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In which CAT tool can I select specific Excel columns?
Thread poster: Samuel Murray

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:52
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Oct 14, 2012

G'day everyone

I have some files that I'm sure many other translators must have seen -- they contain content in various rows and columns, but the source text is in e.g. column D and the translation must appear in e.g. column H. In my case, the translation is already done, and I have to edit it.

So, does any CAT tool have this feature, whereby I can tell it "column D is the source text and column H is the target text", without having to perform extensive hacking of the Excel files?

Thanks
Samuel


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
On tenterhooks Oct 14, 2012

I look forward to seeing the feedback here, because I've recently had to deal with Excel files and they are a confounded nuisance. At least the client didn't quibble about paying extra for the format.

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Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:52
Finnish to French
Wordfast Pro can Oct 14, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:
So, does any CAT tool have this feature, whereby I can tell it "column D is the source text and column H is the target text", without having to perform extensive hacking of the Excel files?

That question was asked in a post on the Wordfast forum last June and I made a video showing how to do it in Wordfast Pro:

http://wordfast.fi/blog/cat-tools/2012/06/24/translating-an-excel-column-without-replacing-the-original-column/

Also see this related video:

http://wordfast.fi/blog/cat-tools/2012/03/14/how-to-translate-excel-columns-in-wordfast-pro/


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:52
Italian to English
TM? Oct 14, 2012

Hi Samuel,

If the translation was done in a CAT environment, a TM should be available.

Otherwise, you'll probably have to align source and target. Make two copies of the file, hide (format\columns\hide) everything except column D in one and everything but column H in the other, and then align the two to make a TM.

Or you could hide everything in the Excel file except columns D and H and do your editing in Excel (align and make a TM later if you need it), or even copy the two columns into a Word table, edit and repaste back into Excel.

A lot will depend on the nature of the Excel file, of course.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:52
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No TM, no align Oct 14, 2012

Giles Watson wrote:
If the translation was done in a CAT environment, a TM should be available.


The TM may be available to the original translator (if indeed there was only one original translator) but it is no longer available to the client that sends the files to me. That's assuming the original was done in a TM environment, and I'm not sure about that, because I've spotted variant translations of exact matching source texts.

Otherwise, you'll probably have to align source and target.


That is something that I do not want to do.

Alignment is okay if there is only one or two files, and they have only one or two worksheets each. Hiding and unhiding columns is time-consuming. And pasting back into Excel is fraut with potential disasters (e.g. merged cells, hidden rows, line breaks within cells, etc).

Fortunately for me, in my current job, text in the target language occurs only in the target column, so I can safely use a CAT tool to "translate" the target text using a TM that consists of the old target text (as the "source") and the updated target text (as the "target"). But that is still time-consuming because I have to do various alignments that may require hand-tweaking to work out.


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Theo Bernards  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:52
English to Dutch
+ ...
How about this workaround? Oct 14, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:

...

So, does any CAT tool have this feature, whereby I can tell it "column D is the source text and column H is the target text", without having to perform extensive hacking of the Excel files?

...


I don't really see the problem but I must admit that I tend to oversimplify things at times (which is a peculiar way of admitting that I am lazy). I work with Across and what I do in such situations is creating a new spreadsheet into which I only copy column D, which I then upload as the source document. Once I have finished the translation, I export the translation, copy the column and insert in in the original document in column H. I strongly suspect this workaround would work with virtually any CAT-tool, as long as it can handle spreadsheets and it would take perhaps an additional five minutes...

As for editing, because I just realised that I have not read the original problem correctly, how about not using a CAT-tool at all? When I edit spreadsheets, I hide all columns that aren't affected and end up with the source text and target text next to each other, and use track changes to edit with a comment to explain why certain edits are imho the better option.

[Edited at 2012-10-14 09:24 GMT]


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SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:52
English
Studio can... Oct 14, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:

So, does any CAT tool have this feature, whereby I can tell it "column D is the source text and column H is the target text", without having to perform extensive hacking of the Excel files?



