| Missing functions - my wish list || Dec 11, 2008 |
As we are at the topic of missing functions, there are a few, that I could really use.
I think a system where the segments are numbered is a must. I mean each segment in the source file would have a unique ID (a simple sequential number) that could be displayed (and maybe used in a search, too, but that is secondary).
ForeignDesk has it and it is very useful.
Imagine you are working on a file and you have a question about a particular segment, and you need to ask the client for clarification.
As it is now, it is quite difficult, because you cannot refer to a particular segment in a straightforward way.
When I use ForeignDesk, I can just ask the client: "What is this abbreviation: FOV in segment #356 in the abcd file?" The client looks it up, and sends the answer. Pretty simple.
In Across, there is no way to do this (at least I am not aware, if there are segment numbers or some other ID, please let me know).
I can copy the string, and the client would have to search for it. If he is lucky, there is only one instance. If he is not lucky, there are multiple instances (when I am working on large resource files for software localization, this is the case most of the time), in which case further explanation needed as to which particular segment I am talking about. I have tried discussing issues with the client via email, via skype, and it is very frustrating. This comes to play quite often when the translation of the same source string is context-dependent.
Another method is to use the commenting feature to ask the question, but that is not a good way, for the following reasons:
1. The client would have to open the file that is "work in progress" to insert the answers. There is a risk of the client messing up the translation.
2. There is no good way to navigate through all the comments. There is a key combination (Ctrl+Shift+O) that takes you to the NEXT comment, but there is no way to step backwards (at least I am not aware of it). So, I want a backwards stepping function.
3. There is no view in CrossDesk to see only the segments with comments. You can view them by state, and then you can separate Untouched, Touched and Translated, but it is not practical trying to have all commented segments in one particular state. I mean I would need to make sure that all segments where I placed a comment are Touched, and nothing else is touched. This is a pain in the neck.
4. It is very hard to maintain a record of these clarification questions. Even if the client answers the questions within the actual comments, there is no way to extract that information for future use (unless you are copy-pasting the text one by one). Why would I want to maintain a record? Well, for future files, maintenance updates, the same questions may come up (abbreviations, etc.), plus, I think if other languages are involved, such clarification QA lists could be shared among the translators.
Another missing feature is to be able to copy multiple segments out of the CrossDesk window. This is again a problem when you need to ask clarification questions about the source, for example when you see an inconsistency between 2-3 subsequent paragraphs. It would be useful to be able to highlight and copy those segments in one operation.
There is one more:
The ability to open more than one file (task) at the same time. This is something that is driving me nuts. I am working on 3 files in sort of a "parallel" mode. One is a resource file (which is almost finished), the other two are the on-line help. The CrossTank concordance is not working perfectly, so I frequently need to look up things in the resource file while working on the on-line help, to maintain consistency. (For example, the concordance function does not work for menu items where there is a hotkey assignment in the middle of the string with the ampersand sign, as that is not present in the help file.)
So, if I need to look up a button name, I have to close the help file, then open the resource file, do the search, find the string, close the file, open the other one and continue. And I have to repeat this quite often. The files are large, so opening and closing and opening and closing takes a lot of my time. (I am using Across in a logged-in mode, not standalone for this job).
Oh, there is one additional one:
The ability to generate a TBX file from a translated source-target pair, so all segment pairs in CrossTank would turn into CrossTerm terminology entries. This may sound crazy, but trust me, it is not. When you have a resource file that contains all the button names, all the menu item names, all the screen captures that you need to use in the user manual and on-line help, you want them in CrossTerm for easy insertion. Without this function, you may need to copy the strings into CrossTerm while translating the resource file (lots of extra time), or export the TM and juggle the data to put it into a format that CrossTerm can import. You either do it manually, or use an external tool (I believe Hearthsome has a converter).
So, this is my wishlist. I don't think any of these are ridiculous requests, most of these functions are available in other CAT tools. If any of these are already present in Across, please do enlighten me.
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