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Program to make good macros for Windows
Thread poster: MikeTrans
MikeTrans
Germany
Local time: 22:28
Member (2005)
Italian to German
+ ...
Dec 4, 2008

Dear translators,

The core of my problem is...

I presently have the 2 most professional CAT tools at my disposal plus 2 other very good ones and I'm still not satisfied as for working efficently, as any of these CATs lack some important features that the other has instead...
The tools I commonly use are:
DVX
TRADOS+SDLX
Program X
I won't name the last one, because although very good for one aspect, it's not recommendable, as very unstable (and anyhow not sold or supported anymore).
One of the most lacking feature in ALL programs is a simple Expression Matching.
I find it incredible that CAT programs that may cost 500+ $ are not able to automatically search the TM for 3 or more recurring word expressions not yet translated and present them to the translator in an efficient way. (If anyone knows about such a program I'd be very happy to hear about).

The solutions I found...

In order to be satisfied I have to use more programs at the same time. While I am aware that MS-Office has reasonable macro possibilities, I didn't hear of any macro to be used for the hole WINDOWS interface yet.

Can anyone recommend me a good macro program for WINDOWS XP?
What I'd like to do is:
Using DVX + Program X and using a programmed macro to switch between those 2 applications and perform menu + text operations in a flush with only 1-2 keyboard commands.

Thanks for any feedback or other suggestions!

MikeTrans


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:28
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
AutoIt? Dec 4, 2008

http://www.autoitscript.com/autoit3/
(I haven't managed to have it make what I want, but other people report some positive experience).

[Edited at 2008-12-04 14:41 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:28
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Another possibility... Dec 4, 2008

www.autohotkey.com

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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:28
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Are you really sure you need a macro? Dec 4, 2008

MikeTrans wrote:
I find it incredible that CAT programs that may cost 500+ $ are not able to automatically search the TM for 3 or more recurring word expressions not yet translated and present them to the translator in an efficient way. (If anyone knows about such a program I'd be very happy to hear about).


It's not clear from this what you actually want. The SQL features of DVX can accomplish quite a lot as far as filtering and selection are concerned. Perhaps you should go get the Tinkerer's Guide off the NECCO site and try it from there.

If you have DVX Workgroup you can also access the API to add features.


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:28
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
That Windows interface really is a hole, isn't it? Dec 4, 2008

MikeTrans wrote:
I didn't hear of any macro to be used for the hole WINDOWS interface yet.


Depends on what aspects you mean. Ever heard of WSH (Windows Scripting Host)?


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
German to English
+ ...
Program to make good macros for Windows Dec 4, 2008

MikeTrans wrote:

One of the most lacking feature in ALL programs is a simple Expression Matching.
I find it incredible that CAT programs that may cost 500+ $ are not able to automatically search the TM for 3 or more recurring word expressions not yet translated and present them to the translator in an efficient way.


Can you explain in more detail?

OmegaT for instance can search through a project using user-defined regular expressions. It will however return all segments matching the expression, whether in the source files or the TMs, and whether already translated or not.

Marc


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MikeTrans
Germany
Local time: 22:28
Member (2005)
Italian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
More details about Expression Matching Dec 4, 2008

Hi folks,

thanks a lot for your suggestions and replies.
I would like to make it clearer what I mean by "Expression matching".

For this purpose, I´ll paste here a text extract of a feature request sent to a software developer (lightly modified for explanation purpose):

------------

(...)

Fuzzy Matching is an old story, always nice when it happens, but: recurrent sentences are rare unless very short and specific. I like it, but I won't rely on it for doing a translation job quickly.

Instead, Expression Matching is a sort of automatic searching in the TM in the case where NO similar sentences were found by the Fuzzy Matching, which is almost always the case.

Example:

The following sentence is present in the TM:

The cat is black while my dog is white and my fish is green.

Now, I have to translate:

My fish is green and bla bla bla...

Of course, the TM doesn't know how to translate "the fish is green", but the expression is already in the TM an can be retrieved. Such a Match Expression Function, could perform an automatic search in the TM and find this expression. The next 2 steps would be:
a) to present this expression to the translator in form of highlighted text in the source segment
b) instead of a TM match, clicking on the highlighted expression, the concordance windows would open with the relevant segment and he translator could then copy & past (better: drag & drop) the missing part in his text. For convenience, this concordance window should NOT open as a separate window.

The consequence: The translator will save considerable time, because going into the concordance window only when necessary and not lose his time in performing futile searches.

Of course, this function is only relevant when you perform large projects of technical translations where a lot of recurring non-common expressions occur.

(...)
------------

As far as I know, only Trados 2006 and later has something that comes closes to such an Expression Matching function, it's called "automatic concordance" set in the TM options, but the results include any sort of garbage words and not making any difference for expressions "in a row". So, you lose a lot of time in consulting the list which makes it rather useless.

DVX is very convenient for auto-assembling and format maintenance, but you actually need to have all expressions in a DTB already.
I would surely give my prefered finger to see such a function as Expression Matching in DVX, yet making it the perfect CAT tool or seeing this in SDLX (my preferred tool because of its concordance precision, although not automatic!).

In DVX, the lexicon comes very close to build such a term list before you start translating, but it's way too time consuming.
What I actually do in DVX is setting the fuzzy matching to 20 which will give me these expressions as TM matches. But this is only a bad workaround, as the list gets quickly crowded with nonsense (words not occuring in a row) and I have soon to increase the value again.


In the meantime, I need to use more programs at once, making sure to be able to switch between them in an easy and quick way.


