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Translator Tools Newsletter #44: TransTools+ v.2.1 introducing a new feature for hiding text in localization tables

September 01, 2023

Welcome to the 44th edition of Translator Tools Newsletter. In this newsletter, I would like to introduce TransTools+ version 2.1 which includes a new important feature in Hide / Unhide Text tool for hiding text in localization tables in Microsoft Word format, as well as several fixes and improvements.

Hide/Unhide Text tool can now hide text in Word-based localization tables

From time to time, Word documents may be used to package localization strings for translation. Here is one common format which you may have encountered in the past:

Sample translatable text in a commonly requested localization file

To prepare such a document for translation in a CAT tool, you would need to apply hidden formatting to the entire document first, and then remove hidden formatting from the Translation column in each and every localization table. When you have dozens of such tables in a document, the task can become quite time-consuming.

Hide/Unhide Text tool is a very versatile tool which can apply hidden formatting to text in various ways: based on text color (e.g. it can hide everything except text highlighted in yellow, hide only text marked in red, etc.), if text matches certain search criteria (e.g. to hide non-translatable areas in movie subtitles), or based on text location (e.g. to hide text in headers and footers). However, the previous versions could not hide text which is located in specific parts of tables. The new version introduces a new Tables option located under Hide text based on its location section of Hide/Unhide Text tool:

Updated settings for hiding text based on its location

The Tables option has a number of extra settings to control which text must be marked as hidden or non-hidden. For example, you can specify the columns where the text is located by indicating a column’s ordinal number, a range of column numbers, or even the name of the column (its header text) such as “Translation”. You can also skip table headers by indicating a range of rows where the text is located, and even apply a highlight color to the marked text to make it easier for you to see what was marked as hidden and what was not.

Table content hiding options
Settings for hiding text located in tables

Using the new option, you can now prepare pretty much any type of localization tables in Word format for translation in CAT tools. Here is a step-by-step procedure for hiding non-translatable text in localization tables:

  1. Open a Word document containing localization tables.
  2. Open Hide/Unhide Text tool by clicking its button under TransTools+ tab. This will display Hide/Unhide Text tool pane on the right side.
  3. Under What do you want to do?, keep the default Hide everything except specific text setting because you will be hiding everything except specific text located in tables.
  4. Under Hide Text Using, keep the default Hidden text attribute setting which is how most CAT tools decide whether to import translatable text from Word documents. Wordfast Classic users will need to use other settings from this list.
  5. Under Hiding options, select Hide text based on its location.
  6. Check Tables checkbox. This will display a summary of table settings with a button next to it. Click the button.
  7. Configure the options. In most cases, the following options will be required:
    • Check Specific Columns option and click Add > Column which has specific text in the header row, then specify the text that must be in the header row of a column in order to consider this column as a translatable column and indicate whether the text must match exactly (Match Case checkbox is checked) or whether uppercase and lowercase letters are considered equivalent (Match Case checkbox is unchecked).
    • Check Specific Rows option and set Start Row to 2 in order for header rows to be considered non-translatable. In the End Row field, you can keep the default value of 1000 since your tables will hardly ever have more rows than that. To be on the safe side, you can indicate 10000 though.
    • Optionally, you can check Also apply a highlight color to the marked text checkbox to make it clearer which text in the document was marked as translatable. This is handy if text marked with hidden formatting is configured to be visible in Microsoft Word. With this setting, all translatable text will have a highlight color so you can clearly see the translatable text which will be imported into the CAT tool, and you will know if the settings were correct.
  8. Click the Save button to save the settings.
  9. Click the Hide Text button to hide non-translatable text in the current document.
  10. If you need to prepare multiple Word documents which have similar structure, use Document Processing Tool available under TransTools+ tab. Open it, add the documents you want to prepare, then add Hide/Unhide Text step and set the same settings for that step.

Fixes and improvements in Pre-flight Checker

The new version also contains a number of important bug fixes and improvements in Pre-flight Checker which was added to TransTools+ in version 2 released in June 2023. To see the full list of changes, go here. For more information about Pre-flight Checker, consult its documentation.

Minor fixes in TransTools+ v.1

If you are using version 1 of TransTools+, there is a new update for version 1 containing minor fixes. To download it, go to TransTools+ v1 download section. Consider upgrading to TransTools+ v.2 to take advantage of new features: the new Pre-flight Checker tool and new capabilities in Hide/Unhide Text tool as explained above. If you have not received a special coupon code for upgrading to version 2, let me know.

TransTools+ version 2

The above new feature of Hide / Unhide Text tool and the Pre-flight Checker tool are part of TransTools+ Version 2 — a new major version of TransTools+ released in June 2023. TransTools+ Version 2 (including v.2.1 announced in this newsletter) includes all the tools from TransTools+ version 1 with the addition of new tools and features. In the future, all new features will be added to TransTools+ version 2 while version 1 will be updated with bug fixes.

If you have not yet installed TransTools+ v.2, download the installation program from the Download page (make sure to download from inside “Version 2” section) and install it without uninstalling version 1. Note that you need a new license for TransTools+ version 2. Registered TransTools+ v.1 users should have received an email containing a discount coupon for TransTools+ v.2. Those who purchased TransTools+ v.1 recently (since December 1, 2022) should have received an email containing a license for v.2. Let me know in case you have not received any of these emails.

Version 2 and version 1 are compatible with each other so all your lists and settings will continue to work both in version 2 if you upgrade or in version 1 if you decide to downgrade back to version 1.

If you are satisfied with the existing feature set of TransTools+ version 1, there is no need to upgrade to version 2. TransTools+ version 1 will continue to be updated with bug fixes for some time, however new features will be added in TransTools+ v.2 only.

I hope you have found this information useful. See you in future newsletters. To stay up to date on TransTools+, TransTools suite and Forget-me-not, don’t forget to subscribe to Translator Tools social channels on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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