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Is there any way to not break bookmarks and links in MSWord when translating a document?
Thread poster: Tom in London

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:30
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Aug 20, 2013

My standard practice, when I receive a Word document to translate, is to save it as a copy and then translate the copy.

If the document contains bookmarks and links, I've always found that the process of changing everything in the document (i.e. translating it) means that all the bookmarks and links get "killed" -even when I try to avoid this by not translating the links.

In fact the process of translating any text, in MSWord, means moving everything around, reorganising paragraphs, shifting particular phrases to different places etc. so it's obvious that if any of the things being moved are bookmarks or links, they will be "killed".

Is there any way to prevent this from happening? I can't find anything in the MS support pages, etc.


 

esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:30
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Depends on your workflow Aug 20, 2013

You haven’t provided any detail about your workflow and tools. Is it top secret? Then, I’m afraid, you won’t get a reasonable answer. Generally, such problems are unavoidable when you translate by editing the very document. When you use a tool that reads the document contents and structure and recreates it in the translated output, links and bookmarks can be preserved.

 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:30
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
I don't understand Aug 20, 2013

esperantisto wrote:

You haven’t provided any detail about your workflow and tools. Is it top secret? Then, I’m afraid, you won’t get a reasonable answer. Generally, such problems are unavoidable when you translate by editing the very document. When you use a tool that reads the document contents and structure and recreates it in the translated output, links and bookmarks can be preserved.


My workflow is translating. My tool is MSWord. What else did you need to know?

What is the "tool that reads the document contents and structure and recreates it in the translated output" to which you refer?

[Edited at 2013-08-20 08:05 GMT]


 

esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:30
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
This Aug 20, 2013

Tom in London wrote:

My workflow is translating. My tool is MSWord. What else did you need to know?


Well, more or less this. Thus, you simply type in your translation in the document, right?

What is the "tool that reads the document contents and structure and recreates it in the translated output" to which you refer?


Most modern CAT tools (OmegaT, Wordfast Pro, MemoQ etc.) that don’t let you edit the source file and represent links, bookmarks etc as tags or entities that can be transfered to the resulting document when you complete the translation.


 

Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:30
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
Which version? Aug 20, 2013

Which version do you use? What you are doing from Word's point of view is simply vigorously editing an existing document. My experience with Word 2010 (and I think the same applied to the version before that) is that you can easily edit and shift around bookmarks, links, etc. without 'killing' anything.

Regards,

Olly


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:30
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Using--- Aug 20, 2013

Olly Pekelharing wrote:

Which version do you use? What you are doing from Word's point of view is simply vigorously editing an existing document. My experience with Word 2010 (and I think the same applied to the version before that) is that you can easily edit and shift around bookmarks, links, etc. without 'killing' anything.

Regards,

Olly


Word 2008. I also have Word 2011 (for Mac) but don't use it much because I don't like it - but if I use Word 2011 could I avoid "killing" the links and bookmarks?


 

Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:30
French to English
+ ...
Field shading Aug 20, 2013

Hi Tom,

I always have field shading displayed as I work so any links/codes are apparent and can be transferred to the translated file. I think it depends which version of Word you're using how you enable this, but in Word 2003, which I'm currently using on my laptop, it's under Tools Options View: Field shading: Always. You can also enable the Field codes to show all the time, but I don't like that as you can't see how the document should look if it's a complicated file, so I toggle to the field codes view using Alt F9 (I think).

As far as bookmarks are concerned, I tend not to think about them as both of my CAT tools, Wordfast and Trados Studio, mark them clearly so they can be transferred to the target text - another advantage of CAT tools! I imagine that's what others were referring to.

All the best,

Claire


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:30
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Dare I mention CATs? Aug 20, 2013

For all its faults, the old TagEditor (part of the Trados Suite) was an attempt to address this problem, and on good days, it worked.

It has been superseded by Trados Studio, which IMHO is far more comfortable and reliable to work with, and in fact any self-respecting CAT will have some way of handling the codes involved.
They insert 'tags' with the codes for bookmarks etc. and these can be moved around in the translation and inserted in the right place.

With experience, you CAN pre-edit the text before opening it in the CAT if your sentence structure does not match the way the CAT segments the text, or in a good CAT you can merge or split segments as you go, at least to some extent, if you find it useful.

