Translation Editor: Preferable Features
Thread poster: Yasmin Moslem

Yasmin Moslem  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 07:57
English to Arabic
Aug 1, 2013

Dear Colleagues,

Currently, I am trying to study both issues and preferable features in 5 modules common in Translation Environment Tools (aka CAT Tools) one of which is the "Translation Editor", namely where translators have to type their translation in a CAT tool. The purpose of this study is to provide CAT vendors with a guidance to refer to in their development. So I highly appreciate your inputs.

For me among the very useful features of a "Translation Editor" are: WYSIWYG (rich text editing including formats like Bold, Italic, Underline, sometimes Superscript and Subscript, and sometimes colours as well) and "placeables" (being able to easily move numbers, URLs, email addresses, etc to the target cell).

On the other hand, I see that among the main issues in most tools is having "tags" that the user has to manually insert to the target cell of the Translation Editor. In most tools, tags are displayed as codes surrounding pieces of text; in one tool, I saw tags are represented as coloured lines under pieces of text. Anyhow, I notice that "tags" is usually a nagging pain that CAT users suffer from in most CAT tools even those that allow removing unnecessary tags from the source or offer WYSIWYG. I believe that the "tags" matter is even worth a separate detailed comparative study.

Anyhow, I hope you kindly share your preferred and/or missed features of the "Translation Editor" in your CAT tool. Many thanks in advance!

I am sure it will be a very interesting discussion.

Kind regards,
Yasmin


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:57
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
just off the top of my head... Aug 1, 2013

Hi Yasmin,

Great topic.

1. Automatic selection of whole words in CafeTran. When this option is activated, CafeTran selects whole words by only their partial mouse selection. So let's say I want to quickly select ‘these three words’, all I need to do is select, say, ‘se three wo’. That is, I don’t need to carefully move my mouse pointer to the very edge of the words. A few letters in will do just fine too. That is, you don’t need to make such precise movements, which is also a very good thing if you suffer from RSI.
This might not sound like much, but once you start using it you realise it is something you can no longer do without. I have even started trying to do it in my browser, e.g., and elsewhere, only to remember that it is a CafeTran-only feature. It's the little things like this that make a translation editor fun to use.

2. Keyboard shortcuts! Another thing that CAT tool developers should really work on is keyboard shortcuts. In my opinion, it should be possible to do ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING using just your keyboard. I do not ever want to have to take my hands off of my keyboard when translating. All these shortcuts should also be user-configurable (i.e., no hard-coded shortcuts!) and they should also all be accessible/editable from a nice clear settings dialogue where they are all clearly visible at a glance.

3. UI should be user-configurable. Another great feature in CafeTran is that you can dock any part of the UI to any other part of the UI. It's like playing with Lego blocks. You can also make the entire UI transparent, or semi transparent, and use images for the background. All of this means you can in effect build your own UI. We spend a lot of time looking at the UI, so we should be able to change it to suite our current mood.

4. Segment notes should go straight to the final document. CafeTran has a brand new feature where any segment notes you add can be automatically exported to your final Word document. The source segment text in question can also be added to the comment in the Word document, so the reviewer has both your comment, and the relevant source context. This is a feature that I haven't seen in other CAT tools yet and one that, once we got it (it's still only available in the beta) was another one of those things that seem to be absolutely necessary afterwards.

Michael



[Edited at 2013-08-01 21:53 GMT]


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Heartsome Support
Local time: 13:57
direct edit any source file with TM enabled Aug 2, 2013

Through WYSIWYG, visible tags can be definitely reduced in a CAT tool. This is great, but for many new users, this may be a big disadvantage, because once this feature is enabled, many tags “disappeared”. They thought these tags do not exist at all. So once they finish translation, many tags may be removed, which may need much time and energy to fix it.

Manually inserting tags is annoying for translators. No tags are best of all choice for translator.

You may try one 2 edit tool which can directly edit on source file such as InDesign, in this way, there are no tags and have a good context for translator.


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xxxwilhelm_zwo
Netherlands
Local time: 06:57
German to Dutch
Some additions Aug 4, 2013

Michael Beijer wrote:

Hi Yasmin,

Great topic.

