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Highlighting Tool

Word
This tool is part of TransTools+, a new set of plug-ins for professional translators, editors and copywriters.

Overview

Color highlighting is a very useful feature in Microsoft Word documents which allows to mark specific parts of the document without affecting the actual formatting of the document. Color highlighting is commonly used:

  • To mark translatable or non-translatable text. Hide / Unhide Text tool can be used to hide such text from the CAT tool or leave such text visible while hiding everything else.
  • As a way of communication between people working on the same document (e.g. translator and editor).
  • To mark text that needs attention. For example, TransTools Quotation Magic tool marks corrected quotation marks with certain highlight colors to make it easier to check them. Color highlighting can be used to mark potential mistakes, uncertain points, etc.
  • To mark sections that requires further work.

Highlighting Tool is a special tool that allows you to apply color highlighting, clear color highlighting, or find color highlighting (in order to move from one highlighted fragment to the other). When combined, these three features make it possible to make the most of color highlighting in Microsoft Word.

How to use Highlighting Tool

To run Highlighting Tool, click Highlighting Tool button on TransTools+ ribbon:

Highlighting Tool button on TransTools+ ribbon

This will open Highlighting Tool pane to the right of the current document:

Hide / Unhide Text tool
Highlighting Tool pane

Highlighting Tool consists of three sub-tools which are described below.

Apply Highlighting

Apply Highlighting feature allows you to apply a specific highlight color to text on the basis of search expressions.

Apply Highlighting subtool

The tool applies highlighting to all matches for the listed search expressions. There are two types of search expressions: standard text items (Text search) and regular expression items (Regular expression search):

Editing the search items: Click Add button to add a new item to the list. Edit button allows you to edit the selected item. Remove button removes selected items.Clear button removes all items from the list after a confirmation.

To fill the list with multiple items which were saved previously, click Import... button. This opens the following dialogue:
Load list dialogue
You can import search items from an existing list inside the tool’s internal configuration file, from an external file that you saved previously, or from clipboard. If you choose Import from clipboard option, you need to make sure that the text placed on the clipboard is in the correct format (you can save an existing list to clipboard to see the expected format). The imported items are added to the end of the list.

To export the current list, click Export... button. You will see the following dialogue:
Save list dialogue
You can choose Export to a named list to save the list under a specific name in the tool’s internal configuration file, to an external file, or to clipboard. If you export to an existing list in the tool's internal configuration file, the existing contents of the list will be overwritten with the contents of the current list.

If you want to edit a previously saved list, you can import this list, edit specific items, then export to the same list or external file. Alternatively, you can import the list, export it to clipboard, manipulate it inside Microsoft Excel or another program that supports tab-delimited content, copy to clipboard, then import the list from clipboard.

Note: if you imported a previously saved list by using the Import... button, and then use Add / Edit / Remove / Clear buttons, the changes are not saved to the loaded list automatically. You need to click Export button and choose the destination in order to save the search items displayed in the grid. Also note that the Import... button adds items to the end of the currently displayed list instead of replacing it. This allows you to mix and match several saved lists.

You can test whether the tool can find correct text by clicking Find Next Match button. The tool will find the first match after the current selection point, wrapping to the beginning of the document if it reaches the end of the document.

If there is an overlap between two matches for different search items, the earlier match is kept and the later match is discarded.

Predefined lists: Hide / Unhide Text tool is provided with several pre-defined lists of search expressions which you can use to prepare documents for translation. The following lists are provided:

  • SRT (SubRip Text) files – this list uses a number of regular expressions to hide non-translatable text (time codes and formatting codes) in SRT subtitles. To translate such subtitles, copy the text from an SRT file or open it inside Microsoft Word, load this list, then select Hide specific text only option and click Hide text button.
  • HTML and HTML - Translatable attributes – these lists use several regular expressions to hide non-translatable text in HTML files. If you want to translate HTML files, you will need to follow these steps to make sure that all non-translatable text is hidden correctly:
    1. Select Hide specific text only option. Clear the item list, load pre-defined HTML list by clicking Load... button, check Also Highlight Found Text checkbox and select Red highlight color. Click Hide Text button to highlight and hide the found text. This action will highlight HTML tags and entities using Red color.
    2. Select Hide specific text only option. Clear the item list, load pre-defined HTML - Translatable attributes list by clicking Load... button, check Also Highlight Found Text checkbox and select Bright green highlight color. Click Hide Text button to highlight and hide the found text. When you see Hidden Formatting Warning dialogue, leave the first option selected and click Continue. This action will highlight translatable text inside HTML tags using Bright Green color.
    3. Go through the document and mark additional non-translatable text using Red highlight color. For example, you will need to mark all text from <head> up to </head> at the top of the document, leaving existing Bright Green text untouched.
    4. At this point, all non-translatable text will be hightlighted in red. Select Hide specific text only option and select Hide by color from Hiding Options dropdown list. Choose Highlight Color option and select Red from the dropdown list. Click Hide Text button. When you see Hidden Formatting Warning dialogue, leave the first option selected and click Continue.
    5. Now all non-translatable text will be hidden and the document will be ready for CAT tool import. NOTE: This procedure hides HTML entities such as &nbsp; (non-breaking space), &rdquo; (”), etc., turning these sequences into tags in your CAT tool. It is better to replace these characters with the actual symbols as the very first step, and convert them back to HTML entities when the translation is finished.
  • XML – this list uses a number of regular expressions to hide non-translatable text in XML files. To translate such files, copy the text from an XML file or open it inside Microsoft Word, load this list, then select Hide specific text only option and click Hide text button. NOTE: Translatable attributes inside XML tags will be hidden, so if you want to translate them, you can use a multi-step procedure similar to the above procedure for HTML files.
  • Non-translatable paragraphs – this simple list allows you hide paragraphs that consist entirely of non-translatable text such as numbers without decimal point or thousand separators. Naturally, such paragraphs will hinder translation, especially if there are a lot of them, so it is a good idea to hide them. You can extend this list with your own custom expressions. To hide non-translatable paragraphs, load this list, then select Hide specific text only option and click Hide text button.

