DTP Tools allow you to format Word documents quickly by using predefined or ad-hoc formatting commands organized into lists, making it ideal for formatting documents converted from PDFs, preparing badly formatted documents, or applying standard formatting to documents.
- How DTP Tools can help you in your work
- Where to find the tool
- Using DTP Tools
- Related tools
How DTP Tools can help you in your work
- Format Word documents quickly by creating ad-hoc formatting commands and running them on selected text: when converting PDFs or scans to Word format, DTP engineers need to recreate the original formatting of the document by applying 1-2 dozens of formatting styles to the text. Using DTP Tools, a DTP engineer will be able to recreate each unique type of formatting within the Word document, save this formatting as a command to a new / existing list (much like recording a Word macro or creating a Word style, but without the associated hassle), and then run each of these commands on appropriate text fragments. This is much faster than traditional approaches, for example applying each set of common formatting one by one manually, using Word styles, or recording and executing Word macros.
- Re-use a growing library of predefined formatting commands: DTP Tools comes with a built-in list of predefined formatting commands which you can run from the built-in list or even copy to your own lists and run them from there. Predefined commands accomplish various common operations: reset text shading, remove bookmarks, convert fields to text, convert tables of contents to editable text, move text out of selected textboxes, etc.
- Quickly copy commands between lists to have all the necessary commands at your fingertips while formatting a specific document: all formatting commands can be copied between lists, so it is very easy to create a new ad-hoc list of formatting commands to avoid switching lists during your work. This way, you can have a library of formatting commands which are useful for most documents, and copy some of these commands to a new ad-hoc command list in preparation for formatting a new Word document.
- Run formatting commands quickly by using keyboard shortcuts: you can assign keyboard shortcuts to specific formatting commands and then press those keyboard shortcuts to run these commands.
- Format regular documents quickly: if you cannot use templates or Word styles for some reason or it is cumbersome for you, you can use DTP Tools to store different sets of formatting that is common for your organization, and quickly apply that formatting to documents you create.
Where to find the tool
To run DTP Tools, click DTP Tools button on TransTools+ ribbon:
This will open DTP Tools pane to the right of the current document.
Using DTP Tools
Formatting commands overview
DTP Tools uses formatting commands that are organized into lists. If you want to run a specific formatting command, you need to select a list that contains it and then run this command by clicking its Run button or pressing a keyboard shortcut assigned to it. You can also create a new formatting command: optionally select some document text that has the formatting you want to save within the command, click Create command... button, specify the formatting that needs to be applied by the command, and you are done (see the following section on how to create formatting commands). You can take advantage of built-in commands stored within lists marked as “(TransTools+)”, edit commands, copy them between lists, create your own lists, rename lists, etc. See the following sections for more information.
There are two types of formatting commands:
- Standard formatting commands: these formatting commands apply specific configurable paragraph or font formatting to selected text. You can edit such commands at any time if you want to change the formatting applied by them.
- Power commands: these formatting commands perform preset actions which cannot be configured. For example, “Bookmarks – Remove all bookmarks within selection” command in the built-in list called “(TransTools+) Common DTP commands” removes all bookmarks within the selected text. For power commands, you can only change their name, description or keyboard shortcut (built-in lists marked with “(TransTools+)” cannot be edited, so you need to copy these commands to another list first).
Formatting commands can reside within built-in lists (marked with “(TransTools+)” prefix) and user-defined lists. Commands located within built-in lists cannot be edited, so if you would like to change command name, description, keyboard shortcut, or update the formatting parameters that should be applied by a command, you will need to copy a command to another list.
Creating formatting commands
Follow these steps to create a formatting command:
- Select the text that has the formatting you would like to apply with the new command. This is not required since you can configure each type of paragraph or font formatting using the command editor, but this is highly recommended if you want to create a command quicker. Note: if a specific formatting parameter of the selected text is inconsistent (mixed), e.g. the first part is bold while the second part is non-bold, the command editor will only save the formatting of the first part.
- Click Create command... button located at the bottom of Selection Tools section of DTP Tools pane. Note: it is not possible to create commands within read-only lists like “(TransTools+) Common DTP commands”.
In New Formatting Command dialogue, check the boxes for the formatting parameters that need to be applied by the new command, and then configure the appropriate parameter:
For some formatting parameters, you will need to click the ellipsis button on the right side of the column:
If a formatting parameter is crossed out, it means that the selected text has inconsistent formatting and only the formatting of the first text fragment is reflected in the command editor:
When you see this visual cue, be careful while configuring the formatting parameter, since the displayed formatting value might be different from the value you want the command to apply. When the checkbox is checked, the text will no longer be crossed-out.
- Type the name of the command. This name will be shown in the command list when you save the command. Note that the name must be unique within the current list.
- Optionally type the description of the command. This description will be shown within the command tooltip displayed when you hover the mouse over the help icon:
- Optionally type the keyboard shortcut that you want to use in order to run the command. The keyboard shortcut must be unique within the current list. If there is a conflict between this keyboard shortcut and an existing keyboard shortcut assigned to a Word command or macro, you will see a notification. Note that, in case of such conflict, the existing assignment will only be disabled while the command's list is selected in DTP Tools panel, and the command or macro assigned to this keyboard shortcut will still be executed otherwise.
