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Various starter questions from frustrated new Studio 2011 user
Thread poster: Dennis Boffy

Dennis Boffy
Denmark
Local time: 00:56
English to Danish
+ ...
Mar 10, 2012

Hi all,

I have used Workbench and Word for 10 years and had gotten to know and accept all the oddities and quirks of Suite 2007. Now I've been forced to switch to Studio 2011 because one of my customers will only be using it in the future, and I have been working with it for about a week. I have come across a variety of things that I would like to share. To me it appears to be outright bugs in the program or ill-advised decisions on the part of the programmers, but it might just be that I haven't figured out how to do these things. So I'll just throw all these things out there and hope that if you either agree that one of the things I mention must be a bug or is a very impractical and user-unfriendly way to make the software, or if you know how to get around that problem, you will let me know. I think I remember that SDL used to have a kind of forum where users could post suggestions and bugs for the developers - does that still exist, and do they listen? If so, I would like to move the things that are in fact bugs or impractical programming and not just a lack of knowledge on my part over there in the hopes that SDL's developers will in fact take notice.

Anyway, here are my issues:

1) Concordance: Sometimes the search term is not transferred to the search field, instead another concordance search is carried out on the previous search term. It takes a few more presses of F3 (or the chosen key) to get Studio to perform the concordance search on the highlighted word.

2) The check box "Do not show this dialog again if the language pair settings for the document are known" in the Open document dialog keeps getting automatically checked, even though I remove the check mark every time I open a file. I want this window to open every time I open a file, because I sometimes want to use both my main TM and a customer-specific TM. Also, I want to set the Update settings, and this is a good time to do it. I think that once the user has de-checked this box, the check mark should not reappear - it seems very odd that it does.

3) I think it should be easier to set the Update settings (from the Open Document window where you can select TMs: Advanced > Update - this is where you write things like customer name, topic and whatever else assignment specific information the user has chosen as selectable properties for the segments that are saved in his/her TM). SDL should offer the user a separate window (perhaps to appear after the window where you select TMs, and with a check box saying "Do not show this window again" for users that don't use the Update functionality) specifically for Update settings. Also, the window itself should be better than the present one. As it is now, you only see a few of the items in lists and you have to scroll in a very small subwindow to find the option you want to select. There is plenty of room - why not show the whole list with all options (or at least many more than the present 3-4)? And why not show all lists and text fields at the same time instead of requiring extra clicks first to select the list or text field you want to edit, then more clicks to select or deselect items in lists or to activate the text field to write the information you want? It's a simple matter of userfriendliness. Also, it should be possible to save and reuse often-used combinations of Update settings like it is in Workbench.

4) Even though for instance English has been auto-detected as the source language (whether that is correct or not), which TMs are available and which are grayed out seems completely random - I will have selectable TMs that do not have English as the source language (while others are grayed out). If English is selected as source language, why aren't all TMs that do not have English as source language grayed out? And often the grayed-out TMs in the list are marked as Enabled (the check box is checked) - this is contradictory and confusing. If a TM is unavailable (grayed out), the Enabled check box obviously should not be marked. I am not sure if this TM will be used (because the Enabled check box is marked - and perhaps updated with segments in a wrong language if the Update check box also happens to be checked) or ignored (because it is grayed out).

5) When I have to select the TM language manually, it is annoying to have a list with 50 flags and sublanguages (English from Australia, Belize, Canada and lots of other Englishes plus several forms of other languages). It should be possible to select just one or a few language variants that you actually use to chose between instead of having to sort through so many never-used options.

6) It should be possible to edit the source segments. I often encounter spelling mistakes or spaces in the middle of words that I would like to remove so that my TM isn't filled with garbage.

7) It would be nice with a function to overwrite Update settings if, halfway through a document, you find out that you selected the wrong customer name by mistake, so that a lot of segments now have wrong information associated with it. If this could be done on a document level (which is where the mistakes are made), it would be much easier than having to do a Maintenance search in the TM, set up a filter etc. Maybe there is an easy way to do this that I am not aware of?