I believe you can in fact adjust the settings so that a 'segment' is a whole paragraph rather than a sentence. It means you will rarely get the highly sung 'matches' and 'fuzzy matches', but they are often overrated anyway.

I do understand people who don't like the idea of CATs. I have tried several and hated some, while I found one or two others acceptable. I have worked with Trados so long now that although I look forward with some trepidation to the next new version, I know it will work eventually... and it suits me.

What I am suggesting is that you try a CAT or two in demo versions. There is no 'one size fits all' CAT, but you might find one that helps.


 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 02:30
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Word:mac Aug 20, 2013

Tom in London wrote:
Word 2008. I also have Word 2011 (for Mac) but don't use it much because I don't like it - but if I use Word 2011 could I avoid "killing" the links and bookmarks?

Word:mac 2008 may very well be the culprit. I doesn't support VBA macros, unlike Word:mac 2004 and 2011. And some links may have to be edited.

Cheers,

Hans


 

Tony M
France
Local time: 20:30
Member
French to English
+ ...
Depends on how they are set up Aug 20, 2013

Tom, I have been working like you for ages, without using CAT, and I've never had any great problems.
As another contributor has already said, it helps a lot to have the fields displayed as shaded, so you know where you are.
It does depend how the links have been set up; for a hyperlink, it's easy enough to edit the label text, as long as you are careful when placing your cursor; you can also right-click and use the edit window.
Likewise, I've never had much problem with bookmarks, just so long as you know where they are and shift them around to match your text; again, it's important to place your cursor correctly!
But there are some ways (that I don't really understand!) of creating bookmarks that do seem a bit more fickle; I use Word 2003 (PC) and have always found these aspects pretty well explained in the Help — though I admit I don't have to deal with it often, and so have never looked into it too deeply.
Wordfast certainly offers you a way to copy and paste bookmarks into your target text, but it's not something I've done often enough to feel very comfortable with.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:30
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Form shading Aug 20, 2013

Thanks folks. "Form shading" in Word 2011 for Mac is described as a "legacy" option and is very difficult to access.

I found a YouTube video showing how to do it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMQ57JBu3H8

But after following those labyrinthine instructions, and then doing it again, I was unable to make the bookmarks and links in my document appear shaded.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:30
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Correction (several hours later) Aug 21, 2013

Tom in London wrote:

Thanks folks. "Form shading" in Word 2011 for Mac is described as a "legacy" option and is very difficult to access.

I found a YouTube video showing how to do it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMQ57JBu3H8

But after following those labyrinthine instructions, and then doing it again, I was unable to make the bookmarks and links in my document appear shaded.



I've found an easy way to enable form shading via Word preferences.

[Edited at 2013-08-21 20:24 GMT]


 

wilhelm_zwo (X)
Netherlands
Local time: 20:30
German to Dutch
Trados macro Aug 23, 2013

There exists an old Trados macro that you can use to convert bookmarks to textual placeholders. After translation you run the macro again to convert the placeholders to real bookmarks.

If I dig really deep in my hard disk, I might be able to excavate this jewel.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:30
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks but Aug 23, 2013

wilhelm_zwo wrote:

There exists an old Trados macro that you can use to convert bookmarks to textual placeholders. After translation you run the macro again to convert the placeholders to real bookmarks.

If I dig really deep in my hard disk, I might be able to excavate this jewel.


Thanks wilhelm but I'm looking for a way to do it in Word, without using a CAT tool.

When I am translating a MSWord file, everything gets shifted around and unless the bookmarks in the file are index numbers, (i.e. are not translated), those bookmarks will get broken when I translate them.

The same applies to any links in the text that connect back to those bookmarks.

I don't think there's a way to get around this problem.


 

wilhelm_zwo (X)
Netherlands
Local time: 20:30
German to Dutch
The macro was meant for Word Aug 23, 2013

Tom in London wrote:

Thanks wilhelm but I'm looking for a way to do it in Word, without using a CAT tool.


Exactly for that purpose the macro can be used. It was run to prepare the document prior to handling it with Trados WB 2.x.

http://www.stpnordic.com/tfaq/Using%20Bookmark%20handler.pdf


 
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