- Click Save button to create the command. If the name you assigned to the command already exists within the current list, you will be prompted to assign a different name. Similarly, you will be prompted to change the keyboard shortcut if an existing command within the current list has the same keyboard shortcut.
Formatting Command dialogue in action
DTP Tools provides many ways to manage formatting commands:
- Edit an existing command: to edit an existing command, click More button and select Edit.... You can update a command's name, description, keyboard shortcut. Also, for standard commands you can update the formatting parameters that are applied when the command is run. If the current list is read-only (this applies to built-in lists marked with “(TransTools+)” suffix), editing will be disabled, so you need to copy such commands to another list first and edit the command within the new list.
- Duplicate an existing command: to duplicate an existing command, click More button and select Duplicate.... This will open New Formatting Command dialogue with a copy of the command opened in it. If the current list is read-only (this applies to built-in lists marked with “(TransTools+)” suffix), this functionality will be disabled, so you need to copy such commands to another list first and duplicate the command within the new list. If the command being duplicated has a keyboard shortcut assigned to it, the keyboard shortcut will be cleared so that you can assign a different one.
- Remove an existing command: to remove a single command, click More button and select Remove. To remove several commands simultaneously, click Manage Commands... button at the bottom of the panel, then select the appropriate commands in the Command Manager dialogue and click Remove Selected Commands... button.
- Clear all commands: to clear all commands from the current list, click Remove All Commands button at the bottom of DTP Tools panel.
- Reorder commands: to change the order of commands within a list, click Manage Commands... button at the bottom of the panel, then select one or more commands in the Command Manager dialogue and click Move Up or Move Down buttons. You can also use the mouse to drag command(s) within a list via drag-and-drop.
- Copy a single command to a different list: to copy a single command to another list, click More button and select Copy to another list..., then select the list and click Continue button:
- Import commands into the current list: to import commands from a different list, click Import... button at the bottom of DTP Tools panel. You can import commands from an existing named list (stored in TransTools+ configuration folder) or from an external XML file where you or your colleagues previously exported commands to:
Another way to import commands from one list to another is to use the Command Manager: click Manage Commands... button at the bottom of the panel, then click Import Commands... button.
- Export all commands to another list or external file: if you would like to export (copy) all commands found in the current list to another list or to an external file, click Export... button at the bottom of the panel, then choose whether to export the commands to a new list, an existing named list or an external file and configure additional options if necessary:
If you choose to export to an existing list or an existing external file, you can opt to add the commands to the end of the existing list or to overwrite the contents of the existing list.
- Export specific commands to another list or external file: if you would like to export (copy) only specific commands to another list, use the Command Manager: click Manage Commands... button at the bottom of DTP Tools panel, click Export Selected Commands... button, then select the target list and click Continue button.
Managing command lists
DTP Tools is based on lists of commands which you can create, edit, copy, share with colleagues, rename, etc. The tool comes with read-only built-in lists which are marked with “(TransTools+)” suffix, containing standard and power commands for formatting documents. You can also maintain any number of custom command lists, both permanent lists (libraries of useful commands that you re-use from project to project) and ad-hoc lists (created for a specific task at hand). DTP Tools provides the following ways to manage command lists:
- Create a new command list: the simplest way to create a new list is to select “[New list]” from the dropdown list (it is selected by default when you fire up DTP Tools) and start adding commands to this list via Create Command... button, Import... button or Manage Commands... button. Another way to create a new list is to click Create New List button at the top of DTP Tools panel.
- Save the current list: if changes are made to the current list, you can save the list by clicking Save button below the list:
- Load commands from a saved list: to load commands from a saved list, simply select the name of the list using the dropdown list at the top of DTP Tools panel.
- Load the command list from an external file: if commands are stored in an external file rather than a named list, you can click Open List From External File button and select the file from your computer. When such file is loaded, you can save any changes directly to that file by clicking the Save button below the list.
- Rename a list: to rename a list, click Manage Lists button at the top of the list, then select the list and click Rename button:
Read-only lists (built-in lists marked with “(TransTools+)” suffix) cannot be renamed.
- Delete a list: to delete a list, click Manage Lists button at the top of the list, then select the list and click Delete button. Read-only lists (built-in lists marked with “(TransTools+)” suffix) cannot be deleted.
Using keyboard shortcuts
DTP Tools makes it easy to run commands via keyboard shortcuts (shortcut key combinations). You can assign keyboard shortcuts to both standard commands and power commands:
Assigning a keyboard shortcut to a power command
Note: since commands within read-only (built-in) lists cannot be edited, it is not possible to assign a keyboard shortcut to a command within such lists. To do this, you need to copy a command to another list first, and then edit the command from within such list.
