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Should CAT-tools be more consistent?
Thread poster: Heinrich Pesch

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 05:57
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
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Sep 15, 2007

What I mean is this: every time you switch from one tool to another you have to learn almost all shortcuts anew. One example:
Close segment - go to next segment
Wordfast: Alt + arrow down
Trados: Alt + plus-sign
Transit: Insert
SDLX: Enter

The same applies to almost all other shortcuts.

I'm hoping for some kind of standard, like for other, Windows/Mac-related shortcusts for copying, pasting, removing and restoring.
What do you think?

Regards
Heinrich


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Antoní­n Otáhal
Local time: 04:57
Member (2005)
English to Czech
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I would go further Sep 15, 2007

It should be very easy to allow users to customise the shortcuts.

Some IT people told me that not letting you customise the shortcusts is a form of software providers' competition with each other.

Well...

Antonin


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István Lengyel
Hungary
Local time: 04:57
English to Hungarian
+ ...
lock-in effect Sep 15, 2007

Yes, the lack of shortcut customization is either

a. a sign that the tool did not reach a level where this is the next logical step to take (e.g. it's more important to implement other functions),

b. competition, trying to prevent users from using other tools.

The tricky thing, however, is this: if users can't use their previous shortcuts, they lose productivity, if they lose productivity, they won't change to your tool without a very special reason. And if they already bought the tool, the vendor's 'only' interest is to charge for updates, i.e. keep them locked in.

Unfortunately too many technical decisions have to be based on business considerations, just think about the detail and approximation of text statistics (if we give the user more precise data to estimate the workload and the time needed, the translators will get less money because someone will 'abuse' this data - a real moral dilemma of a vendor).

Btw I am one of the MemoQ architects, and we had this same issue - whether or not to allow customizable shortcuts. We decided to allow customization and also you can exchange keyboard shortcut files. The reason is that we don't charge for upgrades to later versions, so we have no interest in keeping users who already paid us the license fee tied to the tool with any trick but good features and support.

Regards,
István


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Should be customisable Sep 15, 2007

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
Close segment - go to next segment
Wordfast: Alt + arrow down
Trados: Alt + plus-sign


How about closing segment and going to previous segment?
Wordfast: Alt+up
Trados: can't do it with a single key-press.

I'm hoping for some kind of standard, like for other, Windows/Mac-related shortcusts for copying, pasting, removing and restoring.


I think different programs just work differently. In WF there is no way to "go to next unproofread segment", but in Transit there is.

In Wordfast you can switch between matches using Alt+left/right (I think), but in OmegaT you have to go Ctrl+1, 2, 3 4 etc. Both can claim that their method makes more sense, and there certainly is method to both their madnesses, but who will decide what is the "standard" way to do it?

The best option is to make them customisable, but I think even if you do that, there will be the danger that a user won't discover the full potential of the current tool because he is still locked into thinking with his previous tool.


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István Lengyel
Hungary
Local time: 04:57
English to Hungarian
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not everything needs to be consistent, just the basic things Sep 15, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:

I think different programs just work differently. In WF there is no way to "go to next unproofread segment", but in Transit there is.


True, but basic problems are addressed almost the same way, and you face these basic problems in 95 out of 100 segment operations. The most important basic problem is: how to jump to the next segment with or without storing the current segment in the TM. Or some others: how to edit the current TM hit, how to insert the highlighted terms into the TB, how to do concordancing using the highlighted words, how to insert the next formatting tag (in this case the logic of e.g. DVX and Trados differ a lot - inserting one at a time or a batch at a time), etc. You usually don't need to jump around during your first few projects unless your project is a huge one - there is no jumping around in Word either.


The best option is to make them customisable, but I think even if you do that, there will be the danger that a user won't discover the full potential of the current tool because he is still locked into thinking with his previous tool.


I love this statement, man, you speak my mind! Don't tell anyone, but we internally have two categories of negative feedback (fortunately we don't get much of either recently):

1. the tool is bad because it does not satisfy my needs,

2. the tool is bad because it's not Wordfast/Trados/other Word environment.

I originally wrote 'I don't like it because ...', but most people like to appear objective and say 'the tool is bad because ...'. While we highly appreciate the first category negative feedback and try to address the issues and follow up with these people, we politely answer thank you very much for trying it when we get the second category and that's all. As the Latin saying goes 'De gustibus non est disputandum.'... There is no solution that can satisfy everyone and let everyone respect those who prefer a different approach.

István


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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Some answers for WF Sep 15, 2007

István Lengyel wrote:
True, but basic problems are addressed almost the same way, and you face these basic problems in 95 out of 100 segment operations.


You raise an interesting point. Personally I haven't thought about it much -- I just like the way WF does things, because that's the way I learnt CAT. I often find myself pressing Alt+down while using OmegaT... force of habit.

