make changes to an existing list, simply select the list from the dropdown list or click Open File button on the right-hand side to load an external file. Make the appropriate changes and then click Save button to update the corresponding file on disk.

In order to copy search entries from one list to another or from / to external applications like Microsoft Excel, you can use Import and Export buttons:

  • Import button loads search entries from a named list file, external file or clipboard and places them at the end of the list:
    Load list dialogue
    If you choose Import from clipboard option, you need to make sure that the text located on the clipboard is in the correct format (you can save an existing list to clipboard to see the expected format).
  • Export button copies the current search entries to a named list file, external file or clipboard:
    Save list dialogue
    If you export to an existing list in the tool's internal configuration file, the contents of the file will be overwritten with current search entries.

You can test whether the tool can find correct text by clicking Find Next Match button. The tool will find the first match after the current selection point, wrapping to the beginning of the document if it reaches the end of the document.

If there is an overlap between two matches for different search items, the earlier match is kept and the later match is discarded.

Apply Highlighting – this button applies color highlighting to all text that matches the search expressions in the list, based on the current options.

Predefined lists

Highlighting Tool is provided with several pre-defined lists of search expressions which you can use to prepare documents for translation. The following lists are provided:

  • SRT (SubRip Text) files – this list uses a number of regular expressions to hide non-translatable text (time codes and formatting codes) in SRT subtitles. To translate such subtitles, copy the text from an SRT file or open it inside Microsoft Word, load this list, then select Hide specific text only option and click Hide text button.
  • HTML and HTML - Translatable attributes – these lists use several regular expressions to hide non-translatable text in HTML files. If you want to translate HTML files, you will need to follow these steps to make sure that all non-translatable text is hidden correctly:
    1. Select Hide specific text only option. Clear the item list, load pre-defined HTML list by clicking Load... button, check Also Highlight Found Text checkbox and select Red highlight color. Click Hide Text button to highlight and hide the found text. This action will highlight HTML tags and entities using Red color.
    2. Select Hide specific text only option. Clear the item list, load pre-defined HTML - Translatable attributes list by clicking Load... button, check Also Highlight Found Text checkbox and select Bright green highlight color. Click Hide Text button to highlight and hide the found text. When you see Hidden Formatting Warning dialogue, leave the first option selected and click Continue. This action will highlight translatable text inside HTML tags using Bright Green color.
    3. Go through the document and mark additional non-translatable text using Red highlight color. For example, you will need to mark all text from <head> up to </head> at the top of the document, leaving existing Bright Green text untouched.
    4. At this point, all non-translatable text will be hightlighted in red. Select Hide specific text only option and select Hide by color from Hiding Options dropdown list. Choose Highlight Color option and select Red from the dropdown list. Click Hide Text button. When you see Hidden Formatting Warning dialogue, leave the first option selected and click Continue.
    5. Now all non-translatable text will be hidden and the document will be ready for CAT tool import. NOTE: This procedure hides HTML entities such as &nbsp; (non-breaking space), &rdquo; (”), etc., turning these sequences into tags in your CAT tool. It is better to replace these characters with the actual symbols as the very first step, and convert them back to HTML entities when the translation is finished.
  • XML – this list uses a number of regular expressions to hide non-translatable text in XML files. To translate such files, copy the text from an XML file or open it inside Microsoft Word, load this list, then select Hide specific text only option and click Hide text button. NOTE: Translatable attributes inside XML tags will be hidden, so if you want to translate them, you can use a multi-step procedure similar to the above procedure for HTML files.
  • Non-translatable paragraphs – this simple list allows you hide paragraphs that consist entirely of non-translatable text such as numbers without decimal point or thousand separators. Naturally, such paragraphs will hinder translation, especially if there are a lot of them, so it is a good idea to hide them. You can extend this list with your own custom expressions. To hide non-translatable paragraphs, load this list, then select Hide specific text only option and click Hide text button.

Clear Highlighting command

Clear Highlighting feature allows you to clear text highlighting of certain color(s).

Clear Highlighting subtool

The following options are available:

  • Highlight color – select the color which needs to be cleared. Choose Any Color if you need to clear all color highlighting, regardless of color. If it is difficult to find the right color inside the list, you can select the text that has the right highlight color inside the document and then choose Selection Color from the dropdown list.
  • Use multiple colors – if you need to clear color highlighting of several different highlight colors, select a specific color from the dropdown list and then check this checkbox. You will then be able to add colors to the list using Add button, or remove individual colors using Remove button.
  • Clear all except selected colors – when this checkbox is checked, the tool clears all highlight colors with the exception of the selected colors. For example, if you have Yellow, Bright green and Red highlighting in your document, check this checkbox and then select Yellow in the dropdown list, the tool will clear Bright green and Red highlighting, but not Yellow highlighting.
  • Look in hidden text – by default, the tool finds highlighted text in any text. You can uncheck this checkbox in order to search in text which is formatted as non-hidden (i.e. hidden formatting attribute is not applied to it).

When you click Clear Highlighting button, the command clears all color highlighting in the document based on the above options.


Find Highlighting command

Find Highlighting feature allows you to find text highlighted with a certain color or colors by jumping between highlighted fragments.

Find Highlighting subtool

The following options are available:

  • Highlight color – select the color which needs to be found. Choose Any Color if you need to find text highlighted with any standard highlight color. If it is difficult to find the right color inside the list, you can select the text that has the right highlight color inside the document and then choose Selection Color from the dropdown list.
  • Use multiple colors – if you need to find text highlighted with several different highlight colors, select a specific color from the dropdown list and then check this checkbox. You will then be able to add colors to the list using Add button, or remove individual colors using Remove button.
  • Look in hidden text – by default, the tool finds highlighted text in any text. You can uncheck this checkbox in order to search in text which is formatted as non-hidden (i.e. hidden formatting attribute is not applied to it).
  • Start from beginning of document – check this checkbox if you want to search from the beginning of the document (and not from the current selection point).

When you click Find Next button, the command finds the next highlighted text fragment in the current document based on the above options.


Quality assurance (QA) tools

TransTools+

  • Multiple Find & Replace – search Word documents for multiple words and phrases, replace or format found text or review each occurrence in context before making a change

TransTools:

Batch tools

TransTools+

  • Document Processing Tool – perform various actions on multiple Word documents (DOCX, DOC, RTF format), using one or several different TransTools+ commands one after the other.