When you assign a keyboard shortcut to a command, you will often see a warning that the keyboard shortcut is already assigned to a Word command or user-defined macro:
In most cases, you can ignore this warning because the keyboard shortcut you assign to a command will only be active while DTP Tools panel is open in the current Word document and the list where the command is located is also selected. In all other situations, the keyboard shortcut will work as it did before the assignment.
It is not allowed to assign the same keyboard shortcut to two different commands within the same list, so you will be prompted to change the keyboard shortcut in case of such conflict.
To clear the keyboard shortcut, place the cursor within the Keyboard Shortcut field and press Delete or Backspace keys.
You can configure the behaviour of DTP Tools using the Configuration dialogue accessible via Configuration button at the top of DTP Tools panel:
DTP Tools Configuration dialogue
The following settings are available:
- Use advanced formatting parameters in command editor dialogue by default: when this parameter is activated, advanced formatting parameters will be initially displayed in the Command Editor dialogue whenever you create a new formatting command or edit an existing command.
DTP Tools is provided with one built-in list called “(TransTools+) Common DTP commands” containing a number of useful standard commands and power commands. Here is a list of its commands and what they do:
- Reset paragraph indentation and spacing to zero, set single line spacing – this is a standard command which does several things: sets left and right indentation of the selected paragraph(s) to 0, sets first-line and hanging indentation to 0, resets the spacing before and after the paragraph(s) to 0, and sets single line spacing.
- Reset paragraph indentation to zero – this is a standard command which does several things: sets left and right indentation of the selected paragraph(s) to 0, and sets first-line and hanging indentation to 0.
- Reset right indentation to zero – this is a standard command which sets right indentation of the selected paragraph(s) to 0. This is useful if you want to keep original paragraph indentation and spacing, but would like to identify a common OCR / PDF recognition issue: when several paragraphs in the original are merged into a single paragraph in the converted Word document and the right indentation is used to control word wrapping instead of line breaks:
- Reset paragraph spacing to zero and set single line spacing – this is a standard command which does several things: resets the spacing before and after the selected paragraph(s) to 0 and sets single line spacing.
- Reset tab places to defaults – this is a standard command which resets all custom tab stops within the selected paragraph(s) to defaults (i.e. by removing custom tab stop positions), making it easier to set custom tab stops for text alignment.
- Reset text spacing, scaling, position, kerning to defaults – this is a standard command which resets text spacing, scaling, position and kerning to default values. These formatting parameters are often set to inconsistent values within text due to visual inconsistencies in PDFs and scanned images, and these formatting inconsistencies cause tag issues in CAT tools. Even if your CAT tool can handle these inconsistencies without introducing extra tags, it is still recommended to reset these parameters to default values since real-life documents rarely make use of these advanced formatting parameters.
- Remove paragraph shading – this is a power command which removes paragraph shading (background color or pattern) in all selected paragraphs.
- Reset all font formatting to defaults – this is a power command which removes all font formatting from selected text, keeping text only. This is very useful if you want to ignore the inline formatting created by your OCR / PDF conversion program and reproduce the original PDF formatting manually.
- Remove text shading – this is a power command which removes text shading (background color of selected characters) in selected text.
- Reset all paragraph and font formatting to defaults – this is a power command which removes all font formatting of selected text and resets its paragraph formatting to zero / default values. This is very useful if you want to ignore all paragraph and font formatting created by your OCR / PDF conversion program and reproduce the original PDF formatting manually.
- TOCs – Convert selected tables(s) of contents to text – this is a power command which converts tables of contents at the cursor or within selection to regular text. This is useful if the OCR or PDF conversion program has converted regular text to a table of contents by mistake. To use this command, click anywhere within the table of contents and run the command.
- Fields – Convert selected field(s) to text – this is a power command which converts fields at the cursor or within selection to regular text. This is useful if you have issues translating the text of specific fields in your CAT tool. Keep in mind that converting fields to text will prevent you from updating the text if the text referenced by the field changes.
- Lists – Convert automatic numbering in selected list items to text – this is a power command which converts automatic numbering markers (automatic numbering before each paragraph) in list paragraphs at the cursor or within selection to regular text so that the list marker becomes editable. This is useful if the OCR or PDF conversion program has converted regular text to a numbered list by mistake, or if it used incorrect list numbering. To use this command, click anywhere within the relevant list items and run the command.
- Hyperlinks – Convert selected hyperlinks to text – this is a power command which converts hyperlinks at the cursor or within selection to regular text, reducing the number of tags in your CAT tool if the hyperlinks do not need to be preserved. This is useful if you are processing a document converted with an OCR or PDF conversion program and hyperlinks do not need to be clickable.
- Bookmarks – Remove all bookmarks within selection – this is a power command which removes all bookmarks (including hidden bookmarks) which are found within selected text.
- Textboxes – Move text out of selected textboxes – this is a power command which moves the text from each selected textbox and places it inside the paragraph to which this textbox is anchored. The textboxes are then removed. To use this command, place the cursor within a single textbox, select this textbox, or select multiple textboxes using the Ctrl key. Note that the textboxes should not be grouped or located within a drawing canvas.
Tools for document formatting and preparation before/after translation