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New features in TransTools 3.1

New tool – Segmented Text Coloring Tool

If you are a user of Wordfast Classic or SDL Trados 2007, or proofread / translate documents in Trados Tag-delimited DOC format (e.g., {0>Source text<}0{>Target text<0}), it is much easier to work if you can clearly see where source and target text is and which segments require more attention than others.

Wordfast Classic and SDL Trados 2007 already have options for coloring source text during the pre-translate step, but pre-translation is not always performed, because many users prefer to translate original (unsegmented) documents. Also, most CAT tools that can export Trados Tag-delimited DOC files do this without coloring the segmented text.

Segmented Text Coloring Tool is a new tool designed for reformatting (re-coloring) segmented Word documents to make them easier to proofread / translate. It performs two tasks:

  • Highlights delimiters (e.g., {0>, <0} and <}0{>) with different colors (up to 4) depending on the segment match percentage, for example gray for 100-101%, bright green for 75-99%, and yellow for 0-74%. This makes it easier to see which segments are more reliable in case you own the translation memory and can vouch for its accuracy.
  • (Optional) Changes the font color of the source text to distinguish it from target text.

Below is an example of colored tag-delimited text. Gray indicates reliable segments (100% or 101%), bright green – medium percentage matches, and yellow – low percentage matches, and dark red identifies source text:

Screenshot: Colored tag-delimited text

The tool is quite easy to use. Before proofreading or translating a segmented document, open the document, run the tool, optionally configure the colors you want to use for coloring delimiters and source text (your settings are saved automatically) and press Continue to re-format the document.

Screenshot: Segmented Text Coloring Tool

For more details on the capabilities of Segmented Text Coloring Tool, go to the tool's reference page.

To test this new tool, download and install the new version of TransTools.

Many thanks to Roger Chadel, a Wordfast Classic user and trainer, for suggesting this functionality and his help in developing it.


Improvements in Unbreaker

The previous version of TransTools introduced a new tool called Unbreaker. This tool is indispensable for all those who translate Word documents in CAT tools because it can find and remove incorrect breaks in the middle of sentences which interfere with segmentation.

In this new version, I have introduced a number of improvements in Unbreaker:

  1. Added a new option: Treat a break before a capitalized word as an uncertain break. If checked, breaks that occur before a capitalized word are marked with a question mark and unchecked by default. This is very useful for most Western languages (with the exception of German) where capitalized words are more common at the beginning of sentences. By checking this option, you will reduce the time required to remove incorrect breaks from human-formatted documents or in documents produced by copy-pasting text from PDF files.
  2. Slightly improved Unbreaker algorithms to increase accuracy.

If you are not using Unbreaker yet, here are some reasons why you should:

  • Incorrect breaks are quite common in all sorts of documents: documents produced by OCR or PDF conversion tools like ABBYY Finereader or PDF Transformer, text copied from the Web; even documents prepared by a person can include dozens of incorrect breaks.
  • Incorrect breaks present a number of issues in CAT tools:
    • If your CAT tool does not support joining segments separated by a paragraph break (most CAT tools do not), you have two basic solutions. The first solution is to go back to the source document, remove incorrect breaks and re-import it. The second one is to translate individual “pieces” of the segment so that the final sentence has the correct translation. Both solutions have their drawbacks. The main problem with the first one is that you may need to do this more than once. Using the second solution, you risk propagating pieces of the sentence to other segments in the same document, or you can accidentally confirm these incomplete translations to the translation memory. And when you export the final document, you still need to find all the incorrect breaks and remove them to ensure that the text flows from line to line naturally.
    • If you are lucky to have a CAT tool that supports joining segments across paragraph breaks, you still need to format the translated document, removing incorrect breaks so that the text flows naturally from line to line.
    • If you encounter incorrect line breaks (also called “soft breaks”), you can easily expand the segment in any CAT tool. However, you will need to remove these breaks in the translated document, otherwise the text will have line breaks in incorrect places.
  • Unbreaker offers a semi-automatic workflow for removing incorrect breaks. It recognizes most incorrect breaks automatically and it is up to the user to choose which ones are incorrect and need to be removed. Most of the time, you will need less than 1–2 minutes to remove incorrect breaks from a medium-sized document, while doing the same manually can be very time-consuming and strenuous.
  • Unbreaker can work in a fully automatic mode, which is useful for processing movie scripts, books in text format, etc.
  • Unbreaker can help you find missing final punctuation, improving the source documents for your customers.

Unbreaker is available as part of TransTools Professional Edition, a subset of advanced TransTools commands. It is included in TransTools distribution and is free to evaluate for 45 days. After the evaluation period, you need to purchase a license code for a very small fee, or continue using TransTools Free Edition for free. TransTools Professional Edition is going to be updated with more advanced tools in the future.

For more details on the capabilities of Unbreaker, go to the tool's reference page. You can watch a small demonstration of how Unbreaker can be used to remove incorrect breaks from a book here.

To check out this new tool, download and install the new version of TransTools.


I hope you have found this information useful. See you in future newsletters. Don't forget to subscribe to TransTools on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc. using the links on the left.

June 29, 2014

Developed by Stanislav Okhvat, 2007-2014

Microsoft Word®, Excel®, Powerpoint® and Visio® are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
Autocad© is copyright of Autodesk, Inc.
SDL Trados® (including SDL Trados Studio, Trados Workbench, TagEditor and Microsoft Word Addin) is a registered trademark of SDL plc.
memoQ is copyright of Kilgray Translation Technologies.
Wordfast© is copyright of Yves Champollion.

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