TagEditor usability problems (focus, search, handling of nonempty segments, etc.)
Thread poster: Alan Frankel

Alan Frankel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:35
German to English
Feb 4, 2009

I am seeing some serious usability problems using TagEditor (in a very recent version of Trados Workbench 2007, 8.3.0.863), and the Trados knowledge base (which has usability problems of its own) isn't helping. I couldn't find these issues raised in the forum here, but others may have come across them.

(1) I don't see why TagEditor forces you to have your cursor in the translation part of an open segment in order to close it. Frequently, this is what happens: I leave a segment open. I scroll elsewhere in the document (perhaps to look for similar instances of a phrase). Then I put the cursor into another segment and try to open it. Nothing happens. I wonder to myself whether TagEditor has just frozen, which, after all, it does occasionally. It takes me a while to figure out that there's a segment open somewhere, and even longer to find it. There should be a "Go To/Opened segment" menu item that allows me to go to the open segment. And TagEditor should display a message (as a dialog window or in the status bar): "A segment is already open. Choose 'Go To/Opened segment' to close the segment and continue."

(2) I don't see why TagEditor forces you to remove the translation text from a segment before you can perform "Restore Source" on it. I often find myself in this situation: I open a segment. I start typing a translation. Then I realize that the source text is bad and I want to fix it. (Side note: I generally want to do this, but "Protect document" seems to be on by default, no matter how many times I deselect it for previous documents.) Typing "Alt-Del" (Restore Source) won't let me remove the text and close the segment. Instead, I need to remove the text manually before I choose "Alt-Del". It gets worse. Say that I've selected the text and copied it to the clipboard. Even though it's still selected, I can't simply hit the Delete key to remove it. Instead, I need to put the cursor back into the field, backspace all the way through it, and THEN type "Alt-Del". Why can't TagEditor remove the text for me when I choose "Alt-Del"?

(3) Whereas Find has a "Search tag content" option, Replace doesn't. Why the inconsistency? Why can't we be trusted with a "Search tag content" option for Replace as well?

(4) There is no "Find in Files" option. Thus, even if I have 5 TTX files open in TagEditor, I need to search through each file separately. This is a HUGE inconvenience. The only workaround I have is to use a text editor that has "Find in Files" functionality to search through the TTX files, and then I still have to jump back to TagEditor to edit the corresponding file.

(5) The Find/Replace boxes have no link to the concordance. Why can't there be an additional "Search concordance" option with a checkbox to let you search for a string in the concordance at the same time you're searching for it in the documents? Or at least make it a radio button option, so that even if you can't search the document and the concordance at the same time, you can easily go from searching one to searching the other?

(6) Unlike in Word, where you can use F3 to move from one instance of a string that you're searching for to the next instance and the focus moves to those instances of the string, the TagEditor Find dialog box leaves the focus in the "Find what:" field, so it's up to you to laboriously keep moving the cursor back and forth between the search box and the document. I think it's much less likely that you want to keep changing the contents of the "Find what:" field, so the cursor should go to the document.

(7) TagEditor knows how to use regular expressions in the plug-ins, but not in Find/Replace, where you are restricted to simple-minded "wildcards". Why? They're actually more useful in Find/Replace.

(8) "Expand segment" doesn't work if there's any text already in the segment. Why? Is it so difficult to save the translation text to an intermediate buffer, expand the segment, and rewrite the text?

(9) Why does TagEditor only allow me to use the subscript and superscript buttons under specific conditions that are a mystery to me?

(10) If "Set/Close Next Open/Get" (terrible name, by the way) is such a common operation, why does TagEditor force one to use Ctrl + [Num +] to do it? On my laptop, this requires three keys, since the Fn key is required to turn the slash key into [Num +]. (By the way, it only now dawned on me what was meant by "[Num +]" -- previously, I assumed it meant "Num Lock" + the plus key. I just figured out that it means "the plus key on the numeric keyboard, if you're lucky enough to have one, or the equivalent key combination if you don't." The help doesn't make this clear.)

I still have more questions, but this is a good place to stop. Any feedback would be welcome. Is there a good way to pass these questions/suggestions to SDL?


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 02:35
English to Czech
+ ...
Quick replies Feb 4, 2009

Hi Alan,
perhaps a few quick replies to your post:
1) What you've described is that you leave one segment open and try to open a different one elswhere in the document. TagEditor won't let you (logically) have two different segments open at a time. This is by design.

2) Your "restore source" troubles seem to be related to TE settings. I have never experienced such a problem; I can restore source whenever I like.

3) Having the choice of replacing tag content is a good suggestion and I think you should post it on ideas.sdl.com.

4) This issue is fixed nicely by the Xerox Plug-ins. However, this plug-in is only available to those working for Xerox. I hope, however, SDL will implement this feature in the versions to come. Meanwhile, you can use some S&R software.

5) I don't understand why you would want to search your document and your TM simultaneously. May be a good feature, but could you give me a brief example of its use in practice?

6) & 7) Good ideas for ideas.sdl.com again.

8) Expand segment DOES work even if there already is a translation in the target segment. However, it won't expand past some tags, such as the PARAGRAPH tag.

9) I just can't explain this. Whenever the source text has subscript/superscript characters, I always copy the source to target.

10) On your laptop you can also use CTRL+ALT+N for "Set/Close Next Open/Get" and CTRL+ALT+Z for "Translate to Fuzzy" (unfortunately three keys again but still far better than the Fn key option). You can customize the shortcuts in Word, using the "Macros" dialog.

