Several problems for a novice when using Wordfast
Thread poster: Tony M

Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:04
Member
French to English
+ ...
Dec 16, 2008

I'm sure I can't be the only person to have encountered these, but have been unable to sift through all the 'noise' out there to find any solutions, if such exist!

1) Sometimes when using W/F, I must hit some key combination that toggles me into Arabic (not even one of the languages set on my PC)! As a result, whatever I subsequently do in that doc to change the language globally, whenever I type a ', the language flips back to Arabic, and I get great spaces before every ' (note: it does not change to the Arabic character set!)

2) Sometimes when using W/f (but I've never been able to identify exactly when), I find that the very first character I type in a segment is completely ignored; this can be extremely irritating!

3) Almost always (it seems), when translating with 100% matches, segments are correctly copied with all appropriate attributes except italic! This is REALLY irritating, as it means I can't ever use the 'translate until no match' facility!

4) Is there a trick to being able to use the 'Glossary editor'? — even if I mark lines (= entries) and then press Ctrl + Z for irrevocable delete, it simply won't seem to do it; as a result, some of my glossaries are polluted with entries I can't get rid of.

5) Is there some way of getting rid of the 'Wordfast info' toolbar? I don't need to use it, and it wastes space on my screen; but every time I go into 'View' and uncheck it, it very soon comes back again afterwards.

6) Because of my poor eyesight, I usually work in Word at 150% magnification, but again, can't find how to stop W/f defaulting (and keep reverting back) to 135%

7) Some documents I translate have titles in a very large font size, which means they are severely cropped in the W/f segments, so I can't see to translate them; is there any way of making the W/f segments 'stretch' to fit whatever type size the original happens to be?

Thanks, in advance!


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Paula James  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:04
French to English
+ ...
point 3) Dec 16, 2008

I can't help with all your other questions, but regarding point 3), Wordfast does not retain formatting, so italics, bold, etc. are not reproduced. I was hoping a new release would resolve this (maybe the new Wordfast 6 does?).

Also, the missing first letters happened to me, and I think it was a known bug, but it doesn't happen on the latest version I'm using (although a couple of other things do instead, like layout sometimes being lost after expanding segment, does anyone know how to resolve this?).

To delete glossary items I just delete each word, the entry might be left, but empty, I'm not sure, but have a feeling I've done it.

Oh, and can't you just untick the wordfast info toolbar? It's never shown on my screen, and is unticked.

[Edited at 2008-12-16 08:52 GMT]


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:04
Member
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great, thanks Paula! Dec 16, 2008

What I find odd is that it DOES seem to retain all other formatting; it is ONLY italic that is lost? Mind you, this may be something to do with the way I use it, inasmuch as there probably isn't all that much other formatting anyway! 'Bold' is often included within placeables, and so gets placed willy-nilly.

Yes, I too thought the ' missing first character' was a bug — I have a faint recollection of having read about that somewhere; but that was ages ago, and I have updated to several newer versions since, but the 'big' (if such it is) has stayed.

Yes, I keep on unticking the Wordfast info toolbar — but it stubbornly keeps on coming back!

[Edited at 2008-12-16 09:05 GMT]


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Mihaela BUFNILA  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 08:04
English to Romanian
+ ...
points 2, 6 and 7 Dec 16, 2008

2) Sometimes when using W/f (but I've never been able to identify exactly when), I find that the very first character I type in a segment is completely ignored; this can be extremely irritating!


It happens when there are several documents open. If you keep only the document you're working on, the first character will always be there.

6) Because of my poor eyesight, I usually work in Word at 150% magnification, but again, can't find how to stop W/f defaulting (and keep reverting back) to 135%


Open Setup tab, then View, tick document's zoom factor=150 and you'll have the 150% magnification.

7) Some documents I translate have titles in a very large font size, which means they are severely cropped in the W/f segments, so I can't see to translate them; is there any way of making the W/f segments 'stretch' to fit whatever type size the original happens to be?


I generally fix that from the Word menu. Open Format>Paragraph>Indents and Spacing>Line Spacing and select Single. It works for me.

Have a great wordfasting!

[Edited at 2008-12-16 10:27 GMT]


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:04
French to English
+ ...
Some suggestions Dec 16, 2008

Hi Tony,

You sound as though you're getting to the end of your tether with it all - hang on in there!

