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Why does Trados change fonts?
Thread poster: Maribel Escalada (X)

Alan Frankel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:17
German to English
This IS a Trados problem, and it appears in Tag Editor as well Jun 19, 2009

I have read so much bad information, bad advice, and bad descriptions of this problem, both in this forum and in the SDL knowledge base (article 1859: http://talisma.sdl.com/pc/12/articleInfo/1/2n/ai_1859.html?r=0.728797 ), that it's driving me crazy.

(1) First of all, if Microsoft Word allows the author to apply formatting on a character-by-character bas
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I have read so much bad information, bad advice, and bad descriptions of this problem, both in this forum and in the SDL knowledge base (article 1859: http://talisma.sdl.com/pc/12/articleInfo/1/2n/ai_1859.html?r=0.728797 ), that it's driving me crazy.

(1) First of all, if Microsoft Word allows the author to apply formatting on a character-by-character basis, and the results meet the author's approval, then it is not up to either Microsoft OR SDL OR users of either product to tell people that any problems caused downstream are due to the author's not relying on paragraph styles. This reminds me of a line from the dysfunctional world of the comic strip "Dilbert": "The customer is defective." And it's just as infuriating in real life. Only a company that can corner the market with an expensive and inferior product can claim, with a straight face, as SDL does in the article cited above, that "The original authoring of the document was incorrect."

Yes, authors are better off using paragraph styles. But this is an unsatisfactory rationalization for Trados's inability to handle changing styles within a paragraph. In fact, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE PARAGRAPHS WITH MIXED STYLES. So if Trados claims to handle ANY paragraphs with mixed styles, it should be able to handle paragraphs with mixed styles of arbitrary complexity. If it can't, then it's a Trados bug, period. Not an MS Word bug (in fact, as mentioned by others above, it doesn't appear in Word unless Trados is being used), and certainly not a customer bug.

(2) The problem is not simply solved by using Tag Editor. I am using Tag Editor on such a file now, and it is causing a similar problem: when I open a segment and start typing into the target, the formatting of the target does not correspond to the formatting of the source. It's marginally better in that the formatting of the source does not automatically change when the segment is opened as it does in Word -- that is really infuriating because there's no way to "undo" it. Even if you use Alt-Del to restore source, it still has the bad format.

(3) One workaround seems to be to use "Copy Source" on EVERY segment in Tag Editor and then start typing after the first character on the line, then delete all the remaining content after the cursor, and finally delete the first character in the segment. Yes, this is a lot of extra typing, but I can't find a better workaround. As pointed out by the previous comment, relying on Word to do your formatting once you've saved all the content changes in the translation memory is not going to get you anywhere if the cleaning command is going to alter the formatting in an undesired way.

(4) There's nothing wrong with recommending to people that they read the manual or search the forums for previous descriptions of problems, but put yourself in their shoes. You may have seen the problem described, but if you're new to SDL or to this site, you may not stumble upon the right search term, especially if you're in a hurry. And remember that the help documentation both from TagEditor and on the SDL site (note that there is no way to read help from within your application if you're using Trados macros from within Word) is often poor. There have been many times when I've found it useless in solving my problems.

There's more I could say on this subject, but I have to get back to my translation assignment now...
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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:17
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
YES, it IS Trados Jun 19, 2009

Jerzy Czopik wrote:
This is not Trados, what is causing font change
but only bad fromatting of your documents.


Sorry Jerzy, but as a long user of Trados this made me smile. The document won't lose its fonts when you edit, view, or print it. Only when you use Trados. So Trados IS the problem.

Trados should be able to identify the fact that the font in the paragraph does not match the style and take it into account. We are translators and Trados is here to help us, not to force us to spend time fiddling around with styles and working around the tool's shortcomings!!

It amazes me that after almost 10 years using Trados this issue affecting thousands of translators has not been resolved.


 

Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:17
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Once again: the problem starts elswhere Jun 19, 2009

and Trados is the catalysator to bring it up.
Properly formatted Word documents do not make any trouble.
And properly prepared TTX files, which DO NOT SHOW ANY FORMATTING, do also not show any problems.
Just switch off display formatting for ttx files and all problems will be gone.
Use Tageditor for Word, as recommended since many years, and your problems are gone (most of them). Switch to Studio and forget abou Word - and your problems will belong to the past.
And
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and Trados is the catalysator to bring it up.
Properly formatted Word documents do not make any trouble.
And properly prepared TTX files, which DO NOT SHOW ANY FORMATTING, do also not show any problems.
Just switch off display formatting for ttx files and all problems will be gone.
Use Tageditor for Word, as recommended since many years, and your problems are gone (most of them). Switch to Studio and forget abou Word - and your problems will belong to the past.
And if your really need to stay in Word, so be aware, that when the document is NOT properly formatted, problems may arise. When using Word, do NOT use cleanup in the Workbench to avoid additional problems.
But in short: forget about Word, use TagEditor or Studio.
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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:17
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Documentation, search and forum Jun 19, 2009