Or some others: (1) how to edit the current TM hit, (2) how to insert the highlighted terms into the TB, (3) how to do concordancing using the highlighted words, (4) how to insert the next formatting tag, etc.


(1) In WF, press Ctrl+Alt+M (m for memory) to view the memory entry, and press Ctrl+Alt+M again to edit the memory entry.

In OmT, you have to do it manually by opening the TM file in a TMX editor or text editor, changing the entry, saving, and reloading the project. Or, if the TM entry is from the current source file, you can also use Ctrl+F (find), type in or copy the TM entry, do a search, and double-click the TM entry, which will take you to that entry.

(2) In WF, highlight the source term, press Ctrl+Alt+T, highlight target term, press Ctrl+Alt+T again, preview it (and optionally modify it), and press ENTER.

In OmT, you have to edit the glossary file in a text editor and reload the project. Or use a little script I wrote that mimicks the way WF works.

(3) In WF, to look it up in a c_oncordance search, Ctrl+Alt+C. To look it up in the d_ictionary, Ctrl+Alt+D. To look it up in the g_lossary, Ctrl+Alt+G.

In OmT, press Ctrl+F (find) and type in the word. A single search searches the glossaries, TMs and reference materials. You can't link dictionaries to OmT.

(4) In WF, press Ctrl+Alt+left and right to select the tag, and use Ctrl+Alt+down to drop it in at the cursor position.

In OmT, copy or type them in manually.

What are the shortcuts for doing these things in Trados, DVX, MemoQ etc?


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 04:57
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
The best pair in this respect Sep 15, 2007

Transit PE and TRADOS / Wordfast.

CtrlIns for instance does "close the segment and open the next fuzzy" in the former and does "make coffee and format c:" in the latter (or is it the other way round)?

Anytime I am forced to switch between these (or any) two CAT tools, it feels like somebody stole my keyboard and replaced it with some strange backstabbing sneaky contraption that hates me. You know, the kind of keyboard you stumble upon in some far away Internet cafe, where you then desperately search for @ and a back slash characters

I wanted to customize all the stuff I have to use to one single consistent set of accelerators. However, I gave up this project, after trying without any success to customize TagEditor(*). I tried to add the shortcut for the equivalent of the "save segment and get next fuzzy" command - I use CtrlA , as this is a left-hand (ie one-hand) shortcut and I hate to play a two-handed Chopin, doing octaves across the keyboard to get an Alt Plus.

Well I gave up after succeeding unknowingly/unseeingly to hang Microsoft's "Fast system shutdown" on the Ctrl+A shortcut.

You can imagine what then happened: you finally climb back to the segment you were doing yesterday, you fix it, press CtrlA - and then the system just folds down in front of your very eyes (it even turned off the power)...It was half an hour of pure unmitigated panic.

In any case, it was a lecture, hard enough even for my hardened thick head. In the specific case of Transit vs Trados - I'll turn TRANSIT on only when I have to get TXF from TMX (one letter difference - and so much suffering connected with it...)

By the way, we are discussing something from first chapters of any book with a title having words "elements of a programming / design style" in any order. Except that whoever designed and wrote these programs probably can read anyhow.


*: in earnest, there's no way to call some internal macros or handlers in TagEditor, the way its done in TWB / Word. The one possibility would be to rewire Keyboard accelerators, like "on ctrl+A sendkeys ctrl+INS to TagEditor" but that's already beyond the pale.

[Edited at 2007-09-15 21:58]


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Rodolfo Raya  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:57
English to Spanish
Good tools can be customised. Sep 16, 2007

Antoní­n Otáhal wrote:
It should be very easy to allow users to customise the shortcuts.


Agreed. That's why there are CAT tools that allow you to customise shortcuts.


Some IT people told me that not letting you customise the shortcusts is a form of software providers' competition with each other.


If that happens to be true, it is a sign that the software provider is not able to write software that is good enough for staying ahead of competitors.

Shortcuts customisation is an enhancement for the tool. It allows users to work comfortably. It should have nothing to do with competition from other products.

Regards,
Rodolfo


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István Lengyel
Hungary
Local time: 04:57
English to Hungarian
+ ...
shortcuts in MemoQ Sep 16, 2007



Or some others: (1) how to edit the current TM hit, (2) how to insert the highlighted terms into the TB, (3) how to do concordancing using the highlighted words, (4) how to insert the next formatting tag, etc.


(1) In WF, press Ctrl+Alt+M (m for memory) to view the memory entry, and press Ctrl+Alt+M again to edit the memory entry.

In OmT, you have to do it manually by opening the TM file in a TMX editor or text editor, changing the entry, saving, and reloading the project. Or, if the TM entry is from the current source file, you can also use Ctrl+F (find), type in or copy the TM entry, do a search, and double-click the TM entry, which will take you to that entry.


