Studio 2014 on its way…

So today SDL announced the new iteration of their Studio product, poised for global release in mid September or thereabouts.

Among the highlights of the new product are an integrated alignment feature, a redesigned, ribbon-like interface and the possibility of merging files at any stage of the process.

1) Alignment

At last, it’s time to say goodbye and good riddance to one of the greatest technology aberrations of all time, which goes by the name of WinAlign. Those of us who spent endless hours trying to correct misaligned segments might as well be feeding the pigeons or banging our heads against the wall, as the end-result would have been exactly the same.

Studio 2014 will have an alignment feature embedded in the application (yey!), but sadly without offering you the option to edit the aligned segments (boo!), as they claim the alignment technology is so good, that obviates the need of human intervention (more on that when the product is released, of course, but we always love these half-baked solutions, don’t we?).

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Alignment will be part of the Translation Memory panel. You select your source and target files (all Studio formats supported) and then a ‘quality’ threshold (the quality being defined by the tool, of course). The aligned pairs that fall below that won’t be presented as TUs.

The system will then create an .sdltm Translation Memory which you can use immediately in the project you’re working on and apply penalties if need be. The neat thing is that the resulting .sdltm will preserve Context Match metadata, which can save you time, assuming the alignment is of any decent quality, that is.

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2) Redesigned UI

Inspired by Office 2010, the new ribbon toolbar promises to be a very welcome feature indeed, making it a lot easier to locate the tools you use the most, including Help. The toolbar won’t be customizable in the initial release.

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3) Merging files on the fly

This is great. Whereas previously you would have to decide whether or not to merge files during project preparation, Studio 2014 will retain that option but, should you decide to merge the files at a later stage, you won’t have to restart the project. Instead, you can simply select the files you want to merge from the Project panel and open them all at once.

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Good news also for WorldServer users who have Studio or Studio Express as their desktop client application. With Worldserver 10.3 release, users will now be able to (concurrently) connect directly to the server TM, perform TM edits and concordance searches in real-time and upload the return package directly from Studio.

Other minor, but useful, features have also been announced, including autosave, automatic start of concordance search when no TM match is found (why has this feature been excluded from Studio in the first place?), exclude locked segments from analysis, and faster overall performance.

All in all don’t expect to see anything that will take the world by storm in the next release, but some features are indeed very welcome, if not long overdue.