Apply Highlighting – this button applies color highlighting to all text that matches the search expressions in the list, based on the current options.

How can you use this feature?

  • Proofread with accuracy: create a list of commonly misspelt words, common translation mistakes, words or phrases which require special attention during proofreading, and highlight all of them for an initial proofreading pass.
  • Find potential problems: identify potential problems after export from your CAT tool, during document formatting / DTP, etc. Some sample usages:
    1. Find numbers which were not properly localized (when the decimal point or thousand separator character is not in accordance with the target language).
    2. Check the document for correct typography. For example, find all regular dashes (-) in order to replace them with EN-dashes (–), minus sign (−) or EM-dashes (—). Use this regex to find a regular dash which is not inside a word: (?<!\p{L})\u002D(?!\p{L}) .
    3. Find problems with punctuation. For example, you can check for a missing space after final punctuation. This regular expression will highlight fragments where a full stop, exclamation mark, question mark or comma occur between letters: \p{L}[.!?,]\p{L}
    4. Find untranslated words by checking for specific Unicode characters using a regular expression. For example, you can highlight all words containing Cyrillic characters using this regex: \p{L}*?\p{IsCyrillic}\p{L}* . Similarly, you can find special CJK symbols, etc.
    5. Find symbols which were incorrectly recognized by your PDF conversion tool.

Clear Highlighting

Clear Highlighting feature allows you to clear text highlighting of certain color(s).

Clear Highlighting subtool

The following options are available:

Highlight color – select the color which needs to be cleared. Choose Any Color if you need to clear all color highlighting, regardless of color. If it is difficult to find the right color inside the list, you can select the text that has the right highlight color inside the document and then choose Selection Color from the dropdown list.

Use multiple colors – if you need to clear color highlighting of several different highlight colors, select a specific color from the dropdown list and then check this checkbox. You will then be able to add colors to the list using Add button, or remove individual colors using Remove button.

Clear all except selected colors – when this checkbox is checked, the tool clears all highlight colors with the exception of the selected colors. For example, if you have Yellow, Bright green and Red highlighting in your document, check this checkbox and then select Yellow in the dropdown list, the tool will clear Bright green and Red highlighting, but not Yellow highlighting.

Look in hidden text – by default, the tool finds highlighted text in any text. You can uncheck this checkbox in order to search in text which is formatted as non-hidden (i.e. hidden formatting attribute is not applied to it).

Clear Highlighting – this button clears all color highlighting in the document based on the options.

How can you use this feature?

  • Clear highlighting as the final pre-flight step. Clear Highlighting tool can clear highlighting from the entire document, which is not possible by selecting everything and setting Highlight Color to None (as this affects the body of the document only, ignoring headers and footers, textboxes, etc.).
  • Clear highlighting after checking for potential mistakes highlighted using Apply Highlighting tool above, or highlighted with other TransTools tools.

Find Highlighting

Find Highlighting feature allows you to find text highlighted with a certain color or colors by jumping between highlighted fragments.

Find Highlighting subtool

The following options are available:

Highlight color – select the color which needs to be found. Choose Any Color if you need to find text highlighted with any standard highlight color. If it is difficult to find the right color inside the list, you can select the text that has the right highlight color inside the document and then choose Selection Color from the dropdown list.

Use multiple colors – if you need to find text highlighted with several different highlight colors, select a specific color from the dropdown list and then check this checkbox. You will then be able to add colors to the list using Add button, or remove individual colors using Remove button.

Look in hidden text – by default, the tool finds highlighted text in any text. You can uncheck this checkbox in order to search in text which is formatted as non-hidden (i.e. hidden formatting attribute is not applied to it).

Start from beginning of document – check this checkbox if you want to search from the beginning of the document (and not from the current selection point).

Find Next – this button finds the next highlighted text fragment in the current document based on the options.

How can you use this feature?

  • Navigate between fragments highlighted with a certain color, e.g. by one of your colleagues. When there are several highlight colors used in a document, finding one specific color can be strenuous, and Find Highlighting tool will help you enormously.
  • Find highlighted text which is difficult to notice. For example, highlighting applied to a punctuation sign may be left unnoticed and end up on printed documents.
Developed by Stanislav Okhvat, 2007–2018

Microsoft Word®, Excel®, PowerPoint® and Visio® are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
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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