Alan Frankel wrote:
...
(4) There's nothing wrong with recommending to people that they read the manual or search the forums for previous descriptions of problems, but put yourself in their shoes. You may have seen the problem described, but if you're new to SDL or to this site, you may not stumble upon the right search term, especially if you're in a hurry. And remember that the help documentation both from TagEditor and on the SDL site (note that there is no way to read help from within your application if you're using Trados macros from within Word) is often poor. There have been many times when I've found it useless in solving my problems.
...


You are right. But now put yourself in my shoes. I will not exaggerate, when I say I belond to the most active posters here. And also I will not exaggerate, when I say I've answered numerous topics about format changes.
Somwhere there must be my description how to copy formats between documents, somwhere else is a description how to switch off display formatting. And so on and so on...
I do gladly help others, really. But after so many years I'm also tired of posting the same information every now and then.

So again: if you experience formatting changes in Word, check first, if styles do match local formatting. If not, adapt styles. However, should your styles have an Asian language defined, this will be not sufficient. In such case try to reproduce the styles in a clean new document and copy them into the original document. If this does not work, the only way is TagEditor.
To switch off display formatting in TE go to FilterSettings, select the proper tab ans deselect "show display formatting", as you can see on the picture below:



 

Alan Frankel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:17
German to English
I couldn't find that dialog in Trados 2007 Jun 19, 2009

Jerzy, I couldn't find that dialog in Trados 2007 (Freelance Suite). There was no "FilterSettings" menu item, nor could I find anything similar under "Options" or any of the other menu items. Nor did the online help mention anything similar. When I went to the link in the snapshot below ( http://support.trados.com/view.asp?cntID=1345 ), I got an error saying the page no longer exists. And wh... See more
Jerzy, I couldn't find that dialog in Trados 2007 (Freelance Suite). There was no "FilterSettings" menu item, nor could I find anything similar under "Options" or any of the other menu items. Nor did the online help mention anything similar. When I went to the link in the snapshot below ( http://support.trados.com/view.asp?cntID=1345 ), I got an error saying the page no longer exists. And when I went to the talisma.sdl.com database and searched for "1345", I didn't find anything.

Yes, I can imagine it's a pain for people to post answers to the same questions they've seen repeatedly, but isn't it also possible that the old solutions sometimes become obsolete as new versions of the product are released, and that the questions are worth posting again for that reason?

And just to reiterate: the advice to "adapt styles" in Word means what I would assume to be a process taking at least 10 minutes a page if there are frequent changes between styles. And even after I tried this step (taking a paragraph with Arial 9 formatting superimposed and converting it into a style called "Arial-9" where the font was, logically enough, Arial 9), I found that translation through Word still caused changes to the formatting of source segments (carried over to target segments), changing them to Times New Roman (which happened to be the font used by the "Normal" style). (It is possible that changing the "Normal" style to Arial would address the problem, but this seems like it shouldn't have to be done). So I'm not convinced that it even accomplishes anything.

(By the way, I wish that there were sample files stored on this site that one could download and feed into a given CAT tool so that we all knew we were, literally and figuratively, on the same page. The alternative would be e-mailing files to each other, but that's not very workable.)

Working in Word does give you the advantage that the depiction of the page is closer to the actual output (what you see is what you get) -- unless you're working in a table and need to stretch the cells a little to make the bilingual text fit so that you can read both source and segment text. But sometimes it is better to work in TE. I find myself having to go back and forth. Not an ideal situation.
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Raphael Schory
Local time: 09:17
English to Arabic
+ ...
Removing Display Formatting Won't Help Oct 26, 2009

Removing display formatting doesn't solve the problem. Maybe it reduces the problems and it really does help in some cases, but it doens't solve the font changing problem. Copy Source is still the most reliable way to avoid the problem.

 

Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:17
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
You are completly mixing up things Oct 26, 2009

Raphael_Schory wrote:

Removing display formatting doesn't solve the problem. Maybe it reduces the problems and it really does help in some cases, but it doens't solve the font changing problem. Copy Source is still the most reliable way to avoid the problem.


Display formatting is only relevant for Tageditor and switching it off will simply cause "clean" entries in your translation memory.
Or what do you mean saying "it doesn't solve the problem"?
Did you try to switch display formatting off, recreate the ttx (otherwise the setting will have no effect) and translate it? Would you, you wouldn't write that this does not help, I'm nearly sure.


