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New features in TransTools 3.0

Version 3.0 of TransTools is finally here. It contains 2 new tools that should be indispensable for translation professionals, along with additional improvements:

  • Unbreaker (TransTools for Word) – a formatting tool for removing incorrect paragraph and line breaks in a Word document before it is imported into a CAT tool. The tool is indispensable if you want to avoid segmentation problems during or after translation in CAT software.
  • Quotation Magic (TransTools for Word) – a QA tool for checking that quotation marks, apostrophes and similar symbols are typographically correct in accordance with the target language, and for correcting them if necessary.
  • Improved user interface in Microsoft Word and Excel (for Microsoft Office 2007 and more recent versions).

Unbreaker – get rid of segmentation problems once and for all

If you work with a CAT tool, you have certainly had problems with incorrect paragraph and line breaks (also called hard and soft breaks) when these are used in the middle of sentences. First of all, many CAT tools cannot expand a segment across a paragraph break, so you have two choices: correct the document and re-import it, or translate individual segments instead of the whole sentence. Second, if you decided to translate parts of a sentence separately, or if you could join the segments across paragraph breaks with your CAT tool, you still need to open the translated document and fix word wrapping or remove extra breaks, otherwise your document will not look very professional. In the end, you lose precious time.

Screenshot: Example of incorrect breaks in a table header
Example: Incorrect paragraph breaks in a table header

Unbreaker is a special tool for Microsoft Word that will help you find incorrect breaks and remove them, preventing segmentation issues inside your CAT tool. Unbreaker is equally effective with properly formatted documents, helping you find occasional incorrect breaks, and with documents produced through OCR or by copying from PDF documents, where such breaks are much more common.

Screenshot: Unbreaker dialogue

Unbreaker can work in two correction modes – Manual Correction and Automatic Correction:

  • Manual Correction mode is best suited for regular Word documents produced by a person: it helps to find occasional incorrect breaks in an otherwise normal document. It can also be used in documents produced by OCR and PDF conversion tools, since these can also have occasional incorrect breaks. The procedure is simple. Pressing the Search button will give you a list of paragraph / line breaks that may be incorrect. Go through the list and make sure that only the incorrect breaks are marked with a checkbox. Then press Correct Document button to remove the incorrect breaks. For a small animated demonstration, click here.
  • Automatic Correction mode is designed for automatic break removal in text copied from PDFs, regular text files, bad OCR results or certain webpages. It should be used when the majority of breaks are incorrect. As with any automatic process, the results need to be checked thoroughly. The procedure is very simple: select Manual Correction tab, decide whether to correct uncertain breaks or simply highlight them, and press Correct Document button.

For more details on the capabilities of Unbreaker, go to the tool's reference page.

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


Quotation Magic – use typographically correct quotation marks, apostrophes and similar symbols in your translations

If you want your translated documents to look professional, you must use typographically correct symbols like dashes, quotation marks, apostrophes, etc. Quotation marks, apostrophes and apostrophe-like symbols (like prime and double prime ) are perhaps the most problematic during both translation and proofreading. First of all, a language may use several recommended quotation styles and different clients may ask for different quotation styles, making it difficult to switch between them. Second, many software applications are not configured by default to insert smart quotation marks or curly apostrophes ( ), so translators often use straight quotation marks and apostrophes ( ' and " ), which is incorrect. Third, it is quite common to see translations where source-language quotation marks are simply copied into the translation without regard for target-language requirements. Fourth, it is easy to confuse apostrophe ( ) with prime ( ), or double quotation mark ( ) with double prime ( ), among others. Finally, there may be punctuation mistakes such as a missing opening / closing quotation mark or incorrect spacing around quotation marks.

Quotation Magic is a new QA tool designed to resolve all the above issues. It searches your Microsoft Word document for quotation marks, apostrophes and prime symbols in accordance with the chosen document language and suggests corrections if necessary.

Screenshot: Quotation Magic dialog showing all found problems

Quotation Magic will address the following issues related to the use of quotation marks, apostrophes and prime symbols:

  • Incorrect use of straight quotation marks ("_" and '_') instead of curly quotation marks (_ and _).
  • Use of incorrect quotation styles for outer (level 1) and inner (level 2) quotations – you will be able to select from a pre-defined list of quotation styles depending on the document language, or even configure additional quotation styles if needed.
  • Use of incorrect symbols for apostrophes , prime and double prime . For example, apostrophes in initial positions are often typed as (as in Get em!), which is incorrect (apostrophe looks like “9”, not “6”); primes and double primes are often typed using curly or straight quotation marks (as in 6'2" tall), which is also wrong.
  • Missing opening or closing quotation mark.
  • Incorrect spacing around quotation marks, e.g., when there is a space before a closing quotation mark or after an opening quotation mark (except in French).

Correcting your document is very easy: 1) Choose the document language and desired quotation styles; 2) Press Search Document button; 3) Review the list of found quotation-like symbols and check the recommended replacements, correcting them as necessary; 4) Press Correct Document button to correct your document; 5) Review the color highlighting inside the document.

Quotation Magic can be used to correct regular Word documents as well as several bilingual formats: Trados Tag-delimited DOC files and memoQ Bilingual RTF files.

For more details on the capabilities of Quotation Magic, go to the tool's reference page.

To check out this new tool, download and install the new version of TransTools.


TransTools Professional Edition

Starting with version 3, TransTools is available in two editions: TransTools Free Edition and TransTools Professional Edition. TransTools Free Edition includes all the tools added before version 3 as well as less sophisticated tools which will be added in the future. TransTools Professional Edition includes more advanced tools, and Unbreaker and Quotation Magic are the first tools included in this edition. The Professional Edition is not free: you can evaluate it free of charge for 45 days and purchase a license code for a modest fee if you like it. I also intend to add more useful advanced tools to this edition over time.

To switch between TransTools Free Edition and TransTools Professional Edition, you do not need to do anything: simply upgrade to version 3 of TransTools and run a command included in the Professional Edition. Both editions are included in the same set of installation files.

To purchase a license code for TransTools Professional Edition, please use this page.

In appreciation of your support, I will send a free license code to everyone who previously made a donation to TransTools.


More improvements – reorganized user interface

If you have Office 2007 or a more recent version of Office, I hope you will appreciate an updated user interface in both TransTools for Word and TransTools for Excel. All commands are now available under a separate TransTools tab, and the most frequently used commands are easily accessible from the ribbon without having to go into menus.


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.

May 22, 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