In MemoQ this does not have a shortcut, it's available from the context menu of the TM hit. So I believe I had a funny first recommendation


(2) In WF, highlight the source term, press Ctrl+Alt+T, highlight target term, press Ctrl+Alt+T again, preview it (and optionally modify it), and press ENTER.

In OmT, you have to edit the glossary file in a text editor and reload the project. Or use a little script I wrote that mimicks the way WF works.


In MemoQ you highlight the source and target terms and press Ctrl+E (if you want to edit the terms or related data) or Ctrl+Q (if you don't want an editing window to pop up).


(3) In WF, to look it up in a c_oncordance search, Ctrl+Alt+C. To look it up in the d_ictionary, Ctrl+Alt+D. To look it up in the g_lossary, Ctrl+Alt+G.

In OmT, press Ctrl+F (find) and type in the word. A single search searches the glossaries, TMs and reference materials. You can't link dictionaries to OmT.


In MemoQ Concordance is Ctrl+K. Glossary (term base) look-ups are automatic, but you can turn automatic look-up off and then you have to press F3.


(4) In WF, press Ctrl+Alt+left and right to select the tag, and use Ctrl+Alt+down to drop it in at the cursor position.

In OmT, copy or type them in manually.


In MemoQ it's F8 to insert the next non-interpreted tag, alt+F8 to insert all remaining non-interpreted tags, F9 to insert the next inline (XML-like) tag, alt+F9 to insert all remaining inline tags, but if you want to insert a specific tag, you can also start typing the tag (like [tag> for an opening tag, the other way around for a closing tag (ugh, the proz editor stopped displaying the rest of the message so I had to delete it) and [tag] for a opening-bracket tag-slash closing-bracket-type 'empty' tag) and once entered it will automatically be converted into a tag.


What are the shortcuts for doing these things in Trados, DVX, MemoQ etc?


I don't have enough experience with the other tools to tell, could anyone contribute?

István


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David Turner  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:57
French to English
+ ...
Keystroke count Sep 16, 2007


(2) In WF, highlight the source term, press Ctrl+Alt+T, highlight target term, press Ctrl+Alt+T again, preview it (and optionally modify it), and press ENTER.

In OmT, you have to edit the glossary file in a text editor and reload the project. Or use a little script I wrote that mimicks the way WF works.



In MemoQ you highlight the source and target terms and press Ctrl+E (if you want to edit the terms or related data) or Ctrl+Q (if you don't want an editing window to pop up).


This is an important one as in most jobs I add several hundred new terms to the term database. Besides actually entering the translation, this is probably the most frequent operation, so each keystroke counts.
Up to 2002, I used Trados 5.5 and Multiterm 95. In those days, if I remember rightly, adding a term to Multiterm required no fewer than 11 keystrokes and you had to reorganize the TM each time if you wanted to use fuzzy terminology matching! This more or less ruled out adding terms "on the fly".
Most tools seem to do much better now, although OmegaT still sounds a bit cumbersome in this respect.
MemoQ works very much like DVX (shift-F11 to add to TB or F10 to add to Lexicon), but has the advantage that the term appears straight away in the Translation portions window (you have to come back to the segment to see it displayed in DVX) and the term is highlighted in light blue in the grid (and is also displayed as a tooltip when you move the mouse pointer over it).
Wordfast requires 3 times as many keystrokes as DVX and MemoQ so this could perhaps be improved. Terms are conviently highlighted against a coloured background, though, so in this respect it is better than DVX.
So while consistency between CAT tools is important, even more important is the number of keystrokes required to perform frequent operations.

BR,
Dave


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David Turner  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:57
French to English
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Shortcuts in DVX Sep 16, 2007

[quote]István Lengyel wrote:



Or some others: (1) how to edit the current TM hit, (2) how to insert the highlighted terms into the TB, (3) how to do concordancing using the highlighted words, (4) how to insert the next formatting tag, etc.


(1) In WF, press Ctrl+Alt+M (m for memory) to view the memory entry, and press Ctrl+Alt+M again to edit the memory entry.

In OmT, you have to do it manually by opening the TM file in a TMX editor or text editor, changing the entry, saving, and reloading the project. Or, if the TM entry is from the current source file, you can also use Ctrl+F (find), type in or copy the TM entry, do a search, and double-click the TM entry, which will take you to that entry.


In MemoQ this does not have a shortcut, it's available from the context menu of the TM hit. So I believe I had a funny first recommendation


In DVX, it's also available directly by clicking in the AutoSearch box or pressing Ctrl+Shift+Down.


(2) In WF, highlight the source term, press Ctrl+Alt+T, highlight target term, press Ctrl+Alt+T again, preview it (and optionally modify it), and press ENTER.

In OmT, you have to edit the glossary file in a text editor and reload the project. Or use a little script I wrote that mimicks the way WF works.