8) Studio should remember which folder the document you are translating was opened from, and offer the same folder by default when you want to save the sdlxliff/project/target file. And it should be possible to set a default "start folder" that is always the starting point when opening new files for translation, instead of starting in whichever folder you happen to have used last for saving a completely different assignment in. I for instance have a Work folder that contains an Assignments folder, a Trados folder, etc., and the Assignments folder then contains subfolders for each customer, which again contains subfolders for each assignment. I would like Studio to always start in the Assignments folder when I press the Open document button.

9) Why is there no space after the last word in segments that are displayed over several lines? This is very confusing and counter-intuitive. If I want to add a word after the last word in a line, I expect the space to already be there (like in Word).

10) I have had instances where Studio identifies a match as a Context Match, even though the segment contains a number and unit (for instance 10 GB) without the space which is required in Danish - even though I have chosen in the settings that Studio should always add a space. It is especially dangerous that this error can occur in segments that Studio qualifies as a Context Match that are supposed to be more than 100 % correct, and which you might not check as thoroughly if at all.

11) The Preview slide-in function may be fun to look at the first 2-3 times, but then it's just annoying that it takes so long! It should be possible to deselect the slide-in function and just have it appear and disappear.

12) Oh, almost forgot: The spellcheck function (with Word spellchecker) is a mess. The red underlines start in the middle of words and end in the middle of other words, sometimes two red underlines are on top of each other, and when you add words with Danish characters, other instances of that word are still marked as misspelled, and when I right-click them, the word had in fact been added, but the Danish characters are garbled.

That's it! I'll be looking forward to everyone's input.


 

JaneD  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 00:56
Member (2009)
Swedish to English
+ ...
One answer to one question Mar 11, 2012

Hi Dennis,

That's a really long list, and I can't comment on some of them - but your very first point is absolutely valid.

Studio 2011 has a bug in the concordance function, which was not present in Studio 2009 and is the single reason why I have not upgraded - nor will do until it is fixed.

Jane


 

Denise Phelps  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree with no. 6 Mar 11, 2012

I like your point no. 6. It annoys me too that I have garbled target text in my TM.

 

Dennis Boffy
Denmark
Local time: 00:56
English to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
JaneD, thanks for your reply Mar 12, 2012

JaneD wrote:

That's a really long list, and I can't comment on some of them...


I know - there are plenty of bugs and user-unfriendly behaviour to pick from! But thanks a lot for your confirmation that this is indeed a bug.


 

Dennis Boffy
Denmark
Local time: 00:56
English to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Denise Phelps, thanks for your reply Mar 12, 2012

Denise Phelps wrote:

I like your point no. 6. It annoys me too that I have garbled target text in my TM.


Thanks for your input! Nice to know that I'm not the only one who wants this.


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:56
Member (2008)
French to English
Thread on point 6 Mar 12, 2012

Dennis Boffy wrote:

Denise Phelps wrote:

I like your point no. 6. It annoys me too that I have garbled target text in my TM.


Thanks for your input! Nice to know that I'm not the only one who wants this.


Point 6 was discussed at great length at http://www.proz.com/forum/sdl_trados_support/207686-studio_2009_how_to_modify_text_in_source_segment.html .

It was said there that it is going to be implemented, if I understand it correctly.

[Edited at 2012-03-13 00:22 GMT]


 

Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:56
German to English
+ ...
Point 6: annoying to say the least Mar 12, 2012

John Fossey wrote:

Dennis Boffy wrote:

Denise Phelps wrote:

I like your point no. 6. It annoys me too that I have garbled target text in my TM.


Thanks for your input! Nice to know that I'm not the only one who wants this.


Point 6 was discussed at great length at http://www.proz.com/forum/sdl_trados_support/207686-studio_2009_how_to_modify_text_in_source_segment.html.

It was said there that it is going to be implemented, if I understand it correctly.