1. Automatic selection of whole words in CafeTran. When this option is activated, CafeTran selects whole words by only their partial mouse selection. So let's say I want to quickly select ‘these three words’, all I need to do is select, say, ‘se three wo’. That is, I don’t need to carefully move my mouse pointer to the very edge of the words. A few letters in will do just fine too. That is, you don’t need to make such precise movements, which is also a very good thing if you suffer from RSI.
This might not sound like much, but once you start using it you realise it is something you can no longer do without. I have even started trying to do it in my browser, e.g., and elsewhere, only to remember that it is a CafeTran-only feature. It's the little things like this that make a translation editor fun to use.


Exactly these things make the difference for me too. A good CAT tool, like CafeTran, tries to assist the user as much as possible. Not the obstrusive MS Office way, but intelligently.

This goes as far as the ability to toggle case in frequently used dialogues too (Find/Replace, Add new terms etc.). This is only one example, there are many, many editing actions that can be made simpler.

I always differentiate between CAT tools that are made for Project Managers (SDL Studio, Across) and CAT tools for those who actually do the hard work. A good CAT tool should facilitate the translators in each and every way.


3. UI should be user-configurable. Another great feature in CafeTran is that you can dock any part of the UI to any other part of the UI. It's like playing with Lego blocks. You can also make the entire UI transparent, or semi transparent, and use images for the background. All of this means you can in effect build your own UI. We spend a lot of time looking at the UI, so we should be able to change it to suite our current mood.


Don't forget:

- the ability to choose colours for dividing lines between panes, tune your hammer exactly to your prefs: http://cafetran.wikidot.com/the-screen-elements

- optimal use of screen real estate, whether your on an ultra wide screen or on a 13" MacBook Air: your CAT tool should be useable – with no restrictions. Ability to turn off everything that isn't absolutely necessary and clutters the screen.

Terminology maintenance

In the world of the freelance translator, good terminology is everything. A good CAT tool should offer features to easily optimise your glossaries (remove duplicates, sort, merge, interactively prioritise for auto-assembly etc.): http://cafetran.wikidot.com/using-glossaries


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Yasmin Moslem  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 07:57
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Aug 10, 2013

Dear Colleagues, Michael, Heartsome Support, and Wilhelm,

Many thanks for your great contributions and useful tips.

Kind regards,
Yasmin


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Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 08:57
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
brand new feature? Aug 10, 2013

Michael Beijer wrote:

4. Segment notes should go straight to the final document. CafeTran has a brand new feature where any segment notes you add can be automatically exported to your final Word document. The source segment text in question can also be added to the comment in the Word document, so the reviewer has both your comment, and the relevant source context. This is a feature that I haven't seen in other CAT tools yet and one that, once we got it (it's still only available in the beta) was another one of those things that seem to be absolutely necessary afterwards.



Hi Michael,

That is a good feature and I use it since 2003 (not 2013)! And that was available even in Déjà Vu X before Déjà Vu X2.

Export source comments as Office comments—allows the export of source comments to Microsoft Word comments.

Export target comments as Office comments—allows the export of target comments to Microsoft Word comments.



I like the web resources feature in CafeTran available since 2005. A similar feature now available in memoQ, only 8 years late

First official version of memoQ in 2007
First version of CafeTran in 2005 (?)


"Learn" feature was available in DejaVu 3 in 2002 (it was a basic version of AutoWrite powered by DeepMiner in Déjà Vu X2 released in 2011)
Auto-completion by CafeTran in 2005
AutoSuggest by SDL Studio in 2009
Predictive Typing in memoQ in 2012

Selcuk


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:57
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I didn't know that. Aug 10, 2013

Selcuk Akyuz wrote:

Hi Michael,

That is a good feature and I use it since 2003 (not 2013)! And that was available even in Déjà Vu X before Déjà Vu X2.

Export source comments as Office comments—allows the export of source comments to Microsoft Word comments.

Export target comments as Office comments—allows the export of target comments to Microsoft Word comments.


