A TagEditor Secret
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Many translators use Trados nowadays, so quite a few of them have to work with TagEditor as well. Let's face it—it's not a very friendly editor, so sooner or later, one starts to wonder, “Is there a better way to work with *.TTX files?”
This article will show you one possibility. I devised it when I was overloaded with *.TTX files to translate in half the normal time. So I had to double my productivity, preferably using MS Word since I have built up a quite large “shorthand” dictionary using the AutoCorrect functionality.
To start with, I knew about a rather complex procedure to avoid translating XML files in TagEditor (another best kept secret among translators of technical material) and instead use my favorite word processor. But, if this procedure had to be done for each *.TTX file it would have been quite cumbersome, time consuming, and prone to errors.
So I just tried the first reasonably simple procedure to see what would happen:
1. Open the *.TTX file using TagEditor
2. From the main menu, select Edit -> Select All
(Please wait till you see the end of file highlighted)
3. Select Edit -> Copy
(This will copy it to Windows clipboard)
4. Open MS Word (or your favorite RTF word processor but I have not tried this)
5. In MS Word, select Edit -> Paste.
6. In MS Word, select File -> Save As
(You can use the same filename but instead of *.TTX use *.RTF as the suffix)
Voilà! You got everything in MS Word now, which has its pros and cons though. The main advantage is obvious: You can now translate the *.TTX file using Trados, but in a full-fledged word processor without all the time asking, “Why doesn't TagEditor have this or that function/feature?”
The main disadvantage should now be obvious also. You see a lot of tags that would otherwise be more or less hidden from you by TagEditor. However, you can get used to this quite quickly, and as you are much more productive in MS Word than in TagEditor, you are now in the fast lane.
You just have to pay more attention to the tags, i.e. not to delete them or modify them. In fact, it's highly advisable to always use the Copy Source function of Trados to insert source text into the target segment, and then just overwrite the source text (and avoiding the tags of course) with your translation.
After a while, it will become second nature to you. But when Trados offers you some sort of a match, please be extra careful. If it's not a 100% match/repetition, it's safer to use Copy Source and then cut and paste from the Workbench into your document. You’ll avoid potential troubles with some tags missing, and/or changed, and/or added.
OK, you have translated the file—now what? Well, I would recommend a spell-check first. You can make a macro to delete all hidden text and tags, and save the file under a different name. Then press F7 (in MS Word) and if you find an error, open the original RTF, find it there, open the applicable segment, fix the error and close the segment. Why? Yes, to correct this segment in your translation memory. Continue like this until you fix all the errors you can find and save both RTF files for your reference.
The last main step is to take advantage of a Workbench tool. That's right—Translate! In the main menu, select Tools -> Translate. In the Translate Files dialog, use the Add… button to select the original *.TTX file. When it's displayed in the “Files to translate:” panel you can finally press the Translate button. In a few seconds you'll have your *.TTX file translated!
But depending on the complexity of your segments there maybe a few of them left un-translated. So you'll have to open TagEditor for a second time and complete those segments. However, this is peanuts compared to doing the whole *.TTX file in TagEditor! My maximum output in TagEditor was around 2500 words per day with aching fingers, back, etc. Using this method, I can do approx. double the volume in a more relaxed way. Now it's your turn to increase your own productivity. Good luck!
pavel (at) langpal (dot) com