[Edited at 2012-03-12 17:02 GMT]


Annoying even for a new user.icon_smile.gif


 

Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:56
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
And did you ever think about it... Mar 12, 2012

that changing the source in segments and in your TM leads to have less matches?
The errors you are so eager to be corrected are not your errors, but those "belonging" to the customer. Unless you want to revert the TM there is really NO reason to correct those. No one pays us for this and in all other discussions I always read, that we wanna not do anything we are not paid for.
So if you reflect for a moment, correcting typs in source is against our business TBH.
Modifying source due to bad segmentation caused by paragraph marks all around the place is a different story though. And this is already in the pipeline AFAIK.

As for some points of detecting languages, TMs in list: maybe you should consider using Studio in a bit more systematic way and instead of just "opening" documents create projects? There are never any problems with TM linking, also termbases and all other settings are as they should be. When opening a document though you are responsible for changing this settings all the time, what indeed causes kinda a mess.
Studio remembers folders. Studio allows you to replace the customer name in the TM, however you need to open such TM for maintenance.

The only real bug I see in your frustrated post is the concordance.
And for example I do not completely understand your number 9. Why there should be a space at the end of the segment? It is superfluous, as a space is already between segments...
For number 11: try to rearrange windows in Studio. You can place the preview on a second screen for example. In fact this is basic element of any beginners course in Studio, one of the first things we show even before anyone starts to translate in the program...


 

Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:56
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Source editing is necessary Mar 12, 2012

Jerzy Czopik wrote:

Unless you want to revert the TM there is really NO reason to correct those. No one pays us for this and in all other discussions I always read, that we wanna not do anything we are not paid for.


Dear Jerzy, I think that the above evaluations should be left to the end user. The time lost caused by te fact that it is not possible to change the original TUs often costs match more than a missed TM match.

Sometimes I get problems with the source document even when I open Word documents in Studio. Of course I could solve the issue by closing the file, correcting the original Word, opening the new Word file in Studio and re-translating the new file down to the current TU. The time lost in the process does not end here: if I have to do this 10 times, at the end I will have an array of sub-directories created by Studio then I also have to add the time needed to navigate to my files...

At the end I always find some other workaround, which however makes me lose more time (and money) than editing the source.


 

Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:56
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
I did not argue with source editing as such Mar 12, 2012

If you read my posting carefully, I just said, that correcting typos in the source might be a bridge too far in terms of service to the customer, as we are scoring an own goal there in my opinion.
However source editing and merging segments over paragraph breaks is something I was always supporting as necessary. But the reasons are different than a plain typo there.


 

Dennis Boffy
Denmark
Local time: 00:56
English to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Reply to Jerzy Czopik Mar 13, 2012

Jerzy Czopik wrote:

that changing the source in segments and in your TM leads to have less matches?
The errors you are so eager to be corrected are not your errors, but those "belonging" to the customer. Unless you want to revert the TM there is really NO reason to correct those. No one pays us for this and in all other discussions I always read, that we wanna not do anything we are not paid for.
So if you reflect for a moment, correcting typs in source is against our business TBH.
Modifying source due to bad segmentation caused by paragraph marks all around the place is a different story though. And this is already in the pipeline AFAIK.


Hi Jerzy, thanks for taking the time to reply. I would not correct the source in order to help the customer, but to help myself. If I later come across a translation with the same word or phrase, I would like to have as many of my former translations as possible available to help and inspire me in the current one. If the former source segments are misspelled, I (that is, Trados, through automatic or Concordance look-up) will not find them. It's as simple as that.

Jerzy Czopik wrote:
As for some points of detecting languages, TMs in list: maybe you should consider using Studio in a bit more systematic way and instead of just "opening" documents create projects? There are never any problems with TM linking, also termbases and all other settings are as they should be. When opening a document though you are responsible for changing this settings all the time, what indeed causes kinda a mess.