Re the first key issue, have you tried the entries in Pandora's box:

FirstKeyControl
FirstKey_Escape
FirstKey_Shift
//_try three commands above, in order, if the
//_first key you type remains blank (Word 2003)

This usually works for me but occasionally I still get the first letter blank, so I just press Alt End, then Alt Down to go back in again and it's all fine.

As Mihaela says, the font size should be fixable from the Wordfast / set-up / view tab - and I suspect some of your other issues like the toolbar will be in the set-up options somewhere too.

As for formatting, I've found that Wordfast assumes all the text in a segment will mirror what's at the start of the source segment; so if that's bold it will start off in bold. In the case of matches, I've always assumed that it does not retain formatting - including subscripts and superscripts which I find annoying - but a small price to pay!

I haven't come across the Arabic glitch - which I can see must be very frustrating! - but I do find that the Number lock sometimes goes off for no apparent reason and I have to reapply it. I think this is a known issue, but it's not a huge problem. I usually notice when my Alt+codes for accents, umlauts etc suddenly don't work.... The other keyboard issue that threw me completely when I first started using Wordfast happened when I inadvertently pressed Alt Shift instead of one of Wordfast's other Alt commands - this changes the keyboard to a completely different setting - I wonder if that's what's happening with yours? Easy enough to fix by pressing Alt shift again, but very disconcerting when it first happens!

Keep persevering - it really is worth it in the end. Have you ever thought of doing a Wordfast course? I taught myself in the first place but felt I really wasn't using it to its true potential, so invested in two courses - a general TM one, which confirmed that Wordfast was for me, then an intermediate Wordfast course in Nice, which really helped. It's often the little things you learn which prove most useful - and days of studying the manual are no substitute for hands-on training with someone who can just say "Oh yes, that's easy, you just...."

All the best,

Claire


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P Forgas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:04
Portuguese to Spanish
+ ...
Pandora box Dec 16, 2008

2) FirstKeyControl
First_KeyEscape
First_KeyShift
//_try three commands above, in order, if the

3) DifferentFormat=99

4) From WF manual: Note: cutting (deleting) a single line (or entry, or TU) is a soft operation, meaning it can be reversed or undone (press Delete twice on an entry to see the toggling effect). When an entry is cut (or soft-deleted), it appears as a blank line, but when it is selected, the source and target data appears in the editor's bottom blue/green display. Ctrl+Delete will permanently erase cut entries by "packing", i.e. rewriting, the entire TM or glossary.

5)Do_ShowInfo
DoNotShowInfo

Calm down, WF is a excellent tool, all you need is get used with its configuration possibilities.

P.


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Mikhail Popov
Singapore
Local time: 13:04
Member (2015)
English to Russian
+ ...
Concerning article 4 Dec 16, 2008

4) Is there a trick to being able to use the 'Glossary editor'? — even if I mark lines (= entries) and then press Ctrl + Z for irrevocable delete, it simply won't seem to do it; as a result, some of my glossaries are polluted with entries I can't get rid of.

Try to Reorganize the glossary. Ctrl+Alt+W - Terminology - Glossary - Reorganize. It should delete all unused entries.


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Luciano Drusetta
Italy
Local time: 07:04
Hungarian to Italian
+ ...
Points 4 and 5 Dec 17, 2008

4) Is there a trick to being able to use the 'Glossary editor'? — even if I mark lines (= entries) and then press Ctrl + Z for irrevocable delete, it simply won't seem to do it; as a result, some of my glossaries are polluted with entries I can't get rid of.


You can also open the glossaries with Notepad, Wordpad, or Word.
A Wf glossary is a simple text file.

5) Is there some way of getting rid of the 'Wordfast info' toolbar? I don't need to use it, and it wastes space on my screen; but every time I go into 'View' and uncheck it, it very soon comes back again afterwards.


In Word -> View menu you should have the possibility of hide/show the toolbars.

Luciano


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:04
Member
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Progress so far... Dec 17, 2008

First of all, thanks to all of your for your valuable advice and tips!

Yes, I have considered proper training on W/F; but as I found the language CAT people talk to be completely incomprehensible, I thought the best thing would be to try it out first on a 'real' project, so that I could find out what I do understand about it, so as to then be able to benefit more from some training; already, I found the tutorial some help, but rapidly getting fairly impenetrable — it is just so much easier once you have actually encountered a situation to follow what is being talked about.