Mike


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
German to English
+ ...
Program to make good macros for Windows" Dec 4, 2008

OK, now I see what you are looking for.

The problem is that your fairly short sentence contains 91 "expressions" (two or more successive words), a large proportion of which are largely random and therefore linguistically nonsensical. Matching those 91 expressions to a translation memory would generate a huge number of correspondences, very few of which would be of any value. Those with the greatest overlap are assumed to be of the greatest value and should therefore be displayed first, but that is what effective fuzzy match algorithms already do. Different algorithms presumably vary in the bias they give to the greatest number of matching words and the greatest length of matching subsegments.

In tools which offer the function, setting the fuzzy match threshold as low as possible may provide the kind of thing that you are looking for. "My fish is green" is a (mathematical) 28% match of "The cat is black while my dog is white and my fish is green", which is actually quite a high value and should be displayed by some systems, but of course if your TM contains 2,458 sentences that begin "The cat is black while my dog is white and my", that particular match is going to be a long way down the list, if it is displayed at all. Conversely, "The cat is grey while my dogs are white and my goldfish is green" is linguistically a very useful match, but your system might not display if it is biased too heavily towards a particular, purely statistical strategy.

Marc


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MikeTrans
Germany
Local time: 22:28
Member (2005)
Italian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
...yes: programing skills required (or mission impossible?!) Dec 4, 2008

Hi Marc P,

thanks for your contribution. Your ideas are very interesting, also from a programing point of view. I start to believe that my "feature request" is going to cost me *more* than my preferred finger, should I ever ask some developer to make it become real.

But concreatly: All what I would do in my example WITHOUT a macro, is the following algorithm:

Part 1:
Selecting successively all of the 91 "expressions" and make a search of regular expression in a csv/txt file containing my TM; if I find a hit, I'll copy the hole segment content in a separate txt file; I repeat it for the same search until a maximum of, let's say 5 hits are found. I'll then pass to the next "expression", also with no hits found etc.
Note that I'm only going to search consecutive expressions, and once I find a larger string, it will be eliminated from further search possibilities, focusing on the remaining ones.

Part 2:
How to make found expressions to be highlighted in the separately created text file is a mistery for me, my programming skills are just a little above 0, except for maiking some batch files

So, what I'm interested in are not similarity matches, but simple occurences of EXACT expressions (asking for fuzzy expression is really asking too much, although SDLX would find in a flush "goldfishes + a + b" against "fishes + a + b".

The scenario above would maybe take days for a single segment if done manually, especially if it's a longer one, but with the right macro, this is a task for any faster computer to be carried out in seconds.

So far the theory.

The good news is: I actually OWN such a program doing all this in a much finer way. All what I need is a macro to perform the following:

After placing the cursor in my translated segment within my CAT tool, I activate the macro, and:

- copy the hole segment
- switch from my CAT to that program
- select the hole segment after cursor position
- insert from memory
- perform a menu operation.

And that's it! Question is if there are such macro programing possibilities within Windows similar to those in Ms-Word or MS-Excel.


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MikeTrans
Germany
Local time: 22:28
Member (2005)
Italian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I will have to deal with existing features in ONE program Dec 4, 2008

Hi my friends,

thanks again for your suggestions.

AutoHotkey and AutoIt are in fact very interesting tools for Win automation.

Reconsidering my problem, I think that a macro is a bad idea afterall, too complex and the profit output questionable anyway. If I can, I should work with ONE only program.

So, I think I will deal more precisely with DVX's lexicon or some term extraction programs to deal with recurring expressions.


mike


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:28
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
IntelliWebSearch? Dec 5, 2008

MikeTrans wrote:

The good news is: I actually OWN such a program doing all this in a much finer way. All what I need is a macro to perform the following:

After placing the cursor in my translated segment within my CAT tool, I activate the macro, and:

- copy the hole segment
- switch from my CAT to that program
- select the hole segment after cursor position
- insert from memory
- perform a menu operation.

And that's it! Question is if there are such macro programing possibilities within Windows similar to those in Ms-Word or MS-Excel.



Hi Mike,

In this case I'd give IntelliWebSearch a try.
http://www.intelliwebsearch.com/
You'll have to select some text first, but IntelliWebSearch can do the rest.

Regards,
Gerard


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atche84  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:28
Member (2007)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
You don't need multiple CATTs Dec 6, 2008

Hi,
I think you try to find a complex way to resolve easy things.
Two easy steps to go faster in Trados:
(1) Lower the TM concordance limit (minimum match value) to 50-60%, even less. I noticed that below 25-30% the percentage of useless suggestions became too high.
(2) Use the AutoText facility of Word to code 'frequent' words or part or entire sentences/paragraphs by 2-3 symbols. Here you face the alternative to maintain an enormous Normal.dot for multiple applications or to create separate smaller .dot files per language, topic, and even per job.
Depending on your skills these two simple steps can improve your output by 30-60%.
Call me for more details, if you need them.
Good luck!
Atanas


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Michael Farrell  Identity Verified

Local time: 22:28
Italian to English
IntelliWebSearch customizes the way scan (concordance) works Jan 8, 2009

Gerard de Noord wrote:

In this case I'd give IntelliWebSearch a try.
http://www.intelliwebsearch.com/
You'll have to select some text first, but IntelliWebSearch can do the rest.



Just to confirm what Gerard wrote, IntelliWebSearch can be set up to customize the way scan (concordance) works in DVX. See:
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/dejavu-l/message/92726.

It may also be possible to do similar things together with other CAT tools. If anyone does so, please could they let me know?

Regards
Mike


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