TransTools for Autocad
While you can easily translate documents in most editable formats using Computer-Aided Translation software like SDL Trados Studio, memoQ, etc., this is not so easy with AutoCAD drawings. TransTools for Autocad offers you an easy-to-use workflow for translating AutoCAD drawings. It is a special Autocad file (DVB extention) that you can load into Autocad to take advantage of a number of useful commands to automate your translation tasks.
- Extract text and merge translation back into drawings: extract all unique text from drawing(s) and create a translation table in Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word format. After the table is translated, merge the translated text back into the drawing(s). This will dramatically increase speed of your translation, esp. in drawings with repetitive information.
At the moment, TransTools for Autocad contains the following commands:
How does it work?
'TransTools for Autocad' works slightly differently under different versions of Autocad:
Autocad 2009 and newer versions:
Since Autocad 2009 and newer versions use a new user interface, how you control 'TransTools for Autocad' will depend on your workspace settings. If you have AutoCAD 2010 or later, read the Notes section below before proceeding.
Initial Setup Workspace (default): When this user interface is enabled, there are a number of tabs at the top of AutoCAD window (this user interface is also called 'scenic ribbon').
To load 'TransTools for AutoCAD', click Load Aplication button  from Applications group under Tools tab, or type APPLOAD at the command prompt.
To launch TransTools commands, click the small VBA button  located in Applications group under Tools tab, or type VBARUN at the command prompt.
The operation of these dialogues is exactly the same as in AutoCAD 2008 or earlier.
- AutoCAD Classic workspace: When you use this workspace, 'TransTools for Autocad' works exactly the same as in AutoCAD 2008 or earlier.
Autocad 2008 and older versions:
First, load 'TransTools for Autocad':
Select Tools -> Load Application... menu or type APPLOAD at the command prompt.
You will be presented with Load/Unload Applications dialogue. In this dialogue, select 'TransTools for Autocad.dvb' from disk (if you used the automatic installer, this should be in your My Documents\TransTools folder) and click button.
button at the bottom of Load/Unload Applications dialogue to continue. You need to perform this step each time you restart AutoCAD.
Note: if you would like to use the free version of TransTools for AutoCAD (which has limited functionality compared to the latest version), you should use ‘TransTools for AutoCAD (free).dvb’ file which is available as a separate download from TransTools Download page.
Note: If you want to load TransTools automatically every time AutoCAD starts, add it to Startup Suite: open Load/Unload Applications dialogue as explained above, click button, and click to select 'TransTools for Autocad.dvb' from disk:
Launch TransTools commands:
Open the Macros dialogue by clicking Tools -> Macro -> Macros... or type VBARUN at the command prompt.
In the Macros dialogue, select either 'Trans_CollectUniqueValues' (to extract text from the drawing) or 'Trans_Replace' (to merge text back into the drawing) and click .
Notes about Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) support in AutoCAD:
- AutoCAD 2010 and newer versions do not include VBA support in the installation program. You will need to download and install a special free module called “VBA Enabler” for your AutoCAD version. For your convenience, the download links are aggregated in the table below. Note that all links point to the official Autodesk website.
- AutoCAD 2009 and older versions: VBA support is an optional component in the AutoCAD installation program. Please ensure that it is enabled during installation (you will not be able to perform the above steps unless VBA is installed)
Suggestions for improving TransTools
Please send your feedback on how to improve the existing features and your suggestions for new functionality – for the benefit of the translation community worldwide. Improve TransTools here.