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Why does the font so often change to Times New Roman when opening a TU?
Thread poster: Astrid Elke Witte

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:49
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Aug 7, 2007

This problem has got on my nerves so much recently, I must ask if someone knows the answer. I also do not recall it happening so frequently as it has done since I upgraded to the 2007 version of SDL Trados.

The problem is that I convert my .pdf with Abbyy Fine Reader, and format it nicely, always with the font Arial. This is the font that the largest client wants. Then I start to translate the document and, as soon as I open a TU, the Arial font changes to Times New Roman. Then, before I do anything else, I have to change the font back again. Sometimes the next sentence below the TU also changes to Times New Roman, but none of the text after that. I change that back too, before opening the next TU. However, I then still have to change it back a second time after opening that TU. It is such a nuisance! Is there any way round this?

Astrid


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 20:49
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Use the style... Aug 7, 2007

Trados is not very smart in this respect and often changes the font to the default in a given style.

To avoid this, change the font in the style itself (Normal and other styles which do not inherit the font setting from the Normal style) to whatever you want.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:49
English to German
+ ...
Do you use Word styles or character-based formatting? Aug 7, 2007

Hi Astrid,


The problem is that I convert my .pdf with Abbyy Fine Reader, and format it nicely, always with the font Arial.

How do you do that? Do you highlight the text, applying the font setting to characters, or do you use Word styles, applying them to paragraphs? Very often, this is an authoring issue in Word rather than a Trados issue.

Best regards,
Ralf


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:49
Portuguese to English
how long are we going to put up with this? Aug 7, 2007

Jabberwock is so right when he says Trados is not very smart - though they're smart enough to charge US$700 for the product. When can we expect Trados to solve this problem?

If I go to a restaurant that charges an arm and a leg for dinner for two, I don't expect to have to prepare the vegetables in the kitchen before I eat.

[Edited at 2007-08-07 19:02]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:49
English to German
+ ...
Issue solved Aug 7, 2007

Hi,
lexical wrote:
When can we expect Trados to solve this problem?

The problem has been solved - just use TagEditor.


Best regards,
Ralf


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:49
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Beside the solution with Tageditor Aug 7, 2007

I know also another one - use Word properly and you will not have any problems.
If you have a car and will keep driving it only in the second gear, thus cosuming huge amouts of gasoline, would you then blame the car manufacturer?
If I go to a restaurant that charges an arm and a leg for dinner for two, I don't expect to have to prepare the vegetables in the kitchen before I eat.

Of course not, but you certainly wash your hands beforehand and dress accordingly.

Jerzy

[Edited at 2007-08-07 22:26]


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:49
Portuguese to English
why should I go to those lengths? Aug 7, 2007

If I translate a text using the old "wood burning" method i.e. overtyping in Word, I don't experience those problems. The problems only emerge when I use Trados. The problem is therefore Trados-related and I don't think it's unreasonable to expect them to sort it out. Why should I fiddle about in Word because Trados is deficient?

When you add to that the main consequence of the emergence of Trados is that translators get robbed for their honest work while enriching agencies and end customers, one wonders why anyone tolerates Trados.

I think the time is not far off when I will refuse to work in any CAT whatsoever. I may lose a few exploitative customers, but there are others who can't manage without me.


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Official answer... Aug 7, 2007

Trados's official answer was always that using styles is the "right" way to use Word... even though almost no one uses them and even though (if memory serves) styles were a feature that was added several years into Word's existence.

SDL Trados should seriously consider adapting its software to the standard, non-style-based usage of Word, in addition to supporting styles. It's not that hard, technically, to preserve the font of the source text. This has always been Workbench's most annoying problem. By any standard, it is a design flaw.

[Edited at 2007-08-07 23:42]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:49
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Surely the default is the font that I chose Aug 8, 2007

Jabberwock wrote:

Trados is not very smart in this respect and often changes the font to the default in a given style.

To avoid this, change the font in the style itself (Normal and other styles which do not inherit the font setting from the Normal style) to whatever you want.


As for default, if I convert a .pdf with Abbyy Fine Reader and then start to format it, as far as Word is concerned I am creating a new document from scratch. If I begin that process by pressing "Control + A" to highlight the entire text, and then go to the formatting menu and choose the font "Arial", then surely that is my default, since I did not receive this Word document, but created it.

In those circumstances, why should it change to some other "default"? I chose as my style Arial + size 11.5, as is usual with this client.

Astrid


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truptee  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:19
French to English
+ ...
TagEditor's okay.. but what happens.. Aug 8, 2007

when you clean the file and open it in word, why does the font change back to Times new Roman??

This ALWAYS happens to EACH file I have translated so far, that all's well till clean-up.

But once the cleaned file's opened in Word, the original font gives way to TNR!

So in short "TE's magic doesn't last!"


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Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 20:49
English to Czech
+ ...
Default font Aug 8, 2007

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

If I begin that process by pressing "Control + A" to highlight the entire text, and then go to the formatting menu and choose the font "Arial", then surely that is my default, since I did not receive this Word document, but created it.


Not really. The document you created is based on a template called normal.dot. The default fonts are defined in this template using styles. By pressing CTRL+A and selecting another font you manually override the default font, but you don't change its definition in the style. This is what Ralf meant by style vs. character based formatting.

