Studio 2009's 'Find and Replace' functionality has serious deficiencies
Thread poster: Pavel Tsvetkov

Pavel Tsvetkov  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 18:52
Member (2008)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Apr 7, 2011

Dear All,

I own and have been using Studio 2009 for quite some time now and it is often the case that I need to utilize the 'Find and Replace' functionality to locate a phrase and edit or replace it.

You might think that such a mundane functionality will be handled by SDL in the most efficient way (obviously it is also part of Word, etc. and it works there without a glitch), but you would be wrong.

Here is how the window looks:



(click on the image to make it bigger)

As you can see it does look like an advanced implementation of a simple thing, as you can choose where to search - in the 'Source' or 'Target', as well as define the direction of the search - 'Search up'.

However it works like a snail with your average search and it does not bring you the results you expect. How is that possible?

Lets say you are in the middle of the file (as you would be in most cases) and decide to search for the phrase 'years old'. Now, if you by chance do not instruct Trados to specifically search for this word in the target (or source, as the case might be), then there is a 50% chance that it will not find it. Also, you being in the middle of the translation means that Trados will not look for the word 'up', but only 'down', so it will duly inform you that it has not found anything and then it will close the search window automatically. There are several problems with this kind of behavior:

1. Why should it only look in source or target, why wouldn't it search both sides by default?
2. Why would it only search up or down, why not both directions by default?
3. Why would it close the search window automatically after an unsuccessful search? Then I have to reopen it to check all the parameters and find out what is wrong, because I know for a fact the phrase is present in the text, I just do not know where it is.

These may look like small complaints, but after you have done 20 searches and Trados has wasted your time with 10 of them, you might think differently.

It is just one of those small but important things that can easily waste a large portion of your time and that could have been implemented in the most time efficient way if SDL programmers were actually trying to use normal human logic when designing it.

Kind regards,
PTs

[Edited at 2011-04-07 11:48 GMT]


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 17:52
English to Czech
+ ...
My experience Apr 7, 2011

Hello Pavel,
a few replies for you:

However it works like a snail with your average search and it does not bring you the results you expect. How is that possible?

I usually work on an Intel i3 machine with 3 GB of RAM and the search in Studio is as quick as in any other program. Stunningly, it always finds the phrase I search for.

1. Why should it only look in source or target, why wouldn't it search both sides by default?

Why should it? This would only slow down the search process. And in addition, if you used the replace feature and would want to replace the word "test" with "tests", the S&R tool would replace all instances of the word "test" both in the source and in the target. I don't think this would be desirable.

2. Why would it only search up or down, why not both directions by default?

I know no other S&R tool which would do this. It's definitely a good idea, but when should the search stop when searching in both directions? When it finds the first match above, or below the cursor position?

3. Why would it close the search window automatically after an unsuccessful search? Then I have to reopen it to check all the parameters and find out what is wrong, because I know for a fact the phrase is present in the text, I just do not know where it is.

Yes, this behaviour is annoying, although the S&R window does not close, but minimizes. No search parameters are lost though.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 17:52
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Problems are at your end Apr 7, 2011

Pavel Tsvetkov wrote:

1. Why should it only look in source or target, why wouldn't it search both sides by default?

Because that would be counterproductive in many situations. It could offer a third option for "both" but that's hardly a major shortfall. What exactly do you need a "both" option for?

Pavel Tsvetkov wrote:
2. Why would it only search up or down, why not both directions by default?

Because that would make no sense. All searches present all hits from the document, "up" or "down" only determines the order in which hits are presented. I.e. if there is one hit in the document, you'll be taken to that one hit right away, regardless of whether it is below or above the current point and regardless of whether you chose "search up" or "search down". If there are 2 hits above the current point and you chose "search down", you'll be taken to the first, then the second. If there are 2 hits above the current point and you chose "search up", you'll be taken to the second (which is the first looking up from your starting point), then the first. If there is one hit below and one above, then, with "search down", you get the one below, then the one above. That's how all good search and replace features work in every program, iterating through all hits in the direction you chose (if they offer you that choice at all). Studio does one full loop of the document, not eternal loops. Which of the two is better is a debatable point, but it's a marginal issue.
How would a "both directions" search present the hits? Alternating, one from above the starting point, one from below? Interlaced depending on "how far" they are from the starting point? It would be impossible to follow where you are in the document.

Pavel Tsvetkov wrote:
3. Why would it close the search window automatically after an unsuccessful search? Then I have to reopen it to check all the parameters and find out what is wrong, because I know for a fact the phrase is present in the text, I just do not know where it is.

I would also prefer for the search window to stay active, but this is again minor and debatable issue. In any case, Ctrl-f or Alt-Tab brings it back up quickly enough.


What I'm really missing from the Studio S&R is an "insert match" with \1 or $1.

