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Translate using Translation Table

Category: TranslationBack to Translation commands section

This command 'translates' Visio drawings using a translation table created with Extract Translatable Text 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.

To start translating Visio drawings, please refer to the overview of Extract Translatable Text command. Otherwise, read on.

How it works?

This command searches a drawing for text blocks. If it finds a block whose text matches an entry in the translation table, it replaces the text of the block with its translation from the translation table.

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 the 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

Translate using Translation Table command is launched from TransTools group under the Add-Ins tab (in Visio 2010 and newer versions) or from TransTools menu (in Visio 2007 or older 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 'Translate using Translation Table' 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 using Extract Translatable Text command, 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: Translate Using Translation Table 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 translate using the translation table. You can also click All / None to select / de-select all sheets in the list.
  2. Translation Table: Select the fully translated translation table file in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel format.

When the appropriate options have been selected, click Translate. To exit, close the dialogue or press Cancel.

Developed by Stanislav Okhvat, 2007–2018

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