What Trados does, is that it re-applies the paragraph style (with Times New Roman as the default font). It's OK for properly formatted documents (with style-based formatting, that most users don't understand or use), but annoying for manually formatted documents.

Some solutions:
- use only styles to format your documents
- translate Word files in TagEditor
- if you really want to translate in Word and don't want to / can't use styles, try Wordfast

You can also change the font of the Normal style in Normal.dot to Arial, 11.5 pt to make it the default font.


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:49
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
At last Aug 8, 2007

Hynek Palatin wrote:
Some solutions:
- use only styles to format your documents
- translate Word files in TagEditor
- if you really want to translate in Word and don't want to / can't use styles, try Wordfast

You can also change the font of the Normal style in Normal.dot to Arial, 11.5 pt to make it the default font.


At last some useful explanation and sensible advice. Thank you, Hynek (also Jerzy and Ralf and Steven).


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:49
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Usage of Word with styles Aug 8, 2007

When cars were invented, the gearboxes haven't been synchronised and one needed to learn how to switch gears. Now many cars do have automatic transmission and their user cannot drive a car with manual shift. When a driver of a car with automatic transmission takes a rented car with manual shift and produces an accident because he is not able to drive properly, is the car manufacturer the one to blame? Of course you can drive a car with manual shift only in the first geard, but is this how it should be used?

Word users, who use styles in inproper way, produce crap documents - and only such documents cause (not even always) problems with Trados. It is neither Trados, nor Word, what causes the problem - it is solely the user.
To come back to the example with the "restaurant that charges an arm and a leg for dinner for two", when you invite someone to dinner, you will let her/him chose the meal and not order something what you like. If you are allergic, you will probably ask before ordering, if the dish of your choice is suitable for you. In other words you will adapt your behaviuor to the needs of the external world.
Returning to Word - when nothing happens, I'm glad and leave it as it is. But when user caused problems occur, I do not blame Word (or Trados) for it, but only the user. And I try to correct them or avoid them. Tageditor is a way of avoiding the problems.

Truptee wrote:
TagEditor's okay.. but what happens..
when you clean the file and open it in word, why does the font change back to Times new Roman??
This ALWAYS happens to EACH file I have translated so far, that all's well till clean-up.
But once the cleaned file's opened in Word, the original font gives way to TNR!
So in short "TE's magic doesn't last!"

Are you sure you are speaking about Tageditor? What do you mean with each and every cleaned file? After the file has beend processed in Tageditor and cleaned in Workbench (as ttx of course) the font did change to TNR? Are you really sure? I've translated hundreds of documents with Tageditor, most of them really badly formatted, but after having produced the final translated Word version the formatting was exactly as the formatting of the original, without any change.

I'm writing to this forum about this particular problem with font changes since some 5 years. I do always say the same: check the styles, adapt the styles, use proper formatting or recently go for Tageditor. This particular problem (beside the PDF question) is the most discussed technical "issue" on ProZ. TBH I would expect that solutions for them should already be widely known.

As for the styles in Word - I remember quite well using Word 6 for DOS - styles were already present there. They are for example used to create tables of contents and other useful things in Word. So don't tell me using Word WITHOUT styles is the right way.

Jerzy


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 21:49
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Still, it IS a problem Aug 8, 2007

Jerzy Czopik wrote:
Word users, who use styles in inproper way, produce crap documents - and only such documents cause (not even always) problems with Trados. It is neither Trados, nor Word, what causes the problem - it is solely the user.


You may be perfectly right, dear Jerzy, still it's a problem which is well-known for years which Trados still cannot solve properly (I haven't faced it with TagEditor, though). Yes, users SHOULD use the supposed ideology of Word, the only problem is that most of them do not. They still don't spend their time onto creating and applying styles, and they still press "space" key dozen of times instead of using Tabs.

Most of the documents which I receive from my clients are "wrong" Word documents, but I don't want to waste my time onto reformatting them "properly". Strange enough, but other CAT tools don't have this problem of inserting their "default font" whenever they want, so I believe it's the Trados developers' problem, not users. Moreover, the problem is so evident that the question is risen again and again.


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:49
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Well, it is NOT a problem for me Aug 8, 2007

So maybe the difference is, HOW do you use the tools provided.
This shall not mean I'm arrogant and unfriendly, but I just have learned to deal with this problem. And my problem was bigger then the one discussed here, as not only the font changed, but also Polish special characters got corrupted. But still I have solutions for all those problems.
Nevertheless I have to admit, that when dealing with languages as Russian or similar this problem might not be sovled with methods I use.
And I also have to admit, that it would be nicer, would this "font changing" problem not occur at all.

As for other tools, not causing such problems: most of them do not use Word as working interface. When you compare Trados with such tools, you should compare it when using Tageditor - and then Trados does not cause such problems too. In fact, we are also not speaking about Trados in general, but only about the Word-Trados interface, which is only a very small part of the whole SDL Trados package. If you read Trados materials, you will see, that they recommend the usage of Tageditor for all formats. In fact they haven't dropped the Word interface yet, but I would expect this happening in the future.

Jerzy


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