And yes, I have diligently read the W/F manual — having started to do so way back in v 1.0 or something like that. However, there is such a vast amount of information to be assimilated, and so much of it seems at least on the face of it irrelevant, that it is easy to get 'swamped'! The idea of consulting the manual on the computer instead of printing it out so that it will be searchable is a good one — except that you can only search for something if you know what it's called in jargon! My attempts at searching have either used keywords that are too broad, thus resulting in an impossibly large number of entries to sift through; or else too specific, in which case they don't produce any results at all! As an example: in an earlier forum post, I was asking how to do a 'not-quick' clean-up, having searched the manual in vain. Luckily, someone here kindly told me it was under 'Tools' in the set-up window — but I never managed to find that info from searching the manual!

Anyway, this is where I've got so far:

2) the loss of the first character is quite a serious 'bug'! And it is clearly vital to be able to have more than one document open at the same time — I often have 5 or 6 open! I have tried the PB fix (thx P.Forgas!), but haven't used W/F enough since then to know whether this has provided a 100% cure or not

3) loss of formatting — again, I have tried the PB fix (thx P.Forgas!), but have yet to see if this makes any difference in practice. This problem really is a great time-waster! I once had to translate around 80 small docs, all nearly identical, so with a very high proportion of 100% matches — except that one or 2 words in every segment then had to be manually put back into italic!

4) Glossary editing — despite the helpful advice here, I cannot get the Ctrl + Z hard delete function to do anything; nor can I manage to select multiple entries at a time (despite the fact that this is hinted at in the W/F window text).

I am aware that both glossaries and TMs are .TXT files and can be edited externally; but that's a very cumbersome process, all I wanted to be able to do was to simply delete an entry if as I was working I came across one that was wrong.

I have since found that by going into the Glossary editor and using the 'Tools' button, then selecting 'Sort', I can call up the window showing source and target terms, and by manually deleting the text in each of these, I can get them to go away next time I re-organize; this is better than nothing, but counter-intuitive and still very laborious!

While looking at the keyboard shortcuts (thanks, Lori C.), I did find there is a command for deleting a TU, I haven't tried it out yet, but I think this is also going to be soemthing I use a lot!

5) Disabling W/F info toolbar — yes, LMD, I had realized that you can uncheck it under the View > Toolbars menu; but the problem is, if you do that, it keeps coming back! The PB solution suggested by P.Forgas has proved to be what I needed! This is a feature of the more recent versions of W/F that I had not been aware of previously. But again, difficult to know just what to serach for in the manual!

6) View zoom ratio — adjusting the setting in 'Setup' > 'View' did the trick (thnx MB!) — I knew of the existence of the Zoom=135 setting, but hadn't realized that presssing 'Enter' actually lets you edit this figure!

7) Large fonts — Yes, as MB has kindly pointed out, this can be fudged in Word, but it's quite laborious:

go into source segment
select 'single' line spacing in Word
go into target segment
select 'single' line spacing in Word

translate...

But I don't know what this will have done to my document formatting! If I then have to go into Format > Paragraph and manually re-enter the 'exact' interline spacing previously specified (assuming I knew what the figure was!), then I've lost any time that using W/F might have saved me! Luckily for me, this only usually occurs on relatively few, small chunks of text, so my workaround is just to 'copy source' and then translate them manually at the end! But it would be great if there was some command like the 'reverse type colour' that enabled you to just shrink the text to fit for the time you are actually translating it, and then restored it to its proper formatting when you close the segment.

Again, thanks everyone! This learning curve is a bit steep, and it's surprising how easy it is to stumble over things that are encountered at even a very low level of usage, but aren't easy to find without mentor advice.

[Edited at 2008-12-17 09:22 GMT]


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Mihaela BUFNILA  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 08:04
English to Romanian
+ ...
not quite laborious Dec 17, 2008

Tony M wrote:
7) Large fonts — Yes, as MB has kindly pointed out, this can be fudged in Word, but it's quite laborious:

go into source segment
select 'single' line spacing in Word
go into target segment
select 'single' line spacing in Word

translate...


...as you only need to do that ONCE at the beginning of your work. You just select the whole document, perform the steps suggested and then... translate


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:04
Member
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, but... Dec 17, 2008

...the problem is, these particular docs have different formatting for several paragraphs (they have already been formatted for printing), and so it is a case of re-establishing the exact interline spacing for each different paragraph! No doubt I will be able to find a way to do this with styles, but for the moment, changing the line spacing has a rather disastrous effect on the page layout!

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