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New features in TransTools 3.5

What Is This Text Symbol tool

Have you ever encountered strange-looking or confusing symbols in text? When this happens, it is often difficult to decide what to do with such symbols – keep them unchanged, delete them or replace them with something else. TransTools 3.5 includes a new tool that should help you make a decision faster. What Is This Text Symbol tool, available as part of TransTools for Word (Free Edition), identifies each symbol in the selected text, providing you with useful information.

Below is an example from a real-life project. When translating an XML file in memoQ, a translator encountered strange squares in segments:

Strange squares in memoQ

To identify these squares, I copied the text into Microsoft Word, selected it and used What Is This Text Symbol tool:

What Is This Text Symbol tool in Microsoft Word

I then selected the symbol from the list and clicked “More information at Unicode-table.com” button. This opened Unicode-table.com website with information about this symbol:

Unicode-table.com website

In this particular case the symbol was a Zero-width No-break Space, an invisible symbol often used to represent word breaks in some languages. We decided to keep the squares in the translation even though the symbol can be deleted from the translation without any danger.

Here are some other ways you can use this tool:

  • You want to identify a symbol which looks very similar to another symbol. For example, some letters in the Latin alphabet look identical to Cyrillic letters but are in fact different symbols. This can be useful if you get an error from the spell checker in your word processing program.
  • You want to find out whether you are looking at a precomposed letter (a single letter that includes diacritic marks) or a regular letter with combining marks attached to it.

You can read about the tool in more detail here.

To test the updated tool, download and install the new version of TransTools.


Other updates since the previous newsletter

In addition to What Is This Text Symbol tool, the following changes have been made in TransTools for Word and on the website since the previous newsletter:

  • Added a new article – How to identify any text symbol. In this article, you will learn several ways to identify strange text symbols, in addition to What Is This Text Symbol tool described above.
  • Updated Document Cleaner / Autoformat tool: the first option was renamed to “Highlight paragraphs formatted using several different fonts, font sizes or font colors”. In this version, in addition to highlighting paragraphs formatted with different fonts or font sizes, this option also highlights paragraphs formatted with different font colors. This should be useful for processing of documents obtained through OCR and PDF conversion programs because these programs may apply similar colors to different words or characters in the text, resulting in excessive tags in your CAT tool. After you use this option, it is easy to find paragraphs that use several font colors and format them appropriately.
  • Added two new Quick Action commands under Document Cleaner / Other Tools (suggested by Marek Pawelec):
    1. Textboxes - Move text out of all textboxes (entire document) – this command converts all floating textboxes to text, placing the text at the place to which each textbox was anchored and deleting original textboxes. It should be really useful if you use a PDF conversion service which places text in textboxes. Documents with textboxes are really difficult to translate and format, and copying and pasting text out of textboxes can be really frustrating. This command performs the operation very quickly, highlighting the moved text so you can format it further.
    2. Textboxes - Convert all textboxes to frames – this command converts all floating textboxes to Word frames. Frames are somewhat easier to work with than textboxes, but they are still problematic in terms of translation and further formatting.
  • Unbreaker: added a new option to allow removal of incorrect paragraph breaks between a list item and the following paragraph. This is particularly useful for documents produced by OCR and PDF conversion tools because they sometimes insert incorrect breaks in the middle of list paragraphs.
  • Introduced several changes in Multiple Replace tool to make it easier to use.
  • Fixed several bugs in Multiple Replace tool, Dual Language Document Assistant and Document Cleaner.

For a detailed list of changes, go to this 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 8, 2015

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