... if you can save the Excel file as a CSV? See here for an example: http://goo.gl/fss7L

Regards

Paul


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Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 13:52
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Studio cannot do it Oct 14, 2012

SDL Support wrote:

... if you can save the Excel file as a CSV? See here for an example: http://goo.gl/fss7L

Regards

Paul


Paul please do not suggest this as a solution. All formatting will be lost in CSV format!

In my experience such Excel files are more popular than Trados RTF bilingual and TTX files (no need to mention Studio SDLXLIFF, it is not a popular format yet). And if a CAT tool (even a new CAT tool) develops a good, working filter for such bilingual (mostly multilingual) Excel files, I believe many people will buy it.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:52
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Studio's solution is only for TM creation, not for translation Oct 14, 2012

SDL Support wrote:
Samuel Murray wrote:
So, does any CAT tool have this feature, whereby I can tell it "column D is the source text and column H is the target text", without having to perform extensive hacking of the Excel files?

Studio can... if you can save the Excel file as a CSV? See here for an example: http://goo.gl/fss7L


This is useful to know (i.e. that Studio can harvest TM from a CSV file by specifying which column is the source and which is the target), but it doesn't help with translation of the CSV file, as far as I can see. Or does it? Of course, as Selcuk pointed out, this would lose all formatting, which is usually important to retain.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:52
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Don't want to paste, and on editing Oct 14, 2012

Theo Bernards wrote:
What I do in such situations is creating a new spreadsheet into which I only copy column D... and insert in in the original document in column H.


This works fine if there are few Excel files and few worksheets, but beyond a certain number of worksheets it becomes cumbersome to ensure that the right column gets pasted into the right worksheet, and it is easy to make a mistake, and "undo" doesn't work in Excel when you're pasting columns.

I don't mind a method that requires a few steps of pre-preparation, as long as the final steps of merging the completed text back into the files is pain-free.

As for editing... how about not using a CAT-tool at all? When I edit spreadsheets, I hide all columns that aren't affected and end up with the source text and target text next to each other...


Yes, but I prefer to use my CAT tool while editing, because then I can ensure a consistent translation using the CAT tool's normal consistency features (e.g. glossary, context searches, etc). And find/replace is easier in a CAT tool if you have to do it across multiple sheets. The job I'm currently doing is a small one -- just three Excel files with just 10 worksheets each (total word count of the translatable text is about 40 000, but only about 18 000 are unique segments). Imagine having to do this without a CAT tool to help process the multiple sheets and multiple cells.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:52
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Okay, here's what I did... Oct 14, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:
They contain content in various rows and columns, but the source text is in e.g. column D and the translation must appear in e.g. column H. In my case, the translation is already done, and I have to edit it.


Okay, just to round off this thread, let me tell you what I did in the job at hand. I was extremely fortunate in that (a) the target text had virtually no formatting and (b) one of the target text cells that needed fixing were exactly the same as any non-target text cells.

So... I first copied all the text (in two columns, i.e. source and target) from all the worksheets to a single two-column MS Word document (say, originaltable.doc), and then I converted that to an uncleaned RTF file (uncleanedtable.doc), which I proofread in Wordfast Classic against a blank TM. Once that was done, I created a new blank TM and cleaned up the edited uncleanedtable.doc so that I get a TM with no orphan segments. I then went back to originaltable.doc, marked the target text column as tw4winExternal (i.e. non-translatable), and I translated the source text column using the TM. Then I cleaned it up, and was left with a two-column MS Word file with the newly updated target text in the first column and the old unedited target text in the second column. Then I switched the columns around, converted it to a Wordfast TM using PlusTools' alignment function, converted it to TMX, and then... then I used OmegaT's auto-translate feature to "translate" the Excel files (which replaced the old target text text with the newly edited target text text). Then I simply checked in OmegaT if all relevant segments were marked as translated, and then generated the final files.

Had there been extensive formatting, or had there been cells in the Excel files that had the same content as the target text column, this method would not have been possible.


