SDL Trados Studio 2011 SP2 – The killer feature

A couple of weeks ago, SDL released Service Pack 2 (SP2) with a handful of decent features, including the ability to edit source content, work with Word documents with track changes activated, fine-tuned control over the AutoSuggest results and other minor functionality enhancements for GroupShare and WorldServer users.

However, the most interesting feature of them all has to be the ability to export documents for external review in Word format from within the application. This feature is by no means revolutionary per se and not even new. Vendors of the likes of Atril and MemoQ have had it for quite a while now and even SDL had previously made this possible by using a less-than-straightforward external app called “SDL XLIFF Converter”. Nevertheless, being able to convert a native SDL file for external reviewers from within the application itself and then integrate their changes back with no more than a few mouse clicks is by all means remarkable.

With Studio 2012 SP2 installed, you start by opening the file you wish to submit for translation review.

Then you go to File > Export for External Review. Studio will create a MS Word tabular file in a preset folder. You will then submit that Word file to an external reviewer (or to an additional translation resource…). Track changes will be turned on by default in the exported Word file and you should keep it that way.

As soon as you receive the file back from the third-party, go to File > Update from External Review. Studio will automatically display the changes in your document and you can then accept or reject them.


Localizing scanned documents – avenues for an age-old conundrum

Integrating scanned documents into the translation workflow is and will continue to be one of the Holy Grails of the industry. OCR (Optical Character Recognition) has been around for a while now and is still your best friend to get those dreaded documents into your production workflow.

From experience with various tools, Abbyy FineReader seems to me the de facto tool when it comes to OCR. However new users are often disappointed with the results they get, and there’s a reason for that. In most cases, the algorithms do their best to ‘guess’ the structure of your scanned documents, but there’s no replacement for the precision of a trained human eye.

Take the example of the following scanned table:

This is the result you may get from an OCR tool on ‘autopilot mode’ (i.e. without any custom configuration):

Pretty dismal, huh?

However, Abbyy FineReader ships with a powerful toolbar that allows you to create custom areas within the page. In other words, you are telling the tool OK this is a table, with x amount of rows and columns, this is a normal paragraph, this is an image, so do not attempt to recognize any text, and so on. You can even blank out portions of the page you do not wish to be included at all in your final document:

And the same scanned table converted to MS Word after instructing the tool how to recognize the table, by defining manual rows and columns (click to enlarge):

The whole process took about 2 minutes. How long would it take you to manually recreate the entire table in MS Word?

Shortcut Monday! (Google Tricks)

  • Use the OR operator to find synonyms and more relevant websites about what you’re looking for, e.g. “LinkedIn new site” OR “LinkedIn site redesign” OR “LinkedIn sire revamp” will increase the chances of finding more prominent info about the newly announced LinkedIn site makeover .
  • Use the minus sign to exclude certain terms from your list of Google searches. “Miami Vice” -youtube will exclude YouTube from the hits related to Miami Vice. Note there is no space between the minus sign and the word after.
  • Entering define [space] [search term] in Google search will offer definitions from various dictionaries.
  • Typing intext:[keyword] forces the search engine to deliver hits only if the term is in the body of the website, thereby increasing relevance. intext:Bach intext:”Sonata no 5 in F min” forces Google to display results containing both Bach and “Sonata no 5 in F min” in the body of the website. It won’t display results that are missing either search term.
  • Find relational search terms with [keyword] AROUND(n) [keyword].  For example, “London 2012” AROUND(3) “Boris Johnson” will deliver all websites where the phrase “London 2012” was mentioned within 3 words of “Boris Johnson”
  • The operator site:[url] limits your search to that particular website. For example: “serendipity”
  • filetype:[extension] will show only certain file types in your searches. Useful if you want to see how your Translation Environment Tool processes a file type whose native application you don’t have. For example, “Report” filetype:indd will get you all sorts of reports in InDesign format

Checking segments with numbers in Studio

Quick way to check all the source or target segments which contain numbers in SDL Trados Studio 2009/2011.

In the Editor panel, type [0-9] next to the Containing: box.  You can then specify whether you want to show the source or target segments which match this criterion.


You could then go a step further and type [0-9] % as a filtering criterion to display only percentages or [0-9]{4} to show only 4-digit numerals. e.g.  years.

Merge Data from Multiple Excel Sheets

Suppose you are working with a spreadsheet containing dozens if not hundreds of tabs and you want to merge data from a specific column or set of columns into one consolidated spreadsheet.

Download ASAP Utilities


In the Sheets drop-down menu, choose function #23. You will then be given the option to select the column, column range and row range from each tab.

Press OK and the selected data from multiple tabs will be pasted into one consolidated tab.

Shortcut Monday!

MS Word

  • Ctrl + F6 – When you have multiple word documents open this shortcut allows you to cycle through them. Use Ctrl + Shift + F6 to cycle back.
  • Double click and Triple Click   Double-click on a word to select it, triple-click to select the paragraph. Ctrl+Click to select a sentence.
  • Ctrl + Drag This shortcut allows you to copy a picture for example and drop it exactly where you want it easily


  • SHIFT+F10  – It is similar to right clicking any object, it opens up the context menu obtained by right clicking.
  • Windows Key+Pause/Break: To open System Properties dialog box, no need to right click My Computer or look in Control Panel, just use Windows Key+Pause/Break.
  • Windows Key+L: This one is quite useful and big time saver. Use Windows Key+L to lock your screen in case you need to be away from your system for a short while.