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Initial release of TransTools+ plugins with new Hide/Unhide Text tool and Highlighting Tool

November 20, 2018

I am very excited to announce a new addition to the arsenal of professional translators, editors, copyeditors and DTP specialists.

Introducing TransTools+...

TransTools+ is a new product designed for professional translators, editors, copyeditors and DTP specialists. It is an extension to TransTools which gives you more advanced versions of tools that you enjoy in TransTools, and will bring you a lot of new tools in the future. Read on to find out how TransTools+ can be useful in your work.

Summary of TransTools+ features

The current version of TransTools+ includes two powerful tools: Hide/Unhide Text tool (Microsoft Word) for hiding text from CAT tools and converting non-translatable text into tags, and Highlighting Tool (Microsoft Word) for applying color highlighting to potentially problematic text during editing, copyediting and DTP work and for working with color highlighting.

Hide/Unhide Text tool

One tool in TransTools that is extensively used for preparation of MS Word documents for CAT tool import is Hide/Unhide Text. This tool hides text from the CAT tool based on the highlight color or font color. It is useful in a number of contexts: 1) if your customer marked text that should or should not be translated, 2) if you want to create a dual-language document based on a single-language source document by duplicating source text and hiding one part, 3) if you want to skip certain parts of the document, e.g. repetitive headers/footers, tables with financial data, etc. In TransTools+, you will see a reincarnation of Hide/Unhide Text tool which gives you many more capabilities.

Hide/Unhide Text tool panel
Hide/Unhide Text tool panel

So what new features does it have?

  1. First of all, if you want to hide text based on highlight colors or font colors, you can now specify several different colors:
    Hide/Unhide Text tool - multiple colors
  2. If you want to hide specific non-translatable parts of the document (for example placeholders like %s, {0}, %name%) in order to convert them into tags in your CAT tool, there is no need to color them first. You can now specify these parts using a list of search expressions and Hide/Unhide Text tool will hide them throughout the document (and “hiding” means that they will appear as tags inside your CAT tool, provided that your CAT tool can ignore hidden text in MS Word documents):
    Hide/Unhide Text tool - hiding by search expressions
    In the example above, I want to hide non-translatable parts of an SRT subtitle file saved as an MS Word document. In SRT files, non-translatable content includes subtitle numbers, subtitle timecodes, and special tags. Once these elements are hidden, I can import the document into my CAT tool and translate it, making sure that all tags are transferred into the translation correctly. When the document is exported from the CAT tool, I need to use Unhide Everything option to make all the text visible, and then copy-paste the document content back into the original SRT file, producing a translated version.
    To use this feature, you will need to select Hide by text or regular expressions option from Hiding Options list. You can specify the text by using Microsoft Word search syntax or by using standard regular expressions (.NET flavor).
  3. Hide/Unhide Text tool comes with several standard lists of search expressions for hiding text in HTML, XML and SRT files opened inside Microsoft Word. Also, there are several libraries of expressions for hiding non-translatable text. For example, there is a library of search expressions for hiding non-translatable paragraphs which do not contain any letters. This standard list may be useful if you deal with financial documents containing lots of number-only paragraphs which you would rather localize outside your CAT tool. Another library contains search expressions for hiding placeholders in localizable files.
  4. If you need to skip certain parts of a Word document such as headers or footers, footnotes, endnotes, textboxes, or comments, you can do so by using Hide by type of content option:
    Hide/Unhide Text tool - Hide by type of content

Let me summarize where Hide/Unhide Text tool will save you a lot of time:

  • You customer sends you a Word document where non-translatable parts are marked with certain colors, or you need to translate only the parts which are identified by a certain color.
  • You want to create a dual-language document from a single-language document by duplicating the source text and hiding the original-language parts in order to translate only one side of the document.
  • You want to convert certain text fragments like non-translatables, localization placeholders, trademark names, etc. into tags inside your CAT tool.
  • You want to translate special file types that are currently not handled by your CAT tool, e.g. subtitle files, Markdown files, etc.
  • You want to skip parts of the document that you prefer to translate outside your CAT tool, for example number-only paragraphs in long financial documents.
  • You want to skip comments, textboxes, headers/footers, footnotes or endnotes during translation.

I invite you to take a close look at the new Hide/Unhide Text tool. More information about it is available here, and you can evaluate it without any limitations for 30 days.