I didn't know that DVX could do that. Can it also add the source text to the Word comment, in addition to your comment? This is very useful for the person reading the comment. It combines the bilingual aspect of the bilingual Word table with the usefulness of Word comments.

Selcuk


[Edited at 2013-08-10 18:16 GMT]


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:57
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
CafeTran's terminology management is improving swiftly Aug 10, 2013

wilhelm_zwo wrote:

Terminology maintenance

In the world of the freelance translator, good terminology is everything. A good CAT tool should offer features to easily optimise your glossaries (remove duplicates, sort, merge, interactively prioritise for auto-assembly etc.): http://cafetran.wikidot.com/using-glossaries



Hi Wilhelm,

I completely agree: good terminology management is very, very important in a CAT tool.

Igor (the developer of CafeTran, for those of you who don't already know) is currently thinking about implementing some sort of automatic way to remove duplicates from termbases (something I have been asking Kilgray for over two years and which is still not possible!). He is also currently working on prioritisation inside of termbases, like in DVX!

Michael





[Edited at 2013-08-10 18:16 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
For me, it's predictability Aug 10, 2013

Yasmin Moslem wrote:
Anyhow, I hope you kindly share your preferred and/or missed features of the "Translation Editor" in your CAT tool.


I use a number of tools, and the main gripe that I have with having to type translations into other CAT tools (apart from my main CAT tool, which is MS Word based) is predictability. In other words, I dislike it when the cursor doesn't behave in the same way as it behaves in MS Word.

In particular, the meaning of Ctrl plus left or right arrow can be a pain the neck. For example, in MS Word, Ctrl+arrow always places the cursor at the start of the word (or before the punctuation mark), but in some tools, the the cursor ends up somewhere else. I find that the cursor behaves differently in many Java-based tools or in certain open-source tools, whereby the position of the cursor can't be predicted reliably after you've pressed Ctrl+left and Ctrl+right successively a few times. Sometimes the cursor ends up at the end of the word, and sometimes at the start of the word. This makes it very difficult to edit the text accurately without slowing down.

Michael mentions a word-selection feature in his CAT tool that is similar to the default behaviour of MS Word, but I actually turn that feature off because I work in a language where I often have to select only part of a word, and it is terribly annoying if the tool selects whole words automatically.

Right now I'm struggling with a bug in MS Word that causes "smart editing" to be turned on by itself, which means that when I edit text, I often end up with spaces in places where I don't want them. For example, if the text reads "one two three" and I want to end up with "onethree", I want to be able to select " two " (including both spaces) and press Delete and not have the tool "cleverly" insert a space there.

Some of the keyboard shortcuts that I normally use for editing in any standard text editor can't be used in Wordfast Pro, for example (where that shortcut is mapped to placeable selection). In GTT, the shortcut that I usually use for "top of segment" in other CAT tools actually take me to the top of the document (which means I lose my place in the file).

Another gripe is different implementations of the "US International" keyboard. I'm used to the Windows approach whereby dead keys become alive if they are not followed by a modifier, but some tools take a Linux-like approach whereby a dead key remains dead, and you have to press Space to activate it... always. In some tools it is easier to put something in quotes by first typing both quotes and then typing the quoted text inbetween, because of the way it implements dead keys.

The ability to change the display font (in non-WYSIWIG) tools is also important to me, as is the ability to use zoom. In particular, I sometimes want to translate with large letters (easier on my eyes), and if the tool can't give me bigger text, I make typing mistakes.

Samuel


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Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 08:57
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
CafeTran notes Aug 10, 2013

Michael Beijer wrote:

I didn't know that DVX could do that. Can it also add the source text to the Word comment, in addition to your comment? This is very useful for the person reading the comment. It combines the bilingual aspect of the bilingual Word table with the usefulness of Word comments.


Hi Michael,

DVX2 does not add the source text "automatically" to exported comments. But it can export both source and target comments as Office comments. Exporting source text is an interesting feature in CafeTran but it could be better if the first paragraph was for the source text and the second one (the one below the line) for the comment.