 

James Kirchner  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:17
Member (2008)
Czech to English
+ ...
Still a problem in Trados Studio 2009 Nov 7, 2009

I have just finished a job in Trados Studio 2009, and it still changed any font to 10-point Times New Roman, seemingly without any rhyme or reason. Had it made such changes consistently, I would believe that it had to do with paragraph formatting, but the WHOLE DOCUMENT was in 12-point Arial, and Trados changed it to TNR only in seemingly random instances.

Other evidence that this is a Trados problem and not a Word problem: The other CAT tools I use (and I use three of them) don't
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I have just finished a job in Trados Studio 2009, and it still changed any font to 10-point Times New Roman, seemingly without any rhyme or reason. Had it made such changes consistently, I would believe that it had to do with paragraph formatting, but the WHOLE DOCUMENT was in 12-point Arial, and Trados changed it to TNR only in seemingly random instances.

Other evidence that this is a Trados problem and not a Word problem: The other CAT tools I use (and I use three of them) don't have this issue. MemoQ and the others produce the fonts in any format they happen to be in, whether in the paragraph format or user defined.

As for the the problem being the client's ignorance of how to use Word, I can point to a slogan a tech company had several years ago: "If technology doesn't work for people, it doesn't work."


[Edited at 2009-11-07 23:57 GMT]
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SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:17
Member (1970)
English
Studio changing fonts Nov 8, 2009

James Kirchner wrote:

I have just finished a job in Trados Studio 2009, and it still changed any font to 10-point Times New Roman, seemingly without any rhyme or reason.


Hi James,

I would be very happy to take a chance and see if I can identify why this is happening if you are able to share the document? You can mail it to me at pfilkin-at-sdl.com if you are interested.

Regards

Paul

[Edited at 2009-11-08 10:59 GMT]


 

Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:17
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Are you sure having placed all tags correctly? Nov 8, 2009

As for the Studio performance with Word files, it is really superior to those in Word with Trados 2007.
When all tags are placed correctly, no format changes may occure in fact.
And from my own experience in Studio - no changes do occur.
I used Studio for various Word files, most of them badly formatted.
In this terms Studio is really a GIGO-program. This means, that regardles the garbage formatting I put in, I get a file with exactly the same garbage formatting as output
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As for the Studio performance with Word files, it is really superior to those in Word with Trados 2007.
When all tags are placed correctly, no format changes may occure in fact.
And from my own experience in Studio - no changes do occur.
I used Studio for various Word files, most of them badly formatted.
In this terms Studio is really a GIGO-program. This means, that regardles the garbage formatting I put in, I get a file with exactly the same garbage formatting as output (thus: GIGO - garbage in, garbage out).

Regarding your quote "If technology doesn't work for people, it doesn't work.", so it would mean, that jet airplanes do not really work, because they need special trained personal to be flown. This is kinda technology, which does not work for people. So is the conclusion really, that it doesn't work?
Another example - driving a car. You can't if you did not learn that. And when you already learned to drive, but get to a very bad road, it is YOUR responsibility to drive accordingly.
It is also the responsibility of users to use their tools properly. This is nothing strange, I think.
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Raphael Schory
Local time: 09:17
English to Arabic
+ ...
A Clarification on Solving Font Change Problems in TTX Files Nov 10, 2009

Jerzy Czopik wrote:
... Display formatting is only relevant for Tageditor and switching it off will simply cause "clean" entries in your translation memory.
Or what do you mean saying "it doesn't solve the problem"?
Did you try to switch display formatting off, recreate the ttx (otherwise the setting will have no effect) and translate it? Would you, you wouldn't write that this does not help, I'm nearly sure.


Sorry, I had to be more specific. Removing display formatting is effective for new strings and is really relevant to TTX files. For fuzzy strings, however, which were previously translated without removing the display formatting, it has no effect thus causing them to space themselves again and again. This is not a problem in itself, but in a whole it causes problems.

Hence, the solution is - when encountering a string whose fonts are different (in TagEditor - the translator should copy that string to Notepad, Copy Source in TagEditor, then copy the string from Notepad to TE. The fonts will than change back to normal.

Again, this is relevant to files with no display formatting.

And thanks for focusing me


 

Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:17
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
ou can also export the TM and remove formatting codes there Nov 10, 2009

ie using Olifant - AFAIK it is capable of doing so.
You also can simply edit the segment (double click one of the coutry flags in Workbench, then right-click the target and chose "Advanced edit").
Once in Advance edit, you see the reasong for this weird behaviour.

