When you perform translation-related tasks in Microsoft Word, such as formatting before translation, translation, proofreading, terminology extraction, etc., you may prefer to change the visual settings of Word to suit the task at hand.
Let's take two simple examples. When formatting a document, you may prefer to display all non-printable content (such as paragraph marks and other breaks, hidden text, tabs, manual hyphens, bookmarks, etc.) along with editing aids (ruler, navigation pane, toolbars / ribbon). However, when you proofread a document, you may want to hide non-printable content in order to concentrate on text, and position the window side by side with the original document to consult it. Changing all these settings, resizing and positioning windows may take some valuable time, especially when you need to switch between tasks several times during a day.
Quick Workspaces is a series of commands designed to make it easy to save the visual settings of Microsoft Word under “profiles”, and restore these profiles when needed. It takes only a few seconds to restore a workspace profile, applying a variety of visual settings to Microsoft Word windows.
Saving the workspace to a profile
To save the visual settings of Microsoft Word to a profile, use the Save Workspace command available under Quick Workspaces menu, either from the top-level ribbon (toolbar in Word 2003 or earlier versions) or from TransTools menu.
By default, there is only one profile called “Main”. This is an empty profile which you can use to save Word settings. You can create any number of new profiles by clicking the
button, or remove unneeded ones by clicking .
Once you have determined the name of the profile and selected it from the list, choose which visual settings you want to save under this profile. All visual settings are grouped into categories:
- Visibility of non-printing document content: paragraph marks (), tabs (), regular or non-breaking spaces ( ), manual hyphens (), hidden text (), various types of breaks (, , etc.), as well as bookmarks (grey  markers around bookmarked text), fields (grey shading when the cursor is placed in an updatable field), table gridlines (may help to see table layout if a table has invisible borders).
- Document appearance: whether to show or hide the ruler ( ) and the navigation pane.
- Ribbon / toolbars visibility: under Word 2007 and later versions, the ribbon can be minimized for more editing space; under Word 2003 and earlier versions, you can hide unnecessary toolbars for more editing space.
- Window size: horizontal and vertical dimensions of the window, whether it is maximized or not.
- Window position: where the window is located on the screen.
Checking a specific checkbox means that you will save the current setting of each parameter in the specific group into the selected profile. If you uncheck the checkbox, the parameters will not be saved to the profile, and restoring the profile will not change these settings in any way.
For more options, you can click
button. This gives you control of each setting under each group. For example, here are some of the settings under Non-printing Document Content group:
For each setting, you can see the current value of the setting (it will be selected and the word “(Current)” will appear next to it). Each parameter has three options: Show, Hide or Do not change. If you choose “Show”/“Hide”, this parameter will be activated or deactivated, respectively, when the profile is restored. If you choose “Do not change”, the setting will not be changed when the profile is restored.
At the bottom of the window in Advanced mode you will see two options: “This is a default workspace” and “Restore this workspace automatically when Word starts”:
This is a default workspace: if you check this option, the selected workspace profile will become the default one. This means that it will be selected automatically in the list when you use Save Workspace or Restore Workspace commands. You can also use Restore Default Workspace command to restore this workspace quickly.
Restore this workspace automatically when Word starts: if you check this option, the selected workspace profile will be restored automatically when Microsoft Word is launched. This may be useful in some situations.
Restoring a workspace from a profile
To restore a workspace profile, you have two options:
- You can restore any workspace profile by running Restore Workspace command from Quick Workspaces menu:
When you select a specific profile, before pressing button, you can see a description of the settings that will be applied when it is restored.
- You can restore the default workspace profile by running Restore Default Workspace command from Quick Workspaces menu.
Typical usage scenarios
Here is a list of some typical usage scenarios:
- Maximize editing space on a small monitor: when you proofread or translate documents on a small screen, you may need to maximize the editing space so you can see broader context. At the same time, you do not typically need access to various formatting tools during these operations. Therefore, you can maximize the window, hide the ruler and the navigation pane, and minimize the ribbon (or hide formatting toolbars if you use Word 2003 or earlier). Then, use Save Workspace command and save the following setting groups: Document Appearance, Ribbon / Toolbar Visibility, Window Size, Window Position. You can call this profile “Maximize editing space”. It also makes sense to save a different profile which will allow you to restore the ruler, show the ribbon / toolbars, etc., to return to non-maximized layout.
- Hide or show non-printing symbols depending on the situation: there are times when you want to concentrate on the text rather than formatting (e.g., when you proofread a document), and there are times when you absolutely need to see all the formatting (e.g., when you format a document before or after translation). Therefore, you can create one profile which will show all non-printing marks (choosing the first group, “Visibility of non-printing document content”), and another profile to hide these.
- Resizing document width to 50% of screen size (on Windows XP): while Windows 7 offers a way to quickly resize windows to 50% of screen size (with Snap feature), there is no such feature on Windows XP. Prior to using Save Workspace command, you can resize a document window to 50% of the screen by width and position it in the top-left corner, run Save Workspace command with Window Size and Window Position options, and then restore this workspace when you need to open two documents side by side.
- Saving window appearance when using TM Companion and Terminology Companion (for Wordfast Classic users): if you are a Wordfast Classic user and you use TM Companion and/or Terminology Companion features, you may run into problems with window positioning after you restart Microsoft Word. Using Save Workspace command, you can save the preferred position and size of the main document window and quickly restore it later.
When you run Save Workspace command and select a profile from the list, the specific options saved under this profile will not be reflected in the window. This decision was made during the design of the tool to avoid unnecessary complexity. Let me know whether you need this and I will be sure to discuss this with you and implement it in future versions.