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New features in TransTools 2.1 and Timewriting Assistant

Version 2.1 of TransTools includes a number of significant new features. Concurrently, a new tool, Timewriting Assistant, has been provided as a separate download.

Document Cleaner updates

The previous version of TransTools for Word introduced Document Cleaner, a collection of commands designed for formatting of Word documents produced by OCR (optical character recognition) and PDF conversion software (or simply poorly formatted documents). Document Cleaner can be used before translation in order to reduce the amount of tags which appear when the document is imported into a CAT tool, to avoid layout problems in translated documents, or to improve the document’s format. In this new version, I added the following new features which will allow you to remove more ‘rogue’ tags from documents produced by OCR / PDF conversion tools and fix some common formatting issues:

  • New Reformat option: ‘Fix formatting problems’ – This new option of the Reformat command (available on the first tab of Document Cleaner) allows you to to avoid a substantial number of tags in CAT tools. OCR tools and PDF conversion software often add character styles in addition to direct formatting, which is a problem for most CAT tools, causing unnecessary tags. This option also fixes strange behaviour during document editing, when you cannot remove bold/italic/underlined formatting from all selected text.
  • New Reformat option: Change font color from ‘Black’ to ‘Automatic’ – Usually, documents are formatted using ‘Automatic’ font color which appears black on most systems. Sometimes, though, some of the text may be formatted using ‘black’ font color. Changes from black to automatic font color are treated as tags in CAT software. Using this option (available as part of the Reformat command) fixes this problem.

    Screenshot: new options of Reformat command

  • New command: Apply Variable Row Height – When OCR tools process tables, they apply special formatting to each row so that the row height is equal or larger than the height of the row in the original PDF/scan. Some tools even use ‘fixed’ row height which prevents the row from expanding as more text is added in it. This new command allows you to remove this formatting so that the row expands or contracts in height depending on the amount of text in the row.

    Screenshot: Apply Variable Row Height command

  • New command: Formatting Tools – In an attempt to match the original document format, OCR and PDF conversion tools use paragraph spacing, indentation, paragraph and text shading, character styles, etc. To produce a cleaner document, you may need to remove such formatting. Formatting Tools is a new collection of commands that allow you to remove (reset) specific types of paragraph and text formatting to default values before applying your own formatting. It works similar to a toolbar.

    Screenshot: Formatting Tools

You can now save the configuration of Document Cleaner to a ‘profile’ in order to use different settings depending on the task at hand. For example, you need to use one set of configuration settings for processing of documents produced by OCR tools, and another set to format Microsoft Word documents received from your clients. In addition, there is a built-in profile called ‘Default’ which is loaded automatically when you open Document Cleaner, so it can be used to save your preferred configuration.

In addition, some bugs were fixed in Table Column Aligner command.

For more information on the updated functionality of Document Cleaner, refer to its online help page. If you have new ideas on how to fix some common formatting problems in Word documents or minimize the amount of tags in CAT software, please feel free to drop me a line and I will consider adding this functionality in Document Cleaner.


Insert Symbol command – new features

You can now use Insert Symbol command (TransTools for Word) to insert quotation marks or non-printing / confusing symbols.

Quotation marks are difficult to insert using Microsoft Word unless smart quotes are enabled. Even with smart quotes enabled, you may find that Microsoft Word inserts straight quotes (") instead of the desired quotation marks. To resolve this issue, you can now pick the correct quotation marks from Insert Symbol dialogue. The quotation marks are conveniently inserted around the selected text or at both sides of the caret. The available quotation mark styles can be selected from a list of 20 styles using the Configuration dialog.

Non-printing symbols like non-breaking spaces or line breaks, or confusing symbols like soft (manual) hyphens are hard to pick using the old user interface. These are now presented in graphical form. The list of available symbols is configurable. You can now select from a total of 9 predefined symbols such as line break, soft hyphen, page break, non-breaking space, EM space, etc.

A shortcut to Insert Symbol command is now available from TransTools toolbar / Add-Ins ribbon tab. These new features were suggested by SafeTex.

Screenshot: Insert Symbol dialog with quotation marks and non-printing symbol insertion controls

For more information, go to the command's online reference page.


Bug fixes

The new release fixes some bugs in Hide / Unhide Text command (TransTools for Word).


New tool – Timewriting Assistant

Do you need to bill your clients on hourly basis for some activities, such as PDF document conversion or post-formatting of documents? If the answer is yes, you may find it a bit difficult to track those hours accurately.

Timewriting Assistant is a macro-enabled Microsoft Excel workbook developed specially for tracking and reporting hours. The workbook automatically calculates total hours worked for each activity every day of the week, and allows you to create an accurate summary of these hours for your clients. This tool is available for a free download from this link.

25th January 2013

Developed by Stanislav Okhvat, 2007–2017

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.

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