I have no problem with S&R speed, although I have to say, Studio's startup, the batch tasks and the sdlxliff opens are awfully, hideously, unacceptably slow. I have a powerhouse of a computer with the fastest hard drive on the market; most apps including bloated things like MS Office and webbrowsers open in under half a second. Memoq takes 3 or 4 seconds, but Studio starts up in over 10 seconds.


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Lennart Luhtaru  Identity Verified
United States
Member
English to Estonian
+ ...
Search all Apr 7, 2011

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:

2. Why would it only search up or down, why not both directions by default?

I know no other S&R tool which would do this. It's definitely a good idea, but when should the search stop when searching in both directions? When it finds the first match above, or below the cursor position?



Word has search all functionality. It is directed downwards, but when reaching document end, starts from the first line and ends where the search was started.

And yes, Studio 2009 is slow in lots of ways. For example, setting up a small project takes so many clicks (when compared to working with TE and TW), that it doesn't matter what kind of hardware I have.


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 17:52
English to Czech
+ ...
Studio does the same Apr 7, 2011

Lennart Luhtaru wrote:

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:

2. Why would it only search up or down, why not both directions by default?

I know no other S&R tool which would do this. It's definitely a good idea, but when should the search stop when searching in both directions? When it finds the first match above, or below the cursor position?



Word has search all functionality. It is directed downwards, but when reaching document end, starts from the first line and ends where the search was started.


But Studio does the same, at least in my installation. Have checked it just now in a 40,000 words file.

For example, setting up a small project takes so many clicks (when compared to working with TE and TW), that it doesn't matter what kind of hardware I have.


Six with the "Open Document" button, to be more precise.

[Upraveno: 2011-04-07 13:41 GMT]


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SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:52
English
Also consider the OpenExchange Apr 7, 2011

If you look at this:

SDL Batch Find/Replace : http://tinyurl.com/SDLbatchfind-replace

You will find it is a very useful search tool, but a quick copy from part of the help:

Batch Search/Replace Application allows users perform quick batch search and replace operations in files within Trados Studio project or multiple SDL XLIFF files.

A user can add separate SDL XLIFF files to application or load files from Trados Studio projects. The tool allows filter files by Target Language when loading files from Trados Studio projects. The search operation can be performed in Source or/and Target part of segments, in text or tags. Replace operation can be performed within the Target text of segments only.

The user can indicate the following Find Options (general):

- Match Case;
- Match Whole Word;
- Use Regular Expressions

and Trados Studio specific Find Options:

- Include Locked Content;
- Search in Tags (for search only).

When searching for text using “Regular Expressions”, “Match Case” and “Match Whole Word” options will not be allowed. The user can also indicate file segment statuses in order to exclude all text in segments with these statuses from search/replace. Locked content (segments, translation units, selections) can also be excluded from search/replace operation.

After search/replace operation is finished, the search/replace results will be displayed in two tabs: “Statistics” and “Details”. “Statistics” will show general information on files. In “Details” user will be able to see detailed report on text matches/replaces within each segment.

After replace operation is finished, all the files with matches will be updated. Users can use “Create files backup copy” option in order to save original files (the files with text before the replace).

Users can also use Batch Search/Replace Application tool to update segment Confirmation Statuses, lock segments or unlock any locked content.


I think it's a worth a look and might go some way towards improving the functionality you want.

Regards

Paul


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:52
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
F&R questions and answers Apr 7, 2011

Pavel Tsvetkov wrote:


1. Why should it only look in source or target, why wouldn't it search both sides by default?
2. Why would it only search up or down, why not both directions by default?
3. Why would it close the search window automatically after an unsuccessful search? Then I have to reopen it to check all the parameters and find out what is wrong, because I know for a fact the phrase is present in the text, I just do not know where it is.



1. It makes sense to me to limit the search to source or target, especially as it will automatically offer you the one you are in at that moment. i.e. if you have just doubled clicked a word to copy it before carrying out your search then the F&R window will detect whether you have the cursor in source or target and offer the same one.
2. I've just checked, and by default the search covers all the document, not just up or down.
3. If you use 2 monitors, you can drag the F&R window across to your other monitor and that way it won't disappear. However, if you keep it on the same monitor, as Stanislav says, it only gets minimised, so you can go on clicking on F4 to continue to search.


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Joel Earnest
Local time: 17:52
Swedish to English
What I don't like... Apr 8, 2011

... is that the window doesn't stay on top.
When I use it for anything even slightlly advanced, I always resize the Studio window and positon the S/R window off to the side where it won't disappear so easily.

Put a suggestion for keeping it on top nearly two years ago. Hoping this is changed in Studio 2011.


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Studio 2009's 'Find and Replace' functionality has serious deficiencies

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