Highlighting Tool

A common task during editing/proofreading, translation and DTP is checking the document for potential problems. For example, editing involves finding words that are forbidden by your customer, e.g. “client” used instead of “customer”, common translation mistakes, or incorrect spacing near punctuation. During formatting / DTP of a document converted from a PDF you will want to find tab characters between words, tab characters at the beginning or end of paragraphs, letter numbering used instead of automatic list numbering, incorrectly recognized letters, etc.

Highlighting Tool (Microsoft Word) is a new tool that performs three things: 1) applies color highlighting to any text within the current Word document based on search expressions (using Word search syntax or regular expressions), 2) navigates between highlighted text to make it easier to review it, and 3) clears highlighting of certain or all colors from the document.

Highlighting Tool panel
Highlighting Tool panel

As you can see from the screenshot, Highlighting Tool has three commands that allow you to achieve different things:

  1. Apply color highlighting to any text identified by search expressions:
    Highlighting Tool - Apply Highlighting command
  2. Navigate between highlighted areas:
    Highlighting Tool - Find Highlight command
  3. Clear color highlighting of certain or all colors:
    Highlighting Tool - Clear Highlighting command

Out of the three commands, Apply Highlighting command is the most powerful one. With its help, you can apply a highlight color to any text within the current document in order to change it manually if required. Let me summarize how this command can make you more productive:

  • If you perform DTP work, you can find potential formatting problems in a document. TransTools+ comes with an existing library of special search expressions to find some of such potential problems. These search expressions can find the following problems: digit or letter numbering at the beginning of paragraphs which should be converted to automatic list numbering, e.g. a), 1., etc.; tab characters at the beginning or end of paragraphs; tab characters between words which often come up in documents converted from PDFs; optional hyphens. Of course you can define your own search expressions which will highlight other types of potential problems.
  • If you perform editing or copyediting work, you can use Apply Highlighting command to find all sorts of problems. These can be words forbidden by the customer (e.g. “client” instead of “customer”, “employees” instead of “personnel”), taboo words, words that fly under the Word spellchecker’s radar (e.g. “pubic” instead of “public”), “false friends of the translator”, American English spellings instead of British English spellings, etc. TransTools+ comes with an existing library of special search expressions that should be useful for editors and copyeditors. For the time being, these search expressions will help you find the following things: wrong space before or after punctuation, English words with -ize suffix, hyphenated words, repeated words, or phrases in title case like “Microsoft Word”.
  • If you need to hide text from your CAT tool or convert various non-translatable text into tags, you can use Apply Highlighting command to apply a highlight color before you use Hide/Unhide Text tool. While Hide/Unhide Text tool can do this as well, this particular workflow can be useful if you want to apply or clear highlighting manually before you use Hide/Unhide Text tool. For example, this can be useful for some localization files like Markdown files where you need to review what will be hidden and apply / clear highlighting in certain areas as required.

The other two commands make it very easy to navigate between highlighted text, or clear highlighting, making them essential for processing the results obtained with Apply Highlighting command. They will also be useful in other scenarios: if you work in a team and use color highlighting while working on the same document, or if you want to clear color highlighting used to hide text from the CAT tool.

As mentioned above, Highlighting Tool comes with several libraries of search expressions. These libraries will be expanded in the future to cover additional cases, and I will appreciate if you share your use case with me in order to update these libraries with more useful expressions.

I invite you to take a close look at the new Hide/Unhide Text tool. More information about it is available here, and you can evaluate it without any limitations for 30 days.

What’s coming in future releases?

TransTools+ is a young product with lots of features planned for the coming months. One of the next versions will contain a powerful tool for finding and replacing text in a Word document. Among other capabilities, this tool will allow you to make complex replacements using regular expressions. Other powerful features are in store so watch future issues of TransTools newsletter closely.

Evaluating and buying TransTools+

TransTools+ does not require TransTools to be installed and can be installed side by side with it.

You can use any tool that is part of TransTools+ without limitations for 30 days. To continue using it after that, you will need to buy a license at a very affordable price.

If you already hold a license for TransTools Professional Edition, you will soon receive a special coupon code which you can apply in order to receive a 30% discount for a full TransTools+ license. If you do not receive this coupon code within the next few days, let me know here and I will re-send it to your alternative email address.

TransTools+ is not distributed under the annual subscription model which has become so common these days. Your license will be valid for the current major version of TransTools+, and new major versions will be released approximately every 2 years. All updates within the current major version will be free of charge, and you will also get technical support. You may activate TransTools+ licenses on up to 3 computers simultaneously provided that these computers belong to the same individual or employee.

So, are you ready for TransTools+? Download it and enjoy this new software which will make you even more productive!

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, LinkedIn or Scoop.it.

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