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Trados 2009: Length cannot be less than zero
Thread poster: Jeff Clingenpeel

Jeff Clingenpeel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:01
German to English
Apr 11, 2011

Hello all,

I am finding all of a sudden that when I go to convert a file from Trados (Studio, 2009) back to its original format (in this case Word 2007), Trados refuses to do so saying only that "Length cannot be less than zero." It then adds, helpfully, "Parameter: Length" I had hoped the problem would go away, but it seems to be a new Trados feature.

Has anyone encountered this? And if so, is there a fix or workaround for it? I've simply been manually copying and pasting everything out of the editor window into a Word file, which gets tedious, especially for longer documents.

On a related note, are there any good CAT software programs out there? By good, I mean:

- Robust, errors are few and far between.
- User-friendly (i.e., relatively self-explanatory to use, Trados is awful in this respect)
- Error messages that actually indicate the problem in an understandable way (Google Chrome is a good example of how this can be done; Trados is a good example of complete failure to address this)
- Real product support (i.e., you can at least e-mail a real person for real help, with specific answers to specific questions within a reasonable period of time; knowledge bases that can take hours to sift through do not count). Product support must be included as part of the software purchase and not sold separately.
- Compatibility with Trados 2009, since so many clients work with Trados.
- Open source would be a plus.

I used to really like SDLX before Trados ate it and sucked the life out of it.

Thanks for any input you can provide, especially for the main question (the cryptic error message).

Best regards,

Jeff Clingenpeel
1515 Saunders Crescent
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
USA

e-mail jnclingenpeel@gmail.com
mobile 001.734.223.4577
fax 001.734.213.5319


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Walter Blaser  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 11:01
French to German
+ ...
It's the other way round Apr 11, 2011

Jeff Clingenpeel wrote:
I used to really like SDLX before Trados ate it and sucked the life out of it.


Please note that it was the other way round. SDL ate up Trados and the new developments are driven by a team with members from both companies (although I guess there are more from former SDL, but also people new to the company since the merger).

Walter


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Gyula Erdész
Hungary
Local time: 11:01
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Are there any good CAT software programs out there? - Yes. Apr 11, 2011

Dear Jeff,

Based on your list of preferences I wholeheartedly recommend you memoQ 4.5.

No, I am not a shareholder of Kilgray (developer of memoQ) only an ex Trados 2007 and 2009 user who has been satisfied with his new tool for almost 2 years. You can try the SW for 45 days without any limitations.

Best regards,

Gyula


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:01
German to English
Another vote for MemoQ Apr 11, 2011

Kilgray has developed a product and strategy that addresses the functional and support shortcomings of other CAT tools. They offer a free 45-day trial. Conversion of existing TMs is via the tmx format. The built-in QA function eliminates the need to run the bilingual document through XBench. I've been using MemoQ for almost 2 years and haven't encountered any weirdness specifically related to the software.

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Jeff Clingenpeel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:01
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your responses Apr 11, 2011

After some more searching (and hours later), I've found the solution to the "less than zero" problem: you apparently can't use super/subscripts in your target text if they're not there in the original. Nice.

@Walter: And here I thought I finally knew exactly who to blame Thanks for setting me straight.

@Gyula: I'll keep MemoQ in mind. Looks interesting!

Best,
Jeff


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Tatiana Nikitina  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 12:01
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
Thank you, Jeff! Apr 12, 2011

I had the same problem

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Nick Quaintmere  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:01
German to English
This is obviously a bug Jun 1, 2011

Thanks for providing the solution Jeff.

I hope SDL take note of this - it's ridiculous that Trados has such problems producing output. It's such a great piece of software but has so many niggles it drives me mad sometimes! (and strangely it always seems to be someone else's problem!)

Removing the subscript tags worked for me. But there is no good reason that format tags should prevent the software from producing output. This needs looking into.


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Wojciech Sztukowski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 11:01
Member (2009)
English to Polish
Thanks Jeff Jul 3, 2011

finding the solution must have been a real nightmare.
BTW I wonder if there is any way to make SDL pay for all the time and reputation (yes, our reputation, because we, translators, are usually blamed for any catastrophes their application causes) lost due to their wonderful application's bugs. I'm really fed up with it. REALLY. Maybe just invoice them for the time lost?

[Edited at 2011-07-03 16:53 GMT]


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Merete Hvas  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 11:01
English to Danish
+ ...
Thank you thank you thank you!! Aug 3, 2011

Thank you so much for providing the solution to this problem, Jeff!

I don't know what I would do without Proz!!

Merete


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Alex Lilo
Ukraine
Local time: 12:01
English to Russian
+ ...
+1 Sep 28, 2011

Wojciech Sztukowski wrote:

finding the solution must have been a real nightmare.
BTW I wonder if there is any way to make SDL pay for all the time and reputation (yes, our reputation, because we, translators, are usually blamed for any catastrophes their application causes) lost due to their wonderful application's bugs. I'm really fed up with it. REALLY. Maybe just invoice them for the time lost?

[Edited at 2011-07-03 16:53 GMT]


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Gfarley
Norway
Local time: 11:01
Norwegian (Bokmal) to English
+ ...
Thanks Jeff - No thanks SDL Feb 16, 2012

Thanks for the answer Jeff - I never would have guessed a subscript would crash Trados 2009, but then nothing surprises me anymore about this buggy frustrating product. I searched the so-called Knowledge Base at SDL for several versions of the error message, with zero results.

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Talyb Samedov  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:01
English to Russian
+ ...
Thank you! Mar 14, 2012

Thank you, Jeff - I had the same problem and was able to resolve it in a matter of minutes after reading your post!

Does anybody know if they fixed this problem in Studio 2011?


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Anna Spanoudaki-Thurm  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:01
Member (2009)
German to Greek
+ ...
And another thankful Prozian! Apr 22, 2012




(This is a quite ridiculous bug, by the way... It should have been fixed by now.)


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Kristīne Biezā
Latvia
Local time: 12:01
Estonian to Latvian
Thank you Jun 26, 2012

I would never figure this out! Thank you soooo much!

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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:01
Member (2008)
French to English
Works in Studio 2011 Jun 27, 2012

Jeff Clingenpeel wrote:

After some more searching (and hours later), I've found the solution to the "less than zero" problem: you apparently can't use super/subscripts in your target text if they're not there in the original.



Does anybody know if they fixed this problem in Studio 2011?


I just tried a test in Studio 2011 with a Word 2007 doc with no super/subscripts in the source text but I deliberately placed them in the target, using the super/subscript buttons, and it worked without any problem. Saved, finalized, created the target document.


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