Well, maybe I should look into that, but I assumed (perhaps stupidly since we are dealing with Trados!) that when SDL chooses to implement a Document function, this is what should be used for translating single documents, and that SDL would actually implement it in a user-friendly way. This is also the way that has been demonstrated in all the webinars and instruction movies I have come across. I didn't even realize this was not a systematic way - and I must say, I am a bit curious as to why you would say that? Is the Document workflow superfluous or badly implemented in your opinion?

Jerzy Czopik wrote:
Studio remembers folders.


Well, it remembers in a curious way! It remembers where it last opened a file and where it last saved a file, so when I finish an assignment and save the target file (and other files) in folder X and then go to folder Y to open the next file I want to work on, Studio by default shows me folder X, because that is where I last opened a file. When I then finish assignment Y and want to save target file Y, I am again shown folder X because that is where Studio last saved a file. What I suggest is that Studio by default offers to save files in the same folder where the source file in question was opened. And that it by default starts in a user-defined folder when the user wants to open a file, so that the user can enter his/her normal work folder (with customer folders as subfolders) as the start folder.

Jerzy Czopik wrote:
Studio allows you to replace the customer name in the TM, however you need to open such TM for maintenance.


I know. And this is pretty complicated. Remember that I am talking about a scenario where you by mistake have entered the wrong Update information (or forgotten to change it after the last assignment). In this case, how do you search for the precise segments to be corrected when the data you could use to identify them (customer name, assignment name etc. that you might use in the Update function) is wrong? You could search for the wrong data, but then you risk finding lots of segments from the customer whose name you by mistake added to the segments you want to correct. You could then add a time and date filter, but then you have to remember exactly when you started and stopped working on that file. I often get small urgent assignments e-mailed to me from customers. I then pause my work on a larger assignment, do the small, urgent one, and go back to the larger one. This makes it next to impossible to remember exactly when I was working on the assignment where I used the wrong Update information and so also almost impossible to set up correct filtering to find those segments. Do you see my point? What I suggest is a new function that allows the user to easily change customer names and other information from the Update function for the currently open file. That way all you had to do when you discovered the error was to run the function to change the information (and perhaps open the file first if it wasn't already open). That way you don't have to fiddle with filters and try to remember at what precise time you started and stopped working on a given file.

Jerzy Czopik wrote:
The only real bug I see in your frustrated post is the concordance.


Well, the spellcheck is also buggy. Wouldn't you agree?

Jerzy Czopik wrote:
And for example I do not completely understand your number 9. Why there should be a space at the end of the segment? It is superfluous, as a space is already between segments...


Yes, sorry about that one, I didn't express myself clearly. What I meant was that if a segment is divided over several lines (due to the length of the sentence and the screen width), there is no space after the last word in any of the lines. Of course there should not be a space after the very last word, you are correct, but in my opinion there definitely ought to be a space after the words in the middle of the sentence that happen to be at the end of a line. Do you understand what I mean?

Jerzy Czopik wrote:
For number 11: try to rearrange windows in Studio. You can place the preview on a second screen for example. In fact this is basic element of any beginners course in Studio, one of the first things we show even before anyone starts to translate in the program...


Yes, I could place it on a second screen if I had one. Or I could pin the Preview window somewhere in the work area. But I don't want to do that. I need all the space I can get for the other windows. So the idea of having the Preview window come into view somehow on demand is good, what I am unhappy with is simply the "slide-in" way it does so.

And I am sure that you as a professional instructor in Trados (which I understand you are?) know how to do everything and how not to, but I have the general opinion that software should be as user-friendly as possible. I sometimes get the feeling that SDL has the opposite opinion, maybe because a confusing program boosts sales in their courses, or maybe they are just not very good programmers. And I would also like to say that there are some very nice things in Studio as well - it's not all bad. But it's not user-friendly, that Studio by default offers to save the current target document in the same folder where you saved the last one, because I am sure most translators don't put all their translated files in the same folder. Instead they keep the source and target files, reference files, and Studio work files for a given assignment in the same folder. This, to me, is just simple logic. Also the way the Update window is implemented: To check or un-check items in lists, you have to scroll through a tiny window showing only 4 options (customer names for instance). You easily miss an already checked option that should have been un-checked when scrolling through the list because you only see 4 items at a time. Why not show the whole list? The Update window is huge, but for some reason only a tiny fraction is used. That is just bad programming in my opinion! And this is why I post here - to see if it's me who's doing something wrong, and if not, hopefully let SDL know about bugs and things they should improve. I did ask in my original post about where to let SDL know of bugs and suggestions for improvements. So I am looking forward to your further input here - thanks again!


