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How to save changes in a .dat file in the same format without loosing specific language signs?
Thread poster: Ieva Englund

Ieva Englund
Sweden
Local time: 02:40
Member
Swedish to Latvian
+ ...
May 18, 2008

Hello,

I received a .dat file from a client, who requested to do the translation in the file and keep the formating. Once I add the translation (Latvian) in the file, a question "do you wish to keep the formating?" pops up before saving. If I choose "yes", the Latvian texts becomes unreadable i.e. all the specific language signs disapear. If I choose "no", I am offered to save a copy in MS Word, which I did in order to save the translation, but then the client cannot use the text as it is not an exact mirrow copy of the source text when it comes to formating.

What to do?

Has anybody been in the same situation? Or maybe some technical person can help with an advice regarding the .dat file.

Thanks
Ieva


[Edited at 2008-05-18 12:52]


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Boyan Brezinsky  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 03:40
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Use another editor May 18, 2008

What does this file contain? Is it simply text? And why do you edit it in MS Word at all? What does the request "to keep the formatting" mean - what formatting is in there? By the way, the "dat" extension is a generic one, there is no one format associated with it (as it is with "psd" or "cdr" for example), so saying that the file is a ".dat" file doesn't give that much information.
If the file is a plain text file, use a more down-to-earth text editor that concentrates on working with text, not on formatting - it will not mess with character encodings (usually) and will save what you tell it to save, not what it thinks you need, as is so common with MS products.


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Ieva Englund
Sweden
Local time: 02:40
Member
Swedish to Latvian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Solved! May 18, 2008

I have solved the problem

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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 02:40
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Care to tell us, how you did it? May 18, 2008

I have solved the problem

Maybe it would help some poor soul down the road, who could be in a similar situation.

Regards

Vito


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Ieva Englund
Sweden
Local time: 02:40
Member
Swedish to Latvian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I used a decoder program May 19, 2008

Sure.
It was a winmail.dat - a file that appears as an attachment instead of the real attachments when the sender uses Rich Text-format instead of a plain text in, for
instance, Outlook program. In order to extract the translation files from the winmail.dat file and to restore the original formating, I had to purchase the Winmail Decoder software.

In the beginning I focused only on extension .dat, thinking that the client has sent me a file in a plain text format, which happens sometimes. I work as a market research analyst and we use text files (ascii, especially) when working with statistics all the time. I had no idea that this kind of problem can appear as well. And the client did not understand why I cannot deliver two simple .rtf files and started to threaten with non-payment...

The confusing thing is that you can open winmail.dat as any other text file with MS Word or Notepad. It shows lots of nonsense around the actual texts as well, but as known .dat files just show that they contain some kind of data and not the software they have been created with and there can be lots of crazy signs if opened with a text program. So I opened the text in MS Word without any problems and started the translation as it apeared to me. When I delivered the translation, the client did not want to accept it saying that the original formating of the documents should be kept. And I was just wondering.. what is he talking about?..Any changes done and saved in the documents did not support Baltic languages, which probably depends on the installations of the mailprogram which generated this file.

/Ieva


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