A common issue with PowerPoint presentations is incorrect paragraph () and line () breaks which occur in the middle of sentences. These breaks are usually added manually in an attempt to create a more readable presentation, but can also be created by conversion software when you convert a PDF document to a PowerPoint presentation. Incorrect breaks cause segmentation and tag problems in most CAT tools, so they should be removed before the presentation is imported into the CAT tool. However, in PowerPoint, unlike word processing software like Microsoft Word, paragraph and line breaks are invisible, so it is very difficult to remove them manually:
|Text with a paragraph break as displayed in PowerPoint
||Text with a paragraph break as displayed in Microsoft Word (with non-printing symbols displayed)
Another side effect of incorrect paragraph and line breaks is that they may wrap text to a new line at incorrect places as a result of font size changes or after translation. This means that, even if you manage to translate the presentation in your CAT tool without first removing these breaks, your final translated presentation may appear incorrectly because of the breaks:
How can Unbreaker help you
Unbreaker is a special tool for Microsoft PowerPoint that will help you find incorrect breaks and quickly remove them, preventing the above issues.
How to use it
To run Unbreaker, click Unbreaker button on Add-Ins ribbon:
The following dialogue will appear:
By default, the dialogue is configured to search for paragraph breaks and line breaks in the entire presentation that is currently active. You can also search for breaks within a selection (slides, shapes, or selected text) by choosing the Selection option from the Where list.
Normally, you would want to find incorrect breaks in slides. However, sometimes you may also need to remove incorrect breaks inside slide notes, in which case you need to activate Notes checkbox.
Before you can remove incorrect breaks, click Search under Manual Correction tab. The tool will start searching for incorrect breaks. When the operation completes, you will be presented with a notification dialogue:
When you click OK, you will see a list of incorrect breaks:
Below the Search button you will see a list of paragraph / line breaks which are considered incorrect. The list includes the following columns:
- Uncertainty: If an item is uncertain, you will see “?” in the first column. Usually, uncertain breaks are more likely to be correct breaks that do not require removal.
- Context for the break: in the second column, you will see the text surrounding the break so that you can make a decision quicker. The break itself is shown as .
- Type of break: in the third column, you will see “Paragr.” for “paragraph break” () or “Line” () for “Line break”.
The selected item is marked with “<–” in the right-hand column.
To remove breaks, you need to mark incorrect breaks with a checkbox. The easiest way to do this quickly is to select an item with the mouse and then use Up/Down keys to move up or down the list and Space key to select or de-select an item. You can also use the mouse to check or uncheck items, although this is not very convenient.
As you navigate the list, the appropriate text before and after the highlighted item will be selected in the presentation, so you will be able to see more context and fix document punctuation or other mistakes immediately. In addition, the preview box under the list will display the context surrounding the highlighted break and, if applicable, an explanation of the uncertainty for breaks marked with “?”:
Initially, all “certain” items (the ones without the ?) will have their boxes checked, and “uncertain” items will be unchecked. You need to verify each item using the preview column, the preview box and the text selected in the document, making sure that only the breaks that require removal are checked. Usually, it is a good idea to press button to uncheck all items before going through the list: this way, you may have less items to check or uncheck.
Remember: “certain” breaks do not always need to be removed. For example, Unbreaker will often find an incorrect break if the first line has no final punctuation while the second line starts with a capital letter. However, sometimes this is because the author forgot to use final punctuation at the end of the first line.
When you are finished checking the incorrect breaks, press Correct Presentation button. All selected breaks will be removed, joining paragraphs or lines together.
The behaviour of Manual correction is controlled by a set of options. These are configured under Extra Options tab:
The following parameters can be configured:
- Let me join more paragraphs if they look like separate paragraphs: If you use this option, Unbreaker will be less strict when it decides whether a particular paragraph or line break should be included in the list of uncertain breaks to remove. In other words, the list will include additional breaks which would be rejected if this option were not used.
- Treat a break before a capitalized word as an uncertain break:
If checked, Unbreaker will mark breaks before capitalized words with a question mark, which is useful in many languages where capitalized words do not only occur at the beginning of sentences, but also in the middle. It is unchecked by default.
For example, consider the two following paragraphs:
If this option is not activated, Unbreaker will mark the break between these paragraphs as a certain break (and thefore this break will be checked in the list). This is because there is no final punctuation at the end of the first paragraph, while capitalization of the word “Communication” is not sufficient grounds to consider this break to be uncertain.
However, if you activate this option, Unbreaker will mark the break between these paragraphs as uncertain and will initially uncheck its box in the list.
- Do not remove a break after a line in all uppercase letters: quite often, documents may contain headings in all uppercase letters, without final punctuation and in the same formatting as the following paragraph. This option allows for such scenario. It is checked by default.
- Do not remove a break after one of these symbols: besides final punctuation like . ; ! ? : and …, as well as some other final punctuation used primarily in East Asian languages, some symbols may often be used at the end of paragraphs. If a break is found after such symbols, it will be considered “uncertain”. By default, this option includes the closing parenthesis – ).
- Do not remove a break before one of these symbols: besides initial punctuation like ¿ ¡
some symbols may often be used at the beginning of paragraphs. If a break is found before such symbols, it will be considered “uncertain”. By default, this option includes the opening parenthesis – (.
- Document may contain incorrectly formatted list markers (as text):
Some documents may contain lists where each list item has a letter or number in front of it. In certain cases Unbreaker may propose to remove the breaks between such items. If this is the case, activate this option. It is unchecked by default.
If you change any of these parameters and want your changes to be used in the future, activate Save These Options As Default checkbox.
As an added benefit, Unbreaker will allow you to do the following:
- Find paragraphs that have no final punctuation mark. Simply type the final punctuation mark on the slide when the problematic paragraphs are selected, and uncheck the item in the list.