But again: it does not matter at all, in which font the text appears in TTX, it will appear in the correct font in the target application. This is because of tags.
Leaving font changes within the segment
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ie using Olifant - AFAIK it is capable of doing so.
You also can simply edit the segment (double click one of the coutry flags in Workbench, then right-click the target and chose "Advanced edit").
Once in Advance edit, you see the reasong for this weird behaviour.

But again: it does not matter at all, in which font the text appears in TTX, it will appear in the correct font in the target application. This is because of tags.
Leaving font changes within the segment in Tageditor will however cause Workbench to save this additional stupid information and the problem will contuinue to exist.
This is why I switched off display formatting for all formats in TE. I also do not understand, what was the reason to make it mandatory and not optional by SDL.
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Gernot Hirsinger
Local time: 08:17
German to English
+ ...
Not just fonts / styles, but heading numbering too! Nov 13, 2009

I admit that I have not updated to a newer version (too expensive and apparently bug-ridden, to judge by SDL Knowledgebase publications) but am still working with Trados TWB 7.

Imagine trying to translate a 150-page DIN standard with formulae, graphics and tables without having immediate access to the layout. This is what working in Tag Editor is like.
Such files MUST have font changes within a paragraph style, as parameters are identified by an italic letter in a font with se
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I admit that I have not updated to a newer version (too expensive and apparently bug-ridden, to judge by SDL Knowledgebase publications) but am still working with Trados TWB 7.

Imagine trying to translate a 150-page DIN standard with formulae, graphics and tables without having immediate access to the layout. This is what working in Tag Editor is like.
Such files MUST have font changes within a paragraph style, as parameters are identified by an italic letter in a font with serifs followed by suffixes in normal sans-serif font. A nightmare in Tag Editor.
To make things worse, in my current assignment, the automatic heading numbering disappears after I save/close the translation unit. I have tried removing the style ("Formatierung löschen") and then re-assigning the chapter heading style that I re-defined (just in case). It did not help.

I realize that this does not happen with "clean" styles, but as I am not the author but the translator, what do I do? Refuse to take on the job, lose a prime client? Raise my fees ? Tell the DIN committees that they don't operate WinWord correctly?

NO! Having paid good money for at tool that is supposed to make things easier for me and supposedly more economical for my clients, I expect the makers of that tool to provide a solution.

It seems that they have not found one yet. Perhaps I should change systems.

Gernot H.

P.S. ANY HELPFUL WORKAROUNDS WOULD BE WELCOME!

(had to get this rant off my chest) :.-{(
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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:17
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Use Tageditor or Studio Nov 13, 2009

to work on such complex documents with bad formatting in Word is not easy, however of course still possible. It requires a lot of patience and reformatting, though.
If you go for Tageditor, no problems occur then, and Studio is even better, when it comes to complex formatting.

The only way I would try now, is creating a completly new document, removing all formatting there, translatig that one, then translate the original document using the function translate from Workbench,
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to work on such complex documents with bad formatting in Word is not easy, however of course still possible. It requires a lot of patience and reformatting, though.
If you go for Tageditor, no problems occur then, and Studio is even better, when it comes to complex formatting.

The only way I would try now, is creating a completly new document, removing all formatting there, translatig that one, then translate the original document using the function translate from Workbench, and in the end correct the rest of formatting in target.
But before you go for this, please check, if cleanup does not damage the document.

But to put things together: translating in Word as CAT is dead. Period.
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Gernot Hirsinger
Local time: 08:17
German to English
+ ...
And what do I tell my clients? Mar 8, 2011

" You st...d b..ds are just too dumb to operate Winword properly!" ???

If one is doing work where a TM system is helpful - as in my case, translating national standards, the client expects the translation to come back looking just like the original.
In some cases it's simply a case of marking the entire document and changing it to "Arial" or whatever.
But I cannot do this where the text contains mathematical formulae etc. as these are written in an italic serif font (us
... See more
" You st...d b..ds are just too dumb to operate Winword properly!" ???

If one is doing work where a TM system is helpful - as in my case, translating national standards, the client expects the translation to come back looking just like the original.
In some cases it's simply a case of marking the entire document and changing it to "Arial" or whatever.
But I cannot do this where the text contains mathematical formulae etc. as these are written in an italic serif font (usually a time variant). That means that after Translator's Workbench has screwed up the job, we have to spend happy hours fixing it.
I had asumed that SDL would tackle the problem, but as I see, it still seems to persist. Another reason for me to forego updating my package. Perhaps I should change my system completely.
:.-{(
sigh!
Gernot H.
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