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New features in TransTools 2.4.4

Hide / Unhide Text command supports Wordfast Classic

If you use a CAT tool, you may often need to avoid translating certain parts of the document, such as in the following situations:

  • The final document must be in dual-language format, i.e., text on one side must be preserved in the original language.
  • You need to translate a new revision of a document that was translated before, with new / modified text marked using Tracked Changes, color highlighting or special font color.

This is very easy to do using Hide / Unhide Text tool. Simply mark the text you want to translate or avoid translating with a certain highlight color or font color, and then use the tool to hide the text from your CAT software. When translation is finished, use the same tool to unhide the text so that the document can be submitted to the client.

In previous versions, Hide / Unhide Text used hidden formatting (this formatting is displayed using a if hidden text is configured to be visible in Microsoft Word). This is supported by most CAT tools, e.g., memoQ, SDL Trados Studio, Deja Vu X, Wordfast Pro, etc. In this new version, you can also use the tool with Wordfast Classic.

Screenshot: Hide / Unhide Text command - new option for Wordfast Classic users
Hide / Unhide Text command: new options for Wordfast Classic users

Wordfast Classic users can choose between Marching Red Ants and Double Strikethrough formatting attributes, making sure that the same option is enabled in Wordfast Classic configuration. After you run the command, some text will be marked with the chosen formatting style and Wordfast Classic will skip over such text during translation. When you are finished, clean the document and then use Hide / Unhide Text command again, choosing the last option (Unhide Everything) to remove the formatting style.

If you use Wordfast Classic but have not used TransTools with it, read these special instructions on how to enable Wordfast Classic to be used alongside TransTools.

A word of thanks goes to Roger Chadel who suggested this feature.

More details on the capabilities of Hide / Unhide Text command can be found at its reference page.

To see the new features, download and install the new version of TransTools.


Make a financial contribution for TransTools development

If you use TransTools on a regular basis and want to support its development, I would appreciate it if you made a small financial contribution via PayPal. Thank you!


Other updates

A number of other changes have been made in this release:

  • Improvements in Remove Highlight command (TransTools for Word): 1) speed improvements, 2) better progress indication, 3) removal of highlighting in all colors is now supported.
  • Improvements in Language Check command (TransTools for Word): 1) speed improvements, 2) better progress indication.

A word on existing tools

If you translate Microsoft Excel spreadsheets from time to time, especially if you use CAT tools, you may run into a number of issues with segmentation. The main problem is that Excel is often used to prepare very text-intensive documents: schedules, specifications, or even reports. At the same time, not all Excel users know how to insert a line break (Alt+Enter), and few people bother about the fact that the spreadsheet might have to be translated so paragraphs or at least sentences cannot be broken across several cells.

Below you will find two common issues that I have encountered in my work as a translator:

Sample: cell with excessive spaces used instead of line breaks
Sample 1: Text in the selected cell looks normal, however the formula bar above it reveals that the author did not know how to insert line breaks and ended up using lots of spaces instead.

Sample: sentences broken across several cells
Sample 2: Another classic – sentences are broken across several cells instead of being merged. It will be almost impossible to translate this in a CAT tool due to the order in which cells are visited.

Fortunately, TransTools for Excel, available as part of TransTools package, can solve both issues quite easily:

  • Remove Spaces command replaces excessive spaces with a line break so that CAT software can segment text properly. Another command, Find Spaces, is designed to color all cells that contain excessive spaces with a special background color, making it easier to find wrongly formatted cells and then modify them with Remove Spaces command.
  • Merge Cell Contents command merges the contents of all selected cells into one merged cell. The user only needs to remove unnecessary line breaks inside the newly merged cell. Note: the similar Merge Cells command in Microsoft Excel displays an error if you try to merge several cells containing text.

Note that TransTools for Excel also contains another very useful command: Cell Resize Wizard. This command is essential for checking that all text is fully visible in your translated spreadsheets (and therefore will be displayed in print-outs, when saved as PDF, etc.). This is especially important if you use CAT tools, because CAT software does not try to adjust the height of rows to fit the translation during generation of target Excel files. For more information about Cell Resize Wizard, read its online reference page.


I hope you have found this information useful. See you in future newsletters. Don't forget to subscribe to TransTools on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc. using the links on the left.

February 02, 2014

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