 

Dennis Boffy
Denmark
Local time: 00:56
English to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Reply to John Fossey - and to Jerzy Czopik Mar 13, 2012

John Fossey wrote:

Point 6 was discussed at great length at http://www.proz.com/forum/sdl_trados_support/207686-studio_2009_how_to_modify_text_in_source_segment.html .

It was said there that it is going to be implemented, if I understand it correctly.


Thanks for the link - very interesting. So SDL is aware of the problem/wish but (as usual, one is tempted to say) ignore it. I am glad to see that many people support this view. I am particularly happy to see that Jerzy Czopik supports it so strongly, and that he shares my sentiment completely when he says that he is sick of being treated like a child by SDL who wants to make all the decisions for us "irresponsible" translators (my wording of Jerzy's statements). This is, if any, the general headline for my frustration! When I first read Jerzy's reply to me, I felt that he was in complete opposition to me - now it seems we actually agree quite a lot.


 

Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:56
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
We do not have much differencies Mar 13, 2012

Dennis Boffy wrote:

John Fossey wrote:

Point 6 was discussed at great length at http://www.proz.com/forum/sdl_trados_support/207686-studio_2009_how_to_modify_text_in_source_segment.html .

It was said there that it is going to be implemented, if I understand it correctly.


Thanks for the link - very interesting. So SDL is aware of the problem/wish but (as usual, one is tempted to say) ignore it. I am glad to see that many people support this view. I am particularly happy to see that Jerzy Czopik supports it so strongly, and that he shares my sentiment completely when he says that he is sick of being treated like a child by SDL who wants to make all the decisions for us "irresponsible" translators (my wording of Jerzy's statements). This is, if any, the general headline for my frustration! When I first read Jerzy's reply to me, I felt that he was in complete opposition to me - now it seems we actually agree quite a lot.


I only try not to be frustrated.
As for the being treated like child: I do not want to be treated so. Unfortunately other vendors go far beyond the Studio regime and really force you to follow their line. And I mean force, not just recommend.
Unfortunately I cannot comment on every single point due to the lack of time.
But Studio is certainly a flexible tool, for me the most flexible I can use.
The only problem it requires structured thinking - something what fits me as engineer very well.
If you look at the approach "Open document", so the settings offered are steered by the Tools - Options settings, before the document has been opened. Once opened the single document becomes a project. So seen from that side using projects is the best idea, because this is a very structured way of working. And SDL is very well aware of this, but they still have the "Open document" approach. If you look at other vendors, you will only see projects, no "open document" approach at all. Due to how it works problems may arise. The thing is, open document approach is quite primitive if you would please forgive my words. But if you look closer at the process, in fact you can open a document without paying attention to any setting, but then you just copy settings and then are trapped there within things you did not want ton have. And in the end this will be a "Single document project", but Studio will still request the user to do most tasks manually or at least to control the settings.
But when you create a project, you have a template for it with all necessary settings, in depth detailed and adapted to you needs and the needs of your customer. Then with few clicks a project (even with a single file) is generated - this makes one click more than opening a document, if you want to apply any sophisticated settings there.
This is why I have always suggested using only projects in Studio. This approach minimizes the chances of messing up files and folders and in the end reduces your working time significantly.

