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WordFast and PowerPoint don't mix
Thread poster: Edward Potter

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:06
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nov 15, 2005

Once again WordFast has changed the formatting of a PowerPoint presentation. Here are just some of the things it is doing:

1) It changes all my Comic Sans MS fonts to Arial.
2) It also does not give carriage returns making any text longer than a line write on top of itself.
3) It changes the indentation of the bullet points or takes them out entirely.
4) Text right-justified becomes text left-justified.
6) Blue letters become black letters.

For me WordFast is worthless for PowerPoint presentations, and in fact creates more work.

Maybe I just haven't learned the secrets yet. Is there something I am dong to make it do this?


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:06
English to German
+ ...
Wordfast and PowerPoint Nov 15, 2005

Unfortunately, Wordfast has never worked very well for me on PowerPoint files, which is why I gave up very soon to work with WF on such files. I don't think there are any secrets, at least I couldn't find any when I tried to solve this issue back then.

I know that this may not be the solution for you, but I found that OmegaT does a great job with PP slides. I found that it preserves formatting very well and changes only very little, if at all.

However, as mentioned before, I know that this may not be the right solution for you since you will have to download OpenOffice.org to be able to work on PP files (and the greatest potential for formatting loss lies there).

Just wanted to let you know that I sympathise with you.

Good luck,

Sonja

[Edited at 2005-11-15 13:09]


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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:06
Member (2005)
French to German
+ ...
Try Tageditor, it does all these things, too Nov 15, 2005

Edward Potter wrote:

Once again WordFast has changed the formatting of a PowerPoint presentation.


The trouble seems to be that CAT programs somehow "recover" the settings in the slide master (sometimes). This is something TRADOS Tageditor is great at, too. Sometimes, it exchanges "bold" mode, so that all bold texts become unbolded, and all plain text becomes bold; sometimes it insists on using six point fonts for text that had been 11 point high, etc. etc.

I'm not happy about this, either. But you can't blame it on Wordfast, since other CAT programs are no better at leaving the d... formatting alone.

The "solution" is, seemingly, to tell customers to write different PowerPoint files. This isn't really feasible IMO, so you have to factor in around 10% to 15% of the time for reformatting.

P.


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:06
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
PPT and WordFast possible solutions Nov 15, 2005

Peter,

I see that you mean that Trados and the rest are "great" at being bad with PowerPoint. I can only speak for WordFast and I can only say that I will love it when WordFast finally gets it working okay. I support all your efforts to fix this, Yves!

Sonja,

Thanks for the OmegaT/Open Office solution. I am hesitant to start using non-Word applications and I am wary whether it will really work well with PowerPoint. I understand Open Office is about 90% compatible with Word. I understand OmegaT is free. Is it easy to learn?

It is tempting to give OmegaT/O.O. a try if it will translate PPT files efficiently. A CAT that works will save me tons of time. I have files with a lot of embedded Excel charts and tables. Will it respect the formatting of these?


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:06
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
More on OmegaT Nov 15, 2005

Edward Potter wrote:
Thanks for the OmegaT/Open Office solution. I am hesitant to start using non-Word applications and I am wary whether it will really work well with PowerPoint. I understand Open Office is about 90% compatible with Word. I understand OmegaT is free. Is it easy to learn?


OmegaT (OmT for short) is not difficult to learn, but it doesn't work in the same way as Wordfast (WF for short) does. OmT creates a set of folders, into which you copy the source documents. It then extracts the text, which you translate in the OmT's edit window. Then OmT exports the translation into the souce text to create a target document. You can't segment on the fly with OmT, but in a sense OmT is better for PPT translation because you don't have to bother with hundreds of text boxes (since OmT extracts everything to a single edit window).

OOo (OpenOffice.org for long, heh-heh) is 90% compatible with MS Word. You won't get away without some post-editing the PPT file. I never simply export the OOo file to PPT and directly send it to the client -- I always check it first. Some formatting goes lost. Embedded sound and video may or may not survive. OmT can't translate embedded Excel files either. But... I don't think anyone should translate a PowerPoint file if they don't know how to create a PowerPoint file in the first place. CAT tools will break the document, and the translator must be able to fix what the CAT tool has broken.

But like I said, OmT extracts all the text, so you don't have to bother with hundreds of text boxes, and that speeds up the translation tremendously.

I have files with a lot of embedded Excel charts and tables. Will it respect the formatting of these?


OpenOffice might, but OmT won't be able to touch it. If you're translating a complex PPT document, I think you should make peace with the fact that you may have to disassemble it, translate the various pieces (possibly using different CAT tools), and then reassemble it.

For translating PPT files, I use OOo and OmT, but ultimately I do the translation in Wordfast (not in OmT). I just use OmT as an easy means to extract the text from the PPT file. Here's how (you have to subscribe to the OmegaT Yahoogroup):

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OmegaT/message/1044 (and answers)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OmegaT/message/3257 (optional)

Try the latest beta version of OmegaT (the "unstable" version). It does sentence segmenting and it has the ability to create a TMX file which is described in the above-mentioned URL.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:06
German to English
+ ...
WordFast and PowerPoint don't mix Nov 15, 2005

Edward Potter wrote:

I understand Open Office is about 90% compatible with Word.


I would say that OpenOffice.org (which I use all the time btw) is about 99% compatible with Word. Excel compatibility is also very good. PowerPoint compatibility is not quite as good, however, and the 90% figure is probably warranted. (Admittedly, the percentages are fairly arbitrary - what dose "90% compatible" mean?)

I understand OmegaT is free. Is it easy to learn?


No harder than Wordfast, I'd say, and the user group is very supportive.

It is tempting to give OmegaT/O.O. a try if it will translate PPT files efficiently.


It handles PPT files both efficiently and effectively. The only real problem is the inevitable need for some post-translation editing in PPT itself. Whether it's worth it depends upon the complexity of the PPT formatting and the scale of leverage you are going to get by using translation memory in the first place.

One thing to note, regardless of which CAT tool you use to translate PPT files, is that these files are often formatted abysmally, and you may need to reformat them *before* you start translating - e.g. by removing unwanted hard line breaks.

Marc


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Andrew Steel  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:06
Spanish to English
Re: WordFast and PowerPoint don't mix Nov 16, 2005

Edward,

In my experience, the amount of reformatting needed when using WF with PowerPoint depends on each individual file, the system and version of PP it was written on, your version of Word and PP, etc.

I attempted to translate a PP file last week using WF 5.15 and experienced problems on just about every slide.

However, when I downgraded to version 4.22t22 (available from the WF website) I sailed through the job with relatively few difficulties (a couple of text boxes were skipped and graphic bullet points caused problems).

I've not done any more exhaustive testing, but it may be worth trying on your files.


HTH,

Andrew


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Dan Marasescu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 11:06
Member (2003)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Hi Edward Nov 16, 2005

As you noticed, Wordfast has problems processing some PP files and Yves knows it. As far as I know, he is working on the PP files issue and plans to release something that will solve the problem soon.

Best,
Dan


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:06
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Awareness of PPT issue in WF Nov 16, 2005

I am encouraged that so many people know about this problem and are discussing it. I hope to see that new version of WF soon.

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