Cheers!

[Upraveno: 2009-02-04 21:53 GMT]


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Edith Goebel  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:35
German to Danish
+ ...
Solution to 1) Feb 5, 2009

I know that problem, but I found the "go to open segment function": Just use the close-function from the menu; the closed bracket icon )
It will take you right back to your segment. You just need to open it again.

What I find more annoying is, that the find function doesn't work properly for words beginning with a special character. If you are searching for the word "øre", it will not find the word beginning with a capital letter "Øre", although I didn't check the box "Match case".

Edith

[Edited at 2009-02-05 08:43 GMT]


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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Another to 1) Feb 5, 2009

Maybe this will help you,

Note that there is a message in the Word status bar. The bottom bar of the window where you also see page number and other misc. document information.

Not really visible, but it tells you that there is an open segment and you cannot open another one.

If you get used to use the keyboard, hitting Alt + End keys to close a segment before you go anywhere else will become automatic and you will forget about this issue...

(even though Trados and its Knowledge base DO have serious usability problems)

Best,

Ruth


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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
To 2) Feb 5, 2009

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:

2) ... I have never experienced such a problem; I can restore source whenever I like.

[Upraveno: 2009-02-04 21:53 GMT]


Same here... the only point is that you must be inside the segment.

Ruth


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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
To number 3) Feb 5, 2009

Alan Frankel wrote:


(3) Whereas Find has a "Search tag content" option, Replace doesn't. Why the inconsistency? Why can't we be trusted with a "Search tag content" option for Replace as well?



Well... I understand that most of the time Tags are protected and not to be translated. "TagEditor" is actually not a Tag editor, but a tool to translate tagged texts and help you to keep track of the tags...

This is why probably this "replace" option is not there.

If you look at information about "Tag definition files" you will see that there are ways to define the attributes of a tag as translatable. Maybe in that case the search and replace function works there, within the translatable text.

As a workaround you can always open a tagged text file in the editor -or in Word- and see what comes out (you'll need to change the extension because otherwise it will insist on processing the tags according to the corresponding definition files).

Ruth

[Edited at 2009-02-05 11:08 GMT]


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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Some help with 4) Feb 5, 2009

Alan Frankel wrote:

(4) There is no "Find in Files" option. Thus, even if I have 5 TTX files open in TagEditor, I need to search through each file separately. This is a HUGE inconvenience. The only workaround I have is to use a text editor that has "Find in Files" functionality to search through the TTX files, and then I still have to jump back to TagEditor to edit the corresponding file.



You're right.

But depending on what you actually want to do, maybe there is a better way to.

Let's suppose you have a translation segment you correct in a file and want to update it in the other files. The fastest way to do that is to correct it in the TM (Workbench), and then retranslate the files with the updated TM.

Hope it helps.

Ruth

[Edited at 2009-02-05 11:09 GMT]


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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
To 9) Feb 5, 2009

Alan Frankel wrote:

(9) Why does TagEditor only allow me to use the subscript and superscript buttons under specific conditions that are a mystery to me?



In many tagged formats subscript/superscript has no use. This may be the reason, even though not all within SDL products has "a" reason

Best,

Ruth


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Alan Frankel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:35
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Responses to replies about TagEditor usability Feb 5, 2009

Thanks for the replies, Ruth, Edith, and Stanislav! I'll try to address as many as I can here. One thing that's annoying is that ideas.sdl.com is giving me the following message when I try to type in a comment:

Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a0005'
Invalid procedure call or argument: 'Left'
/ScriptLibrary/scripts.asp, line 484

I'm not sure how to relay that to them.

(1) I hadn't realized that "Close" works even when I'm outside a segment. That will indeed be useful. However, it takes me back to the segment that's being closed and loses track of the point in the document that I'm looking at currently. Unfortunately, TagEditor doesn't have any bookmark functionality, at least none I'm aware of. A search for "Bookmark" in the help reveals nothing. With regard to error messages, I use TagEditor rather than Word. I don't see anything in the TagEditor status bar other than "For help, press F1 ... Predefined HTML Settings Chrs: 19 Pos: n/a".

(2) I can't seem to reproduce the problem I was seeing before. Now "Restore Source" is removing translation text for me as I wanted.

(3) If TagEditor is going to allow me to remove SOME layers of tag protection, it should allow me to remove ALL layers and hence edit any part of them (attribute names, attribute values, elements, etc.) at will, including search/replace. I shouldn't have to go to another application to do it.

(4) and (5) Regarding "Find in Files" and searching the concordance: sometimes you want to look at all the existing instances of a given string in your files BEFORE you edit the TM. As a workaround, I am opening the TTX files in EmEditor (from EmuraSoft), which lets me do a "Find in Files" for Unicode files as well as non-Unicode. (TextPad doesn't find instances of search strings in Unicode files.)

(8) Now I seem to be able to expand the segment while keeping the translation text.

(9) There are cases where the input text does not have a subscript, but I want to add one. For instance, the source may have "H2O", but I want to write the "2" as a subscript. TagEditor refuses to let me do this under some circumstances. After Ruth's comment, I suspected that perhaps I was opening a TTX file derived from a TXT file when I was prevented from adding the subscript. That would make sense. I'll keep an eye open for this problem to make sure.

Thanks again!


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