You say Studio should be more user friendly: but Studio is very user friendly. The problem is, it requires a lot of structured thinking. But unfortunately at this very complex stage an easier approach would lead to a disaster. Word is also a very user friendly tool. But if you ask user if they use the whole potential of Word, the result would be approx. 95% of us not using more than 5% or let it be 10% of what Word can. Ask people, if they use styles? The average answer will be "what are styles?". But Word is indeed being considered user friendly. If you ask someone for a user friendly CAT tool, the answer will most probably be MemoQ. Indeed it is easy to use, but this only because it is so limited... I work with it from time to time and must admit, that the more I use it the more I'm disappointed. For instance you cannot set a segment on rejected status due to bad segmentation, because there is no such status. You MUST confirm every segment. This means there is no way to steer what will be put into TM by my project manager - he will "cleanup" all into the TM, including incredible dumb translation due to bad segmentation. And MemoQ will not let me join segments after uncommon abbreviations - simply not possible. So what kind of advantage it is, that merging segments might be done easier, when it does not work? And many more things like this.

One additional thing: Studio is indeed not perfect, yet. But instead of being frustrated try to visit ideas.sdltrados.com and check, if what you consider to be bad working design or bug has not already been reported there. Vote for ideas you would like to have in the software.
And rest assured, that SDL is doing much more on Studio than anyone here would expect. The program is being tested all the time by a group of very experienced beta testers and their reports are being analyzed and development is made according to those. Unfortunately not all pieces of work are pieces of cake, so some processes take longer. But if you look at the potential offered by Studio with Open Exchange on SDLs website, then you have already the most flexible translation tool in your hands. This tool is however very complex and needs either understanding and learning by doing or hard training.

Should you have questions on how to do this or that, I am always glad to at least try to answer them. However recently I really try to keep myself out of all frustrated or otherwise affected threads.


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:56
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
My 2 cents Mar 13, 2012

Dennis Boffy wrote:

1) Concordance: Sometimes the search term is not transferred to the search field, instead another concordance search is carried out on the previous search term. It takes a few more presses of F3 (or the chosen key) to get Studio to perform the concordance search on the highlighted word.


I've seen this bug reported here from time to time but I haven't ever had the problem myself.


2) The check box "Do not show this dialog again if the language pair settings for the document are known" in the Open document dialog keeps getting automatically checked, even though I remove the check mark every time I open a file.

Yes, I found that a bit frustrating until I discovered that it was miles better to use projects for everything.


6) It should be possible to edit the source segments. I often encounter spelling mistakes or spaces in the middle of words that I would like to remove so that my TM isn't filled with garbage.

Yes, I've voted for that in the SDL ideas page.

7) It would be nice with a function to overwrite Update settings if, halfway through a document, you find out that you selected the wrong customer name by mistake

I use batch edit in the TM window if necessary.


11) The Preview slide-in function may be fun to look at the first 2-3 times, but then it's just annoying that it takes so long! It should be possible to deselect the slide-in function and just have it appear and disappear.

I click the X in the preview window and it goes for good. Like you, I prefer as much space as possible, and am happy with the source file on my other monitor. Studio is really quite flexible for resizing and making windows disappear. I can't see the problem here.

12) Oh, almost forgot: The spellcheck function (with Word spellchecker) is a mess.

Yes, I think this is bug. It occasionally happens in particularly long segments with lots of tags when I dive into the middle of the segment to edit it. But usually, the spellchecker works fine and having the Word spellchecker (and not just Hunspell as in 2009) means that I can add new words to my customised dictionary and make use of these words in Office and Studio.


 

Becky Blackley  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:56
Russian to English
Item 6: Can't edit source text Mar 13, 2012

Hi.

You don't need to edit errors in the source segments that are displayed in the source column. You just want to make sure that an error (such as a typographical error) isn't stored in your TM. That's easy to do. Once the TU (with the source segment typo) has been saved, just right-click the TU (in the Translation Results window) and select "Edit TU." Then you can edit either the source or target text as needed and re-save the TU (with the corrected source segment typo). The typo remains in the source document itself, but isn't in the TU in your TM. Your TM is correct, and you won't be limiting the number of possible matches.

Hope this helps.

Becky


 
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