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Remove spaces

Excel
Category: Document preparation / Formatting Back to Formatting section

Undo Undo support - YES. See general Excel undo notes.

Quite often, the translator receives an Excel document with improperly formatted text where a series of spaces is used instead of line breaks to create new lines (line breaks are inserted by pressing Alt+Enter - not an easy-to-memorise key combination). As a result, it is more difficult to translate such files either manually or with CAT software (see Why to use for more info).

This command processes all cells within selection and replaces multiple spaces (over 5 contiguous spaces) with a line break character. For an example of its operation, refer to Figure 1 and Figure 2.

Figure 1: Improperly formatted spreadsheet
The formula window reveals improper formatting of the selected cell with spaces instead of line breaks. The cell, on the contrary, looks OK.
Screenshot: Extra spaces in cells

Figure 2: After running Remove Spaces
The formula window shows correct formatting.
Screenshot: Proper formatting after running 'Remove Spaces'

How to use?

  • Select a range of cells to process
  • Run the command

Why to use?

  • You use CAT software like SDL TagEditor to translate Excel documents. If you load a badly formatted document into such software, the document will still contain segments with many spaces instead of line breaks. This will have the following impact:
    1. Segmentation will be performed incorrectly (i.e. the Translation Memory will contain big Translation Units containing several sentences);
    2. When the translated Excel file is generated, the spaces will no longer work because the width of translated segments will never be the same as that of the originals.
  • You translate Excel documents directly (without using CAT software). In this case, you will almost certainly have to either manually replace series of spaces with line breaks (equivalent of what this command does) or add additional spaces in the translated text so that it looks okay on the screen (this is because the translation never has the same width as the original).

Notes:

Be aware that the command reformats the text, and in some cases the new text may not be fully visible on the screen due to cell formatting (e.g. when the cell's Word Wrap setting is off). It is a good practice to check the document for such problems after translation is complete.
Developed by Stanislav Okhvat, 2007–2016

Microsoft Word®, Excel®, PowerPoint® and Visio® are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
Autocad© is copyright of Autodesk, Inc.
SDL Trados® (including SDL Trados Studio, Trados Workbench, TagEditor and Microsoft Word Addin) is a registered trademark of SDL plc.
memoQ is copyright of Kilgray Translation Technologies.
Wordfast© is copyright of Yves Champollion.

Software disclaimer