Software to adjust target text layout faster - suggestions needed
Thread poster: Piero Intonti

Piero Intonti  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:42
Member
Italian to English
+ ...
Oct 3, 2012

Hello everybody!
In these two months, I have been translating from EN into IT a "guide" with TRADOS.
With the translation finished, I find a Word document, particularly untidy
from the layout point of view ( i.e for margins, variable indents, figures,
column and section interruptions).
Does anyone know a software capable of doing a better layout or adjusting it in faster than manually?.
Thanks in advance for your reply.


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Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 05:42
German to Swedish
+ ...
Sorry Oct 3, 2012

Text reflow behaviour depends on the templates and style sheets used in the documents.

Much of what you ask for can be set up with templates quite well, so that most of the translated text reflows acceptably. But the material that we translators work from is very seldom prepared that way.

Trados extracts stuff from between formatting markers and puts back the translated text. We can ask no more of Trados.

If you work on your Word skills, you'll find that reformatting a bad document to look kind of semi-nice doesn't take all that long.

And... translators asking for magic, work-free layout solutions is like outsourcers dreaming about great free translations. Doesn't exist (AFAIK).


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:42
Member
French to English
+ ...
Does depend on the exact document, but... Oct 3, 2012

Having often been faced with a similar problem, what I often do is 'select all' and remove all style information, then either use existing Word styles or pre-create suitable ones to apply manually.

I find that getting rid of all the unhelpful stuff first 'clears the decks', and once I've created my appropriate styles, it's quite quick to select the text and apply them; or of course, you can use pre-existing styles, and then edit them globally at the end, say.

Of course, before starting all this, you may need to do a few passes of search-&-replace to clean out things like multiple spaces (often used instead of tabs!), etc. etc.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:42
Member
English to French
A good practice Oct 4, 2012

If time allows:
adjusting source text before starting with a CAT tool in order to get a clean translation, clean target formatting and a clean TM, with segments made up of one sentence and not bits or even words thereof (like in table headers).
By that I mean: indents, line breaks, bullet points, proper punctuation, page breaks, paragraph breaks, tabs, double spaces, etc.

Sometimes it is well worth the effort as you find out sentences that actually are repeats or close fuzzy matches, whereas they didn't show on the raw analysis (like sentences cut into multiple hard breaks, page breaks or tabs).

Philippe


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:42
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Or lack of... Oct 4, 2012

Joakim Braun wrote:
Text reflow behaviour depends on the templates and style sheets used in the documents.

Or better said, the lack of proper formatting. Documents containing a proper use of styles, templates, etc. usually results in a clean translated document requiring very little, if any, formatting work.

A poor/unprofessional formatting of a Word document usually results in plenty of formatting work after translation.

Often it is best to spend some time polishing the Word document before translation, if the customer allows you to do so.


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 05:42
English to German
Unhide the control codes Oct 5, 2012

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Or better said, the lack of proper formatting. Documents containing a proper use of styles, templates, etc. usually results in a clean translated document requiring very little, if any, formatting work.


First of all, authors/typists should learn what control codes are and why these codes should - while editing - never be set to "hidden". Unfortunately, "hidden" is the default setting in Word and many user never change this setting. So these people often mix up hard/soft paragraph/line breaks. Of course they are not able to grasp the meaning of paragraph styles, then.


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