If you ever need to remove duplicate values from large sets of data in Excel, either for translation purposes or data preparation, download ASAP Utilities (free for home use), go to the “Range” section and select options 20 to 22:
I personally prefer option 20, since it leaves 1 original value present and I can then clear the empty rows under section “Columns and Rows”, option 12.
Our chronic resistance to explore new tools in favor of something broken that sort-of-works is well documented. Using text editors for basic manipulation is no exception. My guesstimate is that the anachronic Notepad for Windows, which saw little to no change since 1985, is probably still the most popular text editor out there.
After being enamored with Notepad++ for a few years, I’ve eventually decided to give EditPad Pro a spin, after a colleague of mine repeatedly extolled the benefits of the tool, which is not free by the way, but comes with a fully functional 30-day trial, after which you’ll still be able to use it, albeit in a pared-down mode.
The tool has a lot going for it, not least performance. EditPad Pro is the only editor I’ve tried which is capable of handling very large volumes of data (say those large TMXs from the European Commission) without giving up the ghost in the process.
I’ll be covering the many use cases for this tool in future posts but, for starters, here’s a great thing EditPad Pro can do for you if you’re an L10n Project Manager or just someone who needs to manipulate a large set of text files (including mark-up files or development scripts) in bulk:
Let’s say you want to make a replacement across hundreds (or thousands) of text files. You can simply drag them into the tool, optionally hit the loupe key to see your changes highlighted, and click “Files” + “Projects” in the search bar at the bottom. Then click “Ctrl+ Alt + F3” to implement your change across all open files.
To complete the magic, go to “File” and hit Save All
Even on a large set of over 1,000 files, this operation took less than 5 seconds. Not bad for a tool just under 40 euros.
Since many of us live in MS Outlook, here’s a bunch of lesser-known, but incredibly useful shortcuts:
Ctrl + Shift + C – Create a new Contact
Ctrl + D – Delete (e.g. message, task, contact)
Ctrl + Shift + G – Flag message for follow up
Ctrl + F or Alt + W – Forward
Ctrl + 2 – Go to Calendar
Ctrl + 3 – Go to Contacts
Ctrl + 1 – Go to Mail
Ctrl + 4 – Go to Tasks
Ctrl + Q – Mark the selected message as “Read”
Ctrl + U – Mark the selected message as “Unread”
Ctrl + Shift + A – Open a new Appointment
Ctrl + Shift + F – Open the Advanced Find window
Ctrl + R or Alt + R – Reply
Ctrl + Shift + R – Reply All
Ctrl + S – Save a draft message
F12 – Save As
Alt + S – Send
F9 – Send and receive all
F7 – Spellcheck
Often times we just need to quickly compare differences between documents or web pages without the hassle of copy/pasting in Word and using the traditional Compare feature.
Diff Checker is a great tool, which allows you to quickly paste the original and changed text, and get results in seconds in a visually appealing fashion, certainly more intuitive than the window jigsaw puzzle MS Word has currently on offer.
The tool also claims to check differences in PDF and images files. I’ve tested the PDF comparison but the results were not great, owing to many (incomprehensible) false positives. If you wish to compare PDFs, you’re better off with the built-in Compare feature in Acrobat DC. For comparisons of simple text, however, Diff Checker is totally worth it.
By default, Diff Checker doesn’t store the differences on the server (you can do so by creating a free account), but, as usual, I’d err on the side of caution before comparing documents with sensitive content. Be sure to read the fine print.
Many of us who started using Trados (minus SDL) in the good ol’ days of corrosive pinkie tags in MS Word and then transitioned to the more robust TagEditor would certainly reminisce about its distinctive vertical layout.
When I moved to SDL Trados Studio 2009, a radical departure from TagEditor, the lack of a vertical editing mode didn’t seem too much of a deal, until I had to tackle source files with gargantuan segments. Missing factual data in the translation became more frequent than I’d have liked simply because I had to constantly travel from left to right to compare source and target.
SDL has recently released an app to give us the good ol’ vertical layout we’ve been craving for. Enter the Vertical Review.
The app consists of a panel which you can dock wherever you want in your Studio editor, giving you that nice consolidated view, extremely handy for better spotting inconsistencies between source and target segments:
You can move up and down through all segments, by hitting Ctrl+Shift+PgUp and Ctrl+Shift+PgDown, regardless of the segment status.
Alas, the app does not (yet) allow direct editing in the Vertical Review panel, so you need to commit any changes in the editor itself. If you arrange your panels in a logical way, that shouldn’t be too much of a pain, as the main editor follows you as you navigate in the Vertical Review panel.
When it comes to quality assurance, I’d dare say this is probably the best app out there in the SDL AppStore. Often times, no automated verification tool can replace the eyeball, especially when the information is laid out in a way that actually makes sense.
You can find more details on how to use the app in this tutorial by the brilliant Paul Filkin.
The other day I was struggling with a translation for the word “reward” within the context of perks customers get in loyalty programs. The usual suspect equivalent of “reward” has almost a biblical meaning in Portuguese, my native tongue.
Whenever I find myself spending more than 30 seconds looking for a translation of a relatively common word in my language, the issue might lie with me thinking inside the box.
In this particular case, after a cursory dash to all bilingual resources in my arsenal, I’ve reached out to an unusual suspect: Thesaurus.com:
And there it was “bonus”, exactly what I was looking for, a perfect fit for a loyalty program, without the customer being left wondering what the heck I meant by “reward”.
Next time you’re stuck localizing an obvious term, give Thesaurus a shot.