A comprehensive review of XTM v.8.5 by a translator
Thread poster: SEA-words

SEA-words  Identity Verified
English to Italian
+ ...
Oct 14, 2014

This is a review of XTM 8.5, which follows my previous review of XTM 7.x published one year ago on Proz.com.
XTM staff keeps the communication open with their clients, as you can see from their replies in this forum, and they offer a personalized support.
I was given the opportunity to test and review their latest version for this updated review (version 8.5), and anybody can request a free trial here.

I asked for an enterprise account which provided access with the PM’s section, which is where the surprise came - XTM was developed considering the PM’s needs first, so the translator’s part was a little neglected in the past versions. This has improved a lot in the latest release, though XTM has still work to do on that side.

I will break down my new review in the same way as done for my first review.

Background info
Testing environment: XTM v. 8.5 on Chrome v. 37 running on Mac OS X (10.9.5), DSL connection with a nominal speed of 4 Mpbs in download and 500 kbps in upload.
Test project: 1 file of 10,000 words with about 5% repetitions and various fuzzy matches, an existing TM imported in XTM, 1842 segments.

Working with XTM
1) XTM is now, I can confirm actually working also with Chrome, Safari and IE. I can now click directly on an email link and let it open in Chrome instead of using Firefox. This review is based on XTM using Chrome as my browser.
2) You still need a solid connection. To be honest, it is not really XTM’s fault if your connection is slow and it takes 5 second to move from a page to another. But I suppose the more features which are loaded in the background, the more data transferred, thus the longer it takes to move from one page to another. In my experience, this means around 6 seconds, which can be annoying.
3) There is still no way to restore multiple segments translated offline, but XTM has an offline tool that allows you to translate offline (then what about the online TM and glossary?).
4) You can zoom in and out, but you will have to reload the editor window in order to fit the page.
5) In XTM, everything you need to access requires at minimum one click. To run a concordance search, you have to highlight the word, right-click, choose Concordance and then select the default option or the Exact match option. NOTE: You can also now use Alt+\ keystroke to invoke concordance on selected text since version 8.6.

6) There are still no batch processing capability for translators. (XTM have this in their development pipeline for early 2015)

TM in XTM and Terminology

Points 7) to 14) of the previous review. A translator who is assigned a project in XTM by an agency had no control over TM management, fuzzy threshold, or the glossary. Some of these features are customizable by the agency, for example the ability to edit the existing glossary, but nonetheless the translator is not able to add a TM or a glossary to be used in parallel for his own ease.

About point 11) – Autopropagation, it works pretty much the same: the first translation you type is auto propagated across all the document, but if you edit your translation, it doesn’t get auto propagated automatically. Instead, now when a segment is a repetition, you can click on the word ‘repetition’ and apply a “repetition” filter to your file. A new page is loaded showing all of the repetitions of the document (not just the one you selected). Then you can click on a double-arrow green icon next to each segment and choose to apply that translation to all of its repetitions. This can be quite time consuming, since you have to load a new page, and then click on the green arrows. So, you need to get it right at the first strike. Also, the repetitions are shown out of context, so you will have to check them again once the repetition filter is removed.

Typing in XTM
15) I don’t know if it is thanks to Chrome or XTM, but now I was able to select a word and drag and drop it in the same segment. However, it is still annoying that to select a word in the source segment, you have to click twice: the first time to activate the segment, and the second to select the word. And when you select the segment, it slides upward and you have to move your cursor to select the actual word. It would be nice if I could just click twice in the same point.
16) I was able to change the capitalization, but oddly XTM chose the keystroke SHIFT+F2 (in Mac: fn+SHIFT+F2), while in common text editors it is usually SHIFT+F3 (in Mac: fn+SHIFT+F3). Please note that this keystroke shifts between all in lower caps and all in upper caps, only.
17) I am using a Mac and I was able to insert accented letters by simply holding SHIFT+letter and then picking the accent I’d liked to use. This was awesome, but – again - I don’t know how much credit goes to Chrome and how much to XTM.
18) I wasn’t not able to test tags in XTM 8 since my test file had none. Also, I wasn’t able to customize XTM’s keystroke for Mac.
19) I did not find any issues with the Find/Replace tool to report.

Finalizing your job
Spellcheck and QA work only on a given page. So I suggest that you choose to display 500 segments per page in Settings (wrench icon on the left sidebar). However I had trouble with the QA in the 500 segments display. XTM support suggested to use the 100 segments display, instead. Too bad that in an 1800-segment project this means 18 pages to check, instead of 4.

Also, the QA still doesn’t include basic checks such as consistency of translation (you should check them manually applying the repetition filter) or punctuation at the end of the sentence, which are in my opinion essential.

Conclusions

XTM has definitely been working hard to improve the translator’ side of its cloud-based CAT tool, and I hope they will continue to do so.
One should also consider that cloud-based CATs are not competing with offline CAT, rather providing a new working environment based on the cloud, to meet the client’s needs (possibly less the translators’)

As it continues its development, XTM has become one of the most complete cloud-based CAT tools I have tried so far (other CATs tried: Transifex, Google toolkit, Wordfast Anywhere, Coach).