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Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 13:52
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Carriage returns Oct 14, 2012

Proofreading excel files with a CAT tool is possible, my method is as follows:

a. Hide all columns except the source column and import into CAT tool (as I use DVX, I don't hide by simply change font colour to red and when importing do not import red text. But if the sheet is highly formatted this method can fail, in that case I create a new Excel file and copy Source into that new file and import into DVX)
b. Export the file from my CAT tool into External View file (a rtf file with table). Then copy the translations from the Excel file into the EV file and reimport into DVX.
c. Open DVX in my screen and the Excel file in another screen for reference, proofread and export.
d. Copy from the exported (proofread) file and paste into target column of the Excel file.

That is not the easiest solution of course, takes a lot of time (but my rates are not low as well).

But what happens if there are unnecessary carriage returns inserted by the translator in the target column? Copy & Paste to my RTF External View file will not be so easy.


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SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:52
English
Formatting and translation Oct 14, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:

SDL Support wrote:
Samuel Murray wrote:
So, does any CAT tool have this feature, whereby I can tell it "column D is the source text and column H is the target text", without having to perform extensive hacking of the Excel files?

Studio can... if you can save the Excel file as a CSV? See here for an example: http://goo.gl/fss7L


This is useful to know (i.e. that Studio can harvest TM from a CSV file by specifying which column is the source and which is the target), but it doesn't help with translation of the CSV file, as far as I can see. Or does it? Of course, as Selcuk pointed out, this would lose all formatting, which is usually important to retain.



Hi Selcuk,

The fact that a CSV removes all formatting doesn't preclude this as a possible solution we should mention. It may still be useful, especially if you are using this to work with bilingual glossaries where formatting is less likely to be of importance. But of course for anything else then the workaround is the same for any tool, where you manipulate the columns and copy and paste where necessary.

On whether you can translate the CSV Samuel... yes you can. So whether the target column is empty or partially translated already makes no difference. All you are doing with this filetype (formatting issues accepted of course) is reading the csv column containing the source text into the source column of Studio, and reading/writing the target translation in the csv column for the translation.

Regards

Paul


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:52
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Wordfast Pro Oct 14, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:
I have some files that I'm sure many other translators must have seen -- they contain content in various rows and columns, but the source text is in e.g. column D and the translation must appear in e.g. column H.


I see Wordfast Pro can do it:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UsPYscWH5A

In my case, the translation is already done, and I have to edit it.


By the looks of it, Wordfast Pro can't do that. Am I right?


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Walter Moura  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:52
Member
English to Portuguese
Translating Excel in Wordfast and Across Oct 15, 2012

Hello, Samuel,

In order to put the translation of Column A in Column B, you will have to copy Column A to B.
If the Source is adjacent (A>B), just select the column B, click Ctrl+R, and the contents of Column A is copied to B. Otherwise, use Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V.

Now you can use Wordfast Classic to translate as follows:

Just open an empty Word file, invoke Wordfast. Now open you Excel file, select the column you want to translate. Return to the Word file and start Wordfast (Alt+arrow dow). It will translate only the selected colum. Just go there now and then to Save the file.
I don't know if you can do more than one column, but you can test it. Just select the columns clicking on the letter of the column while holding Ctrl to select columns you want (A, C, G, etc.).

Across can do it as well. I will assume you have Across in you machine, and know how to work with it.
Step 1: In Across, Create new project. Name it.
Step 2: Add your file. Click "Next" > Next again
Step 3: Source Language. Select the Source and Target Languages. Click "Next"
Step 4: In this screen, in "Document setting template", click in "Configure"
Step 5: In this screen, click in New, name a "New Template". Click "OK"
Now click in "Add". There will appear the screen "Add excel setting". Go to Filter type, select "Column". In Filter range or value, enter the columns you DON'T want to translate (e.g., you want to translate only column B, you enter A;C). Now in the field "Action" select "Hide". This will hide (of course) the columns A;C, and show only column B. Click OK. In "Root node in documents structure" (just before the OK button), select "column". Now click OK.
Step 6: Click "Next" again.
Step 7: Click "Finish"
Now just open your file, and you will see only the column you want to translate.

I hope it can help you.

Regards,


Walter Moura


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