Most of you will probably be familiar with the idea that macros can be used to automatize repetitive, tedious and time-consuming jobs. MS Office macros are an example; they can be used within MS Word or Excel. But here I am referring to another category of macros with a much wider scope, the so called "Windows Macros", i.e. third-party macros working in all programs and objects within the Microsoft Windows environment.
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Here I'll try to illustrate their advantages through a sample application.
Most of us translators choose to create client- or subject specific translation memory databases, rather than having a single TM for all and any clients and subjects. Different CAT Tools use different formats, and most of them allow conversion from one format to another. For example, Atril's DejaVu allows conversion from DV to Trados txt format (a courtesy that apparently Trados does not deign to return…).
After using DV for some years, a translator (or an agency PM) might well discover she has accumulated dozens (or hundreds, or even thousands) of different TM's on her PC. The problem with DV TM's is that, due to their coding, they are not searchable with a search tool, in contrast with Trados *.txt TM's (coded in plain text format).
This is one of the reasons why I decided to write a macro for batch conversion of DejaVu TM's into Trados txt format. I used my favorite macro program, Macro Express from INSIGHT Software Solutions.
Basically, this macro first lists all DejaVu TM's on your hard disk(s), sorts them alphabetically, opens the first one, and launches DV's Translation Memory Export Wizard, selecting the appropriate options. Each txt file is automatically assigned the same filename as the source file; for example, a file named Insurance.txt will be generated from Insurance.dvmdb. When the Wizard is completed, the macro opens the second file, and carries out the same operation as for the first file. The same applies for the following TM's.
During Step 1 (listing), one may choose to select all TM's that were last changed during a specific date interval, rather than listing all TM's regardless of their last change date. In fact, converting TM's which have not been changed recently is just a waste of time, so I generally run this macro once every 30 days or so, and select the only TM's that have been last changed during the this period of time.
Admittedly, the macro I wrote is far from being flawless. For instance, it doesn't work correctly when a TM is empty, or has more than one source language (such as English UK and English US vs. Italian). But the main flaw is that it doesn't recognize when the export is completed, so I had to use a text box where I have to click on the OK button to inform the macro that the export is done and it must proceed to the next step.
Quite obviously, one might choose to write a slightly modified version of this macro to import any number of Trados TM's (*.txt files) as DejaVu TM's, or yet another modified version of this macro to export all her terminology databases into txt files (choosing an appropriate delimiter such as tab, comma etc.), or Excel files. These macros might also use start and end modification dates as filters.
This project has been completed with the assistance of Elena Ghetti, www.proz.com/translators/44102.