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Time estimate for "Track changes" in Word?
Thread poster: Jan Sundström

Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 11:19
English to Swedish
+ ...
Nov 30, 2007

Hi all,

I've received a job that is a revision of an old manual.
You know the setup: old original + old translation + revised original. There is no TM, since the old translation was made by someone else without a CAT tool.

I'm supposed to base my quote on the revised original in Word, with track changes visible.

Do you have any trick or macro to estimate the work required?!
Is there any way I can extract all the new words that are visible as tracked changes?

Best,

Jan


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Antoní­n Otáhal
Local time: 11:19
Member (2005)
English to Czech
+ ...
If I were you Nov 30, 2007

I would probably try to align the old translation (depending on the extent of the changes and expected problems with segmentation). This should make your work on the new translation easier, and you could analyse the new source text against the aligned TM.

As far as count itself is concerned, Practicount can do the trick (it has a special "Word track changes" feature - using it, you can count only the changed or only the deleted text as you wish).

HTH

Antonin


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 12:19
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
statistics Nov 30, 2007

Open old file, count the characters, open the new file with compare documents and count the characters. The difference is the text amount of the changes (if all goes well)
Cheers
Heinrich


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:19
Member
French to English
+ ...
Have a care! Nov 30, 2007

I would be wary of basing my charges on any form of word count!

I do a lot of this work, and I found that the word counts I did manage to come up with bore no relation to the actual work involved, so in the end, i negotiated an hourly rate with my client instead.

The trouble is, it is hard to get an idea of the time it will take, since painstakingly slotting in the new words (and deleting the old ones!) is far more time-consuming than merely translating them. And sometimes, you have to make quite far-reaching changes to surrounding sentences / paragraphs, in order for the new bits not to stick out like a sore thumb. And don't forget, deletions are just as important and tricky to do as new words, but harder to charge for!

What I do is use Word to 'compare documents', which at least lets me find the deletions and insertions. I can't imagine how you'd begin to use a CAT tool to translate on chunks of the text, and then insert them into another document — I don't frankly think it would be worth it!

I find the initial document set-up takes quite some time, so I make a flat-rate charge for that, and then an hourly rate after that. I gave my client the choice of a fixed-price quote that would have to be over the top to avoid errors, or to accept my hourly charge, with a cap to give them a backstop figure. Not surprisingly, they chose the latter option!

For the purposes of your quotation, you might have to do the 'compare docs' set-up part, just to give you a visual overview of roughly how much work is going to be involved.

Just to give you an idea, on average, the prices I've charged based on a hourly rates come out at around 3 times what the mere word 'new count' would have led to.


[Edited at 2007-12-01 09:23]


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Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 11:19
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Which tool? Nov 30, 2007

Tony M wrote:

Suppose the document had 100 words deleted, and a 100 new words (with on average, comparable numbers of characters per word). In that instance, you'd have quite a bit of work to do, but the apparent nett word count would be zero!

The only way I've found to do it is to use 'compare docs', and then delete everything that is neither 'deleted text' nor 'added text' — then what is left is indeed the nett changes; or of course, do the reverse, and then subtract from the document total.

Either way, I think it's something of a pointless exercise, since the word count in no way rfelects the intricacy of the work involved or the time it is going to take.


Hi Tony and all,

You're absolutely right! In my case, the new file is even 1000 words less than the original, but obviously still has a lot of new content (although even more has been deleted).

Tony, what tool would you use when deleting unchanged text to see the remainder? Simply using the search/replace function in Word, while searching for style/colour/formatting?

The practicount also sunds like a good idea, I have to check it out.

Ultimately, it looks like I will have to align this text, and apply the resulting TM on the new source.

The tricky part still is to estimate the time for the aligning, and to predict the future wordcount once the TM has been created.

Any other ideas or tips?!

/Jan


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:19
Swedish to English
+ ...
This is the answer I got from Antoní­n Nov 30, 2007

I had a similar problem some time ago and Antoní­n Otáhal suggested downloading PractiCount (15 day trial version available).

http://www.proz.com/topic/85046

Did the trick for me - thanks again Antoní­n.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 12:19
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Have you really tried? Dec 1, 2007

Tony M wrote:


NO, exactly! That's how I very nearly got horribly caught out the first time!

Suppose the document had 100 words deleted, and a 100 new words (with on average, comparable numbers of characters per word). In that instance, you'd have quite a bit of work to do, but the apparent nett word count would be zero!

The only way I've found to do it is to use 'compare docs', and then delete everything that is neither 'deleted text' nor 'added text' — then what is left is indeed the nett changes; or of course, do the reverse, and then subtract from the document total.

Either way, I think it's something of a pointless exercise, since the word count in no way rfelects the intricacy of the work involved or the time it is going to take.


The file after compare documents shows the text removed with strike through and statistics count it. And additions are counted of course too.
Idid not mean you should base your final pricing only on statistics, but it will quickly give you a figure for orientation. At least statistics is better than a pure guess.

I noticed Openoffice Writer does the compare-function differently. It shows the whole text between two changes as changed, and so it's practically unusable.


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:19
Member
French to English
+ ...
Oops! Yes, you're right! Dec 1, 2007

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
The file after compare documents shows the text removed with strike through and statistics count it. And additions are counted of course too.


Sorry, Heinrich — yes, of course you're absolutely right and I'm wrong! I'm afraid in my tiredness last night, I misread your post, and failed to notice that all-important "after compare documents" — which means of course that your method would work, and would be a lot more elegant and less clumsy than my own suggestion!

Once again, my apologies to yourself and everyone else in the thread for my too-hasty error!

[Edited at 2007-12-01 09:17]


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:19
Member
French to English
+ ...
Correction Dec 1, 2007

J-a-n S-ndstr-m wrote:
Tony, what tool would you use when deleting unchanged text to see the remainder? Simply using the search/replace function in Word, while searching for style/colour/formatting?


In fact, of course, Heinnrich is quite right, just so long as you do the word count after 'comparde docs', and his fast and elegant method is much better than my 'sledge-hammer-to-crack-a-walnut' approach.

In answer to your question: this did come up in another forum once, and I think the conclusion we came to was that it is possible to delete text based on certain attriibutes like that, though you may have to play around a bit to find which attributes work and which don't.

But even more than before, since you are now talking about aligning the new text, I think you'd be better off negotiating an hourly rate with your client, to avoid any nasty surprises! Sounds like you've got quite a lot of work on there!


[Edited at 2007-12-01 09:22]


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Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 11:19
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everybody! Dec 3, 2007

Tony M wrote:

J-a-n S-ndstr-m wrote:
Tony, what tool would you use when deleting unchanged text to see the remainder? Simply using the search/replace function in Word, while searching for style/colour/formatting?


In fact, of course, Heinnrich is quite right, just so long as you do the word count after 'comparde docs', and his fast and elegant method is much better than my 'sledge-hammer-to-crack-a-walnut' approach.

In answer to your question: this did come up in another forum once, and I think the conclusion we came to was that it is possible to delete text based on certain attriibutes like that, though you may have to play around a bit to find which attributes work and which don't.

But even more than before, since you are now talking about aligning the new text, I think you'd be better off negotiating an hourly rate with your client, to avoid any nasty surprises! Sounds like you've got quite a lot of work on there!


[Edited at 2007-12-01 09:22]


I was also lazy when I read Heinrich's answer. Off course, that works too!
And the link to Antonin's previous thread was also useful. I've downloaded Practicount and will experiment a bit.
Note that the Standard version doesn't count revisions, only Practicount Business/Enterprise!

/Jan


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