Trados WinAlign - Incapacitated Misfit
Thread poster: motuzik

Local time: 00:31
May 28, 2009

Dear supporters of Trados,

I have been "using" Winalign for a couple days now and cannot call it anything byt what you see in the title.

1. I created about 130 .rtf files, naming them e.g. 123_ENU.rtf, 124_ENU.rtf and their target language equivalents 123_SKY.rtf, 124_SKY.rtf. Winalign cannot align (used to be funny paradox, but not anymore) these filenames accordingly - instead it tries to match the 123_ENU.rtf with 456_SKY.rtf, etc. etc.
OK I tell myself maybe I am being splitting hair here, but why is winalign not able to display the target file names in the alignment window? I have to open each alignment to see for myself whether it made the correct matches...hah, a great mystery this is indeed, but lose hope we must not, young Skywalker!

2. I start aligning the text within each of the files. Winalign truly is a powerful aligning tool, I cannot adjust the segments in many cases to have them next to each other, instead, I have to look around for the relevant equivalent connected in the alignment window - I am using a 22inch monitor and it is truly amazing how unpractical and tiring this lack of the program's flexibility can be.

but the most intriguing part:

3. I cannot save my progress, I keep losing it all the time. First I was unaware of this fact, as this is a feature we were last used to in the good old times of ZX Sinclair computer games, where you could not save your progress due to the fact you had not the right kind of memory available. 21th century being not the age of memory storing on tape, I thought SDL too has gotten the message.. What happens is I align the right segments for a file (the files range from 1-4 pages) save, exit, save, go to the next file and repeat the process. Anyway, when I close the program window (saving wherever I can even making a backup copy of the whole project) I lose not only what I have done aligning for the last many hours, I lose also the info stored in the backup file..(what the ....?!) I have made in the foolish belief I was working with a professional user-friendly CAT software. I know now, that SDL are here to show us, how NOT to do the right job. And I would like to congratulate as they really do a perfect job out of it.

It is indeed SLOWER to use SDL (when calculating all wasted time with the program incapacity to handle simple operations, or compensating externally for functionalities missing) than to go by hand/paper/excel.

I am stronly advising my company (friends, acquaintances, fellow translators) to quit using the software, delete its installations and burn the media, as well as local SDL distributor contact lists. I believe there must be a whole bunch of better solutions out there than this overpriced software, split into overpriced modules, that simply does not do the job.



Natalie  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:31
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Hmm... May 28, 2009

Hi Matus,

Did it ever come up to your mind that maybe you were doing something wrong? And that it was your own fault, not the fault of the software?

I am stronly advising my company (friends, acquaintances, fellow translators) to quit using the software, delete its installations and burn the media, as well as local SDL distributor contact lists. I believe there must be a whole bunch of better solutions out there than this overpriced software, split into overpriced modules, that simply does not do the job.

Thank you for your advice, but no, thank you. Why should I quit/delete/burn etc.? You don't like it - don't use it, what's the problem? I haven't run into any major problem since I started using Trados. And here is my advice to you: try using Metatexis instead - it is a really good tool and much less complicated.

Disclaimer: In no way am I related neither to SDL nor to any other software developer or company and do not receive any payment from themicon_smile.gif


RieM  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:31
English to Japanese
+ ...
It works for me, at least May 28, 2009


Although I seldom use Trados or SDL for translation work any longer, I often come back to WinAlign, especially when I have to align multiple files at once. Sometimes the alignment process spans days (you get bored after a while), but I have never lost anything in the middle. So I'm very much puzzled to read your post.

Sure, it's not the smartest, probably, but it does what it needs to do. There are a lot of right click actions within the alignment editor, and the most important one is "Commit"... You also need to issue lots of "Disconnet" and "Connect", which in my language pair (English and Japanese), is imperative anyway. The nice thing is that it allows me to edit the units right on the spot.

Of course, if it doesn't suit your taste, you can always use other tools. But I don't believe that by default it is not as bad as you've described.



FarkasAndras  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:31
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Don't even bother May 28, 2009

In my entirely personal opinion, WinAlign is garbage. It's completely useless... It's not faster than converting the two files to txt, letting a primitive sentence segmenter have a go at them, copy-pasting the result into a two-column spreadsheet and doing most of the work manually - which is what you do in WinAlign anyway. It's more frustrating though... so if frustration is what you like, do Winalign:)

I posted an article here that I keep mentioning in threads like this. It's about Hunalign, a powerful command-line aligner that, based on sentence length and a bilingual glossary, makes very intelligent guesses about which sentence goes with which. As a result, you don't have to do the pairing manually, just revise a reasonably good pairing.
Look it up in the article section of proz if you have a lot of aligning to do. You can merge all your files into one (well, one file per language) in the correct order, run hunalign and revise the output all in one go.


Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 00:31
English to Czech
+ ...
Advice on good start May 28, 2009

...consider the relevance of your post first and the financial reward, you receive either from the "company" itself or its local branch in your location, second.

Hi Matus,
first of all, I believe it is you who should have considered the relevance of your post. Secondly, try to vent your frustration on the software, media etc., not on other ProZians, who have been providing free support to one another for many years now. I believe this might be a good start for you as a new ProZ member.
As far as I can remember, there is only one SDL representative, Gareth Powel, who keeps an eye on this forum, providing invaluable and free support. And at least I am really glad he's here. BTW, the term "Support" refers to providing help, not to supporting the product or its developer. I find your English good enough to make it possible for you to understand this difference.

I don't think that the visitors to this forum are all mindless Trados supporters. In fact, if you read some of the older threads, you will find that some users, such as Grzegorz (my favourite one), are pretty straightforward about expressing negative opinions about the software's bugs and glitches. So, searching the older threads and reading them carefully may be a good start for you as a new forum member.

I've been using WinAlign for quite some time and have never run into any major problem. Maybe this is because I am used to some "best practices" with the software. So, studying the manual and perhaps may be a good start for you as a new Trados user. Have you tried driving a truck without having even the most fundamental knowledge of the vehicle? Not really advisable, huh? So, how about taking a driving lesson before you sit behind the steering wheel on your own (read "trying the software before you buy it")?

For you to understand, Matus, by no means do I feel offended by your dislike for Trados. That's a personal preference thing: there are numerous other CAT tools out there, so why not use them? However, I do feel offended by the first lines in your post. I am not a senior member here, but I've learnt that ProZ is a very friendly community. Waving accusations at your fellow members is definitely not the way to go!!!

[Upraveno: 2009-05-29 08:50 GMT]

[Upraveno: 2009-05-29 10:19 GMT]


Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 00:31
English to Czech
+ ...
A few comments Jun 2, 2009

Hi Matus,
firstly, Ralf is a respectable, senior ProZ member and a former moderator of this forum, so I believe his opinion matters and should give you at least some guidance. Just have a brief look at his profile: I find it pretty self-explanatory.

Secondly, as regards your previous post, you are trying to explain the inexplicable. The meaning of your first paragraph is quite obvious and doesn't need any further jerky explanations ("excuses" would be a more suitable term for them). Please don't attempt to give me a lesson in pragmatics: had enough of that during my studies.

Thirdly, what you described in your post is your own negative experience. My experience with WinAlign is largely positive. What do you say to that? This is no argumentation! These are plain statements, or false general truths if you like!

I have indeed not gotten any answers regarding the problems described at all.

- How about studying the manual?
- How about reading
- How about trying the SW before you buy it?
- How about converting your files into TTX before you align them?
- How about...?

[Upraveno: 2009-06-02 21:36 GMT]


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Trados WinAlign - Incapacitated Misfit

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