[Edited at 2014-10-14 21:20 GMT]


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Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 14:14
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
cloud tools Oct 15, 2014

I have experience with only World Server, tried Wordfast Anywhere and older versions of XTM but only for small test projects. In my desktop CAT tool (DVX 2) I can do almost anything without using the mouse. I hate World Server because you have to use the mouse for every action, and it seems that it is the same in XTM as well.

My mouse is almost 8-year old because I don't use it, I don't need it. A mouseless cloud tool - is it impossible?

Spell-checking:
I guess XTM can not use MS Office proofing tools but only Hunspell. The offline version may support it, I have no idea, but I need a reliable spellchecker when working online.

Generally I don't like cloud tools because we can not use our termbases, translation memories, macros, AHK scripts, QA tools and even spellcheckers but we are still expected to deliver high-quality works. MT first and now these cloud tools will kill the industry.


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SEA-words  Identity Verified
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Mouse Oct 15, 2014

I agree that having to use a lot the mouse is very time consuming, and also very distracting because my eyes have to shift from the screen to the desk several times per minute.
Another thing that bothers me is that each CAT has its keystrokes, so having to learn them or being not able to customize them fully, really put me off.

I would never ever pick a cloud CAT over an offline CAT, but unfortunately it seems this is no longer my choice. I always try to fight to work offline so that I can provide the best quality output, but the industry selling points are accountability and fastness, not quality or experience. Sadly.


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Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 14:14
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
XTM Offline Editor Oct 15, 2014

It seems that MS spellchecking can be used with XTM Offline Editor. Can we download it and test with sample files?

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Alexander Matsyuk  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 14:14
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
One annoying thing Oct 16, 2014

Thank you for review. Valuable and objective. I can confirm that XTM has become better.

I rarely use a mouse to select a word/s, because it is inconvenient and time consuming.
One thing that is still annoying is that when clicking Ctrl+Shift+Right Arrow,Ctrl+Del or Ctrl+Backspace, you select/delete the adjacent tag together with the intended word/s. To avoid this, you have to refine your selection.
I would like XTM to find a way to exclude tags from selection/deletion, i.e. make them not linked with the text.
Also, is there a feature "remove all tags from the target segment" by a key combination?

[Edited at 2014-10-16 13:06 GMT]


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XTM Review and comments Oct 16, 2014

Thank you all for your comments. We value you feedback very much. We are putting a lot of emphasis on making XTM as translator friendly as possible.

Access to many XTM functions are now available via keyboard shortcuts and you can also define your own shortcuts through the 'Settings' window (right button click, File options->Settings and then selecting the 'Shortcuts' tab). We have worked hard to make the life of translators in XTM as easy as possible. To that end we introduced the ability to access all XTM menu functions from the right button click or the Windows keyboard context menu key - the key to the right of the right Windows key on most Windows keyboards (On the Mac 'Fn + Ctrl + I' for Right Click.).

We want translators to be able to use XTM without using the mouse for all normal operations. In 2015 we will also be adding the capability for translators to use their own personal TM and terminologies in XTM.

I can confirm that the XTM Offline editor gives you full access to Microsoft spell checker: the offline editor is an Excel application so requires no additional software installation (as long as you have Excel - works with both Windows and Mac versions) and follows the general design of the web based editor albeit with certain limitations.

For XTM Cloud we introduced a Content Delivery Network (CDN) enhancement in August which improves Internet access to XTM Cloud, especially for the Asia Pacific and South American regions. Other regions should also see a performance improvement.

We have added Amatsyuk's request to our road map. Hopefully this will be available in early 2015.

Thank you all and please keep us informed of any requests/improvements that you would like to see in XTM.

[Edited at 2014-10-16 15:23 GMT]


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Alexander Matsyuk  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 14:14
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
SHIFT+F2 Oct 19, 2014

as a tool to change case, does not work on PC

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SEA-words  Identity Verified
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Maybe it depends on your browser? Oct 19, 2014

amatsyuk wrote:

as a tool to change case, does not work on PC


What browser are you using?

In other programs, such as Word, Outlook, etc. you can use SHIFT+F3 to toggle case.
In XTM you should use SHIFT+F2 or you can customize this key combination in XTM Settings.


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Alexander Matsyuk  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 14:14
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
SHIFT+F2 Oct 19, 2014

I normally use Firefox, but I tried Chrome as well.
Setting by default is SHIFT+F2. Checked.
Yes, I made a note of your explanation on F2 vs. F3.

Not a tragedy, but this feature would be a useful thing.


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XTM Intl
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:14
Shift+f2 Oct 20, 2014

Amatsyuk, Shift+F2 is definitely a valid lower/upper-case changing short-cut in XTM.

If you can't get it to work, feel free to contact us (support at xtm-int dot com), and our friendly support staff will help you out!


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Alexander Matsyuk  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 14:14
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
SHIFT+F2 Oct 20, 2014

does not work for Cyrillic fonts, only working to change to lowercase.
With Latin characters, it works good.


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