Or some others: (1) how to edit the current TM hit, (2) how to insert the highlighted terms into the TB, (3) how to do concordancing using the highlighted words, (4) how to insert the next formatting tag, etc.


(1) In WF, press Ctrl+Alt+M (m for memory) to view the memory entry, and press Ctrl+Alt+M again to edit the memory entry.

In OmT, you have to do it manually by opening the TM file in a TMX editor or text editor, changing the entry, saving, and reloading the project. Or, if the TM entry is from the current source file, you can also use Ctrl+F (find), type in or copy the TM entry, do a search, and double-click the TM entry, which will take you to that entry.


In MemoQ this does not have a shortcut, it's available from the context menu of the TM hit. So I believe I had a funny first recommendation


In DVX, it's also available directly by clicking in the AutoSearch box or pressing Ctrl+Shift+Down.


In MemoQ you highlight the source and target terms and press Ctrl+E (if you want to edit the terms or related data) or Ctrl+Q (if you don't want an editing window to pop up).


In DVX, you highlight the source and target terms and press F11 (if you want to edit the terms or related data) or Shift+F11 to enter the term directly.


(3) In WF, to look it up in a c_oncordance search, Ctrl+Alt+C. To look it up in the d_ictionary, Ctrl+Alt+D. To look it up in the g_lossary, Ctrl+Alt+G.

In OmT, press Ctrl+F (find) and type in the word. A single search searches the glossaries, TMs and reference materials. You can't link dictionaries to OmT.


In MemoQ Concordance is Ctrl+K. Glossary (term base) look-ups are automatic, but you can turn automatic look-up off and then you have to press F3.


In DVX, Concordance is Ctrl+S, and TB lookup is Ctrl+L.


(4) In WF, press Ctrl+Alt+left and right to select the tag, and use Ctrl+Alt+down to drop it in at the cursor position.

In OmT, copy or type them in manually.


In MemoQ it's F8 to insert the next non-interpreted tag, alt+F8 to insert all remaining non-interpreted tags, F9 to insert the next inline (XML-like) tag, alt+F9 to insert all remaining inline tags, but if you want to insert a specific tag, you can also start typing the tag (like [tag> for an opening tag, the other way around for a closing tag (ugh, the proz editor stopped displaying the rest of the message so I had to delete it) and [tag] for a opening-bracket tag-slash closing-bracket-type 'empty' tag) and once entered it will automatically be converted into a tag.


In DVX, it's also F8 to insert the next tag or Alt-F8 is insert all tags.

David


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Wordfast's problem... Sep 17, 2007

David Turner wrote:
Wordfast requires 3 times as many keystrokes as DVX and MemoQ so this could perhaps be improved.


You can highlight the source and target term in DVX and MemoQ probably because the source term is not in the same edit pane as the target term. But in Wordfast, you're basically editing an MS Word file, so you can only highlight one thing at a time.

Also, Wordfast has to make sure its shortcuts don't clash with MS Word shortcuts that users might want to be available, hence the abundance of Ctrl+Alt+something, Shift+Alt+something and Shift+Ctrl+something shortcuts in Wordfast.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
AutoHotKey is the tool for you Sep 17, 2007

Vito Smolej wrote:
Anytime I am forced to switch between these (or any) two CAT tools, it feels like somebody stole my keyboard and replaced it with some strange backstabbing sneaky contraption that hates me. ... I wanted to customize all the stuff I have to use to one single consistent set of accelerators. However, I gave up this project, after trying without any success to customize TagEditor(*).


Solution: write an AutoHotKey script that remaps the shortcuts, and remember to run the script every time you start Trados.

Here is a simple script that makes Ctrl+C do the same as Ctrl+S and Shift+A do the same as Alt+S:

; Start of script
^c::^s
+a::!s
; End of script

Save it with an AHK file extension, and you're done.


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David Turner  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:57
French to English
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Wordfast's problem Sep 18, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:
You can highlight the source and target term in DVX and MemoQ probably because the source term is not in the same edit pane as the target term. But in Wordfast, you're basically editing an MS Word file, so you can only highlight one thing at a time.


That's true. Wordfast's advantage is that it runs in an environment familiar to virtually all translators. It's disadvantage is that it is limited by this same environment.
Out of interest, does anyone khow many clicks does it take to add a term on the fly in TWB/Multiterm these days?

BR,
David Turner


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David Turner  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:57
French to English
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TWB/Multiterm Sep 18, 2007


Out of interest, does anyone khow many clicks does it take to add a term on the fly in TWB/Multiterm these days?


Answering my own question, apparently it's:

- Select the source term in either the TW or concordance windows
- Press Shift+Ctrl+S
- Press Shift+Ctrl+M to go to the entry window
- Type in the target term
- Press Enter

BR,
David Turner


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