Open Office destroys target document format
Thread poster: David Friemann, MA

David Friemann, MA  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:26
English to German
Jan 16, 2013

Dear Colleagues,


I am in some serious trouble with an issue regarding SDL Trados Studio 2011 (Starter Edition, SP2R 10.4.3056.0).
I just finished translating my first document and after finalizing it (including a complete check using "F8" - all results of which I successfully took care of), I saved the target file and opened it with Open Office Writer (3.4.1) , my standard word processing software. The document, being ca. 20 pages long in the original, was suddenly 177 pages long and completely jumbled. Hardly anything was left of the original formatting. I opened it again in WordPad, and everything was fine, not a single problem with the format. So this apparently has to do with Open Office messing up the formatting. I could not find anything on the forum that would help me, of course I used the search function. Is there anyone with experience on similar problems?Or have I missed any topics dealing with this on this forum? Thanks so much in advance.


David


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:26
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
For starters, Jan 16, 2013

You did not specify the file format that you processed. Do, or, much better, share the problem file (or a sample showing the same problem).

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David Friemann, MA  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:26
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
both are docx files Jan 17, 2013

Thanks for your reply esperantisto,

I cannot share the document with you because I signed a confidentiality waiver. Neither can I replicate the error with a sample file.
The document was sent to me as a docx which opens just fine in OpenOffice. The target file I get from Trados is also a docx but is completely broken in OpenOffice, but just fine in WordPad.


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:26
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Try… Jan 17, 2013

1. Converting the source file to DOC and translating it instead of DOCX.
2. Converting the target file to ODT for editing using odf converter [1] instead of directly opening in OOo.
3. LibreOffice [2], a fork of OpenOffice.org claiming better support of DOCX as compared to OOo (I haven’t tested the latest builds of LibO thoroughly, earlier ones did not prove that claim, but things might have changed for better).
4. CodeZapper to clean the source DOCX file of unnecessary stuff [3] before translating.
5. Export your translation memory to TMX, use it and translate the file in OmegaT [4] (CodeZapper can be handy in this case as well).

BTW, I’m not really familiar with the workflow in your program (tried SDL Trados Studio 2009, was not satisfied with it and discarded the program). Does it use tags and did you check them before producing the target file?

[1] katana.oooninja.com/w/odf-converter-integrator
[2] www.libreoffice.org
[3] Read here: wordfast.fi/blog/cat-tools/2012/09/21/use-code-zapper-to-kill-unneeded-tags-in-word-documents/
[4] www.omegat.org/

[Edited at 2013-01-17 09:20 GMT]


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Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 22:26
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
Compatibility Jan 17, 2013

I'm sorry to say this, but this is a perfect example why a professional should invest into professional software, i.e. Office. Your translated file docx might be ok, but if you check it in WordPad and OpenOffice only, you will never know. There is a lot of fine freeware, but having to solve such problems will cost you time and money you could have spent better.

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Meta Arkadia
Local time: 04:26
English to Indonesian
+ ...
LibreOffice Jan 17, 2013

David Friemann wrote:
The document was sent to me as a docx which opens just fine in OpenOffice.

Esperantisto is right. OOo can open docx files, but cannot save them. Switch to LibreOffice should do the trick.

Cheers,

Hans


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:26
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Not necessarily Jan 17, 2013

Meta Arkadia wrote:

Switch to LibreOffice should do the trick.


Not necessarily. LibO can save to DOCX, but its compatibility with this format is not perfect anyway. The matter is that it is not clear if the problem observed results from Trados somehow breaking the document structure or from OOo imperfectly importing it.


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Ambrose Li  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:26
Chinese to English
+ ...
OOo / LibreOffice Jan 17, 2013

docx files are at the core text-based XML files, so I can’t imagine it so easily completely broken by a bad import. My personal take is that some kind of damage might have indeed occurred.

However, I do agree that OOo / LibreOffice and Word are not really compatible unless the formatting is very simple. And by simple I mean no headers and no footers (unless how the headers and footers are laid out is not important), no graphics, and leading values within OOo’s narrower range.

[Edited at 2013-01-17 18:03 GMT]


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:26
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
XML per se is not enough Jan 18, 2013

Ambrose Li wrote:

docx files are at the core text-based XML files, so I can’t imagine it so easily completely broken by a bad import.


Unless you have a proper document scheme such as DTD or equivalent you can't ensure proper import (i.e. converting one XML application to another). And Microsoft has never disclosed to public any full description of DOCX (as well as other *X formats) as implemented in MS Office 2007/2010/2013. Notably, a Wordfast Pro user reported problem translating a Word 2013 DOCX file although Word 2007/2010 files are generally fine. This might indicate that Microsoft keeps on quietly introducing more and more undocumented changes into document specifications establishing new barriers to compatibility.

OOo / LibreOffice and Word are not really compatible


Well, is Word compatible with Word? If your answer is yeah, try opening a Word 2007/2010 document in Word 2003.

And by simple I mean no headers and no footers


Can't remember any serious issue with headers/footers actually, but embedded objects may turn your life into nightmare.


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Ambrose Li  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:26
Chinese to English
+ ...
a couple comments Jan 18, 2013

esperantisto wrote:

Unless you have a proper document scheme such as DTD or equivalent you can't ensure proper import (i.e. converting one XML application to another). And Microsoft has never disclosed to public any full description of DOCX (as well as other *X formats) as implemented in MS Office 2007/2010/2013. Notably, a Wordfast Pro user reported problem translating a Word 2013 DOCX file although Word 2007/2010 files are generally fine. This might indicate that Microsoft keeps on quietly introducing more and more undocumented changes into document specifications establishing new barriers to compatibility.


True, but XML documents must be well formed in order to be valid XML. The kind of corruption that has been described seems to exceed what can be accomplished by a corrupted XML file, without a DTD, that is still structurally valid.

But then I’m not a Word expert by any means, so you are probably right.

Can't remember any serious issue with headers/footers actually, but embedded objects may turn your life into nightmare.


OOo and Word treat the spacing between header/footer and main body text completely differently. If the layout depends on precise spacing, OOo (and by extension LibreOffice) will result in completely wrong layout.

PS: Regarding the Word not being compatible with Word comment, it’s funny that I actually tried to explain this to someone last month. But then this doesn’t happen too often, or am I just being lucky I’ve not seen this more often?

[Edited at 2013-01-18 06:44 GMT]


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