Moreover, you can not add notes to target segment in CafeTran, I hope Igor will add this feature in the new build.

Options like "Export current document with notes" and "Include source segments in notes" (available for docx files only?) should be under an "Export menu", currently they are all under the Project. When I add notes to an Excel file and try to export with notes, the exported file was corrupted.

Reimportable External View files with columns for source & target comments are better I think but that feature is not available yet in CafeTran (possibly in next build). Adding source segment as comment is a good feature but not so useful if I can not reimport commented files. Between, I can not import comments in a docx file, are there any settings for it?


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:57
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Metadata-based prioritisation inside single glossaries just added to CafeTran nightly builds! Aug 13, 2013

Michael Beijer wrote:

Igor (the developer of CafeTran, for those of you who don't already know) is currently thinking about implementing some sort of automatic way to remove duplicates from termbases (something I have been asking Kilgray for over two years and which is still not possible!). He is also currently working on prioritisation inside of termbases, like in DVX!

Michael


The following two features have just been added to the nightly builds:

Library | Glossary | Remove duplicate entries
Library | Glossary | Remove source = target


Igor also just added metadata-based prioritisation inside single glossaries!

Michael


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:57
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
@Samuel: Aug 14, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:

Michael mentions a word-selection feature in his CAT tool that is similar to the default behaviour of MS Word, but I actually turn that feature off because I work in a language where I often have to select only part of a word, and it is terribly annoying if the tool selects whole words automatically.

Samuel

You can switch this ON and OFF in CafeTran. I think there might also be an option to leave it ON but temporarily bypass it by pressing shift or something. If this isn’t possible yet I’m sure Igor will add it if we ask.

Michael


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:57
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
your questions answered Aug 14, 2013

Selcuk Akyuz wrote:

Hi Michael,

DVX2 does not add the source text "automatically" to exported comments. (...) Exporting source text is an interesting feature in CafeTran but it could be better if the first paragraph was for the source text and the second one (the one below the line) for the comment.


I’m not so sure about that. I think I like it the way it is. This way your comment is right beneath your MS Office username.

Moreover, you can not add notes to target segment in CafeTran, I hope Igor will add this feature in the new build.


I am not entirely sure I actually want or need the ability to comment on both the source and target segments. I think one comment for both is sufficient. The next thing you know you will be adding severity levels and all manner of other distracting and useless bells & whistles (like in the case of memoQ's new comments system).

Options like "Export current document with notes" and "Include source segments in notes" (available for docx files only?) should be under an "Export menu", currently they are all under the Project.


I think I prefer it where they are. There are also two other ‘export’ options under the Memory menu:

Memory | Export | Export segments to Glossary
Memory | Export | Export segments to Project


I don’t think a separate export menu would be clearer than the way it is now. I think the fact that they are export functions is less important than what they export (Projects or Memories). Placing them under the Project or Memory menu would therefore seem to make more sense.

When I add notes to an Excel file and try to export with notes, the exported file was corrupted.


I had the same problem with .docx files and notes right after Igor first implemented this feature. Just tell him about it and he will probably be able to fix it.

Reimportable External View files with columns for source & target comments are better I think but that feature is not available yet in CafeTran (possibly in next build). Adding source segment as comment is a good feature but not so useful if I can not reimport commented files.


Reimportable External View files are a different thing I think. Although I agree that CT should get them too (I think Igor is working on this as we speak), for certain types of clients, a final Word .docx (in my target language) with segment notes + any relevant source segment text is preferable to Reimportable External View files. External views lack context. They are great for proofing the translation, but useless for checking the translation in it’s final context. That’s where these final exports + notes + source segment text files come in handy!

Between, I can not import comments in a docx file, are there any settings for it?


I’m not quite sure what you mean here . . .

Michael


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Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 08:57
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
comments Aug 14, 2013

Michael Beijer wrote:

Selcuk Akyuz wrote:

Between, I can not import comments in a docx file, are there any settings for it?


I’m not quite sure what you mean here . . .

Michael


Nothing related to the 'brand new feature', but I am talking about original docx files with comments. It seems that CT does not import comments.

Selcuk


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