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Extract Translatable Text

Category: TranslationBack to Translation commands section

This command extracts text from Visio drawings and creates a translation table in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel format. Combined with Translate using Translation Table command, it will dramatically improve your translation speed and quality when dealing with Visio drawings like organisation charts, engineering drawings, newer versions of drawings you translated before, etc.

How it works?

This command processes selected drawing sheets and extracts all unique text from text objects (optionally, you can extract all text including repetitions for word counting purposes). All this text is then output into a Microsoft Word document or Microsoft Excel spreadsheet as a translation table. After you finish translating the second column of the translation table (manually or using CAT software), you use Translate using Translation Table command to merge the translation back into the drawing, producing a fully translated drawing.

Important notes

  1. By default, TransTools for Visio extracts only one occurrence of repetitive text. If you extract text from several drawings at the same time and your drawings contain cross-file repetitions, these repetitions will not be repeated for each individual drawing and will only appear under the first drawing where they occur. You can avoid this by checking “Export all text for calculating statistics” option. However, if you use this option, you need to remember that you cannot translate repetitions differently because only the first occurrence of repetitions will be used as translation for all drawings processed with Translate Using Translation Table command.
  2. If text blocks on your Visio drawing have internal formatting (i.e., some words are formatted differently than other words in the same text block), this formatting will not be retained after you import the final translation table into the drawing with Translate using Translation Table command. Support for internal text formatting should be added in future versions of TransTools for Visio. In the meantime, it is recommended to restore such formatting manually.

Running the command

Extract Translatable Text is launched from the Add-Ins tab (Visio 2010 or newer versions) or from TransTools menu at the top of Microsoft Visio application window (in Visio 2007 or earlier versions). In order to launch it:

  1. If you don't see TransTools group under the Add-Ins ribbon tab (Visio 2010+) or TransTools menu (Visio 2007 or older versions), open TransTools for Visio.vsd (by default, this file is located under 'My Documents\TransTools' folder). If you already have Microsoft Visio running, you can do this by double-clicking this file in Windows Explorer or opening it with File -> Open. This will add ‘TransTools’ group on the Add-Ins tab (in Visio 2010 or newer versions) or 'TransTools' menu at the top of the application window (in Visio 2007 or older versions).
    Note: if you would like to use the free version of TransTools for Visio (which has limited functionality compared to the latest version), you should use ‘TransTools for Visio (free).vsd’ file which is available as a separate download from TransTools Download page.
  2. Open Visio drawings which you would like to process (unless they are already open). You should do it from the same application window – double-click files in Windows Explorer or open with File -> Open... (note - do not start another session of Microsoft Visio by selecting it from Windows Start menu or double-clicking its Desktop icon).
  3. Switch to TransTools for Visio.vsd by selecting it from Switch Windows menu under the View tab (in Visio 2010 or newer versions) or from Window menu (in Visio 2007 or older versions).
  4. Select 'Extract Translatable Text' from TransTools group under the Add-Ins tab (Visio 2010 or newer versions) or from TransTools menu (Visio 2007 or older versions).

Tips for CAT software users

While TransTools for Visio will cut down your translation time by letting you translate unique, non-repetitive text, there is another way to make it even faster. This is CAT software like SDL Trados Studio , memoQ, Wordfast Pro / Classic, DejaVu X, etc.

To be able to translate the generated translation tables inside a CAT tool, use Prepare for CAT Tool option under Translation Table Format panel. The list displays the most popular CAT tools. If your CAT tool is not indicated in the list but it is possible to avoid importing hidden text in your CAT tool, use “CAT Tool with hidden text filtering support” option.

However, if your CAT tool does not meet the above criteria, you can follow this step-by-step procedure:

  1. After the Word / Excel translation table is generated, save the file, open it, and remove the table header and all columns except the 1st column (with text) and the 2nd column (empty).
  2. Save the file. This will be your original translation table.
  3. Translate the file. If your CAT tool works through Microsoft Word (like Wordfast Classic or Trados 2007), you need to work on a copy of the original file.
  4. After you finish translation, copy the cells from the translated Word / Excel document into the 2nd column of the translation table in the original file. Your translation table is now ready and you can use Translate using Translation Table command to merge the translation into the original file.


Screenshot: Extract Translatable Text dialogue

  1. Files to process: This list will contain every sheet of every file opened in Microsoft Visio. Select sheets of individual drawings that you want to extract text from. You can also click All / None to select / de-select all sheets in the list.
  2. Extract all text (including repetitions) for calculating statistics: By default, only unique text is extracted from Visio drawings. However, if you need to calculate the amount of text for charging your clients, you need to see all the translatable text, including repetitions. To do this, check this option. Note: when you use Translate using Translation Table command to translate the drawing based on such translation table, only the first occurrence of each repeating entry will be used for translation, all others will be ignored.
  3. Extract text only: If this option is checked (default), the program does not export simple numbers.
  4. Translation Table format: the format of the translation table generated by this command can be configured.

    Screenshot: Translation Table Format properties

    Click Modify to change the translation table format settings.

    You have the following options:

    1. Format: Word or Excel.
    2. Include file path and processed pages: this prints the full path to the processed drawing and the list of processed pages inside the translation table for easy reference.
    3. Prepare for CAT tool (Word format only): use this setting to prepare the translation table for importing into a CAT tool. You have several options:
      • Do not prepare (No CAT tool) – Use this option if the translation table does not need to be prepared for a CAT tool. If you use a CAT tool, the best way to translate the table is to copy the Translation column into a new document, translate the document, and then paste the translated cells over the cells in the Translation table so that you have source and translation side by side.
        This is the default option.
      • SDL Trados Studio, memoQ, Wordfast Pro, Wordfast Classic – If you use one of these options, TransTools will use tw4winExternal style to hide non-translatable parts of the table (i.e., instructions, heading row, original column and columns with extra information) and tw4winInternal style to mark formatting codes as non-translatable text. These options are recommended if you use one of these CAT tools. The translation table can be used inside your CAT tool without any extra preparation. After the translation table is translated and exported from your CAT tool, you can use it to merge translations into the drawing without any extra steps.
      • Memsource Cloud, Déjà Vu X3, Cafetran Espresso, CAT tool with hidden text filtering support – If one of these options is used, TransTools will use hidden font formatting to hide non-translatable parts of the table and hidden font formatting to mark formatting codes as non-translatable text. The translation table can be imported into your CAT tool without any extra preparation. When you import it into your CAT tool, make sure that hidden formatting is ignored in the file import settings.
      • Other CAT tool – When this option is selected, no extra formatting is applied to the translation table (besides special formatting of the formatting markers), so it is recommended to copy the Translation column into a new Word document, translate this document in your CAT tool, and then paste the translated cells over the cells in the Translation column before copying source and translation columns to the clipboard.
    4. Automatically save generated table in drawing's folder: if you check this box, TransTools will save the generated Word document automatically under the same location as the current drawing (with the same file name but with DOCX/DOC extension). This is possible if you are extracting text from a single Visio drawing only.

When the appropriate options have been selected, click Continue to generate a translation table which will be opened inside Microsoft Word or Excel (and saved if the appropriate option is activated). To exit, click Cancel.

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.

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