Archive for April, 2009

Felix tip: If the Felix menus/toolbars don’t show up

Apr. 30th 2009

If one of your MS Office programs (Word, Excel, or PowerPoint) crashes, the Felix menu and toolbar might not appear the next time you start that program. This could be because Office has disabled the Felix add-in.

To enable the add-in, do the following.

On Office 2000/XP/2003

  1. From the Help menu, select About Microsoft Office XXX (where XXX is Word, Excel, or PowerPoint).
  2. At the bottom of the dialog box, click Disabled Items.
  3. If Felix is on the list, enable it, and restart the program.

On Office 2007

  1. Click on the Office button (the round button in the upper left of the window).
    Microsoft Office button
  2. Click on Word/Excel/PowerPoint Options.
  3. In the left panel, click Add-ins.
  4. If Felix is in the list of disabled add-ins, then set the “Manage” list at the bottom of the window to “COM Add-ins”, and click Go. Select the “Felix Addin” checkbox, and click OK.

    If Felix isn’t on the list of disabled items, set the “Manage” list at the bottom to “Disabled Items”, and click Go. Enable “Felix Addin”, and click OK.

  5. Close the Options dialog, and restart Word/Excel/PowerPoint.

If the problem persists

If the problem persists, please consider sending me your Felix log files. To do this:

  1. From the Start menu, select All Programs >> Assistant Suite >> Felix >> Show Logs.
  2. Click the Send button.
  3. If you use Microsoft Outlook for email, it will ask you if you want to give permission for an external program to use email. Allow access, and then send the email with the log files attached.
Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in Felix, tips | 2 Comments »

Tip: Getting word counts from PowerPoint documents

Apr. 23rd 2009

Translators working on Microsoft PowerPoint® files often need to get word counts for creating estimates or invoices. While PowerPoint has a built-in statistics feature, the word count it provides is broken: it counts punctuation as words. (See below: it’s still broken as of PowerPoint 2007)

I have a free word-count program for Windows called Count Anything, which will provide word counts for PowerPoint documents, among others (Word, Excel, HTML, XML, …).

The next time you need a word count for PowerPoint, I suggest trying it out.


A PowerPoint document with five words

Above: A PowerPoint document with five words
Below: Six words in the properties dialog

Properties sheet says there are six words

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in Other tools | 1 Comment »

Align Assist version 0.9 released

Apr. 20th 2009

I’ve just released version 0.9 of Align Assist. The two main features of this new release are a “Check for Updates” feature, and a link to the online manual from the application.

Download the latest version here.

Check for Updates

From the Help menu, select Check for Updates… If the latest version of Align Assist is newer than your version, it will prompt you to download the latest version.

Align Assist will also check online for updates automatically once a week, unless you tell it not to (it will ask before going online).

Show Online Help

From the Help menu, select Online Help. The online manual opens in your Web browser.

About Align Assist

Align Assist is a free application that aligns legacy source and translation files, in order to make Felix translation memories (TMs).

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in align assist, Felix | No Comments »

Align Assist manual online

Apr. 19th 2009

The Align Assist manual is now online. The manual includes a quick start tutorial to help get up and started using Align Assist quickly.

I hope to have a Japanese version of the manual up shortly, and to continue to expand and improve the English version.

About Align Assist

Align Assist is a free application to convert legacy translations into Felix translation memories (TMs). Use it to take advantage of past translations you have done, before starting to use a CAT tool. Align Assist supports many different file formats, including Microsoft® Office, HTML, and XML.

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in align assist, Felix, tools | No Comments »

Memory Serves manual online

Apr. 17th 2009

The Memory Serves manual is now online.

The manual provides more detailed information about Memory Serves and how to use it. I’ll be adding to this manual continually, so if you have any questions about using Memory Serves, let me know!

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in Felix, Memory Serves | No Comments »

Memory serves version 1.2 released

Apr. 15th 2009

I’ve just released version 1.2 of Memory Serves.

Download the latest version here.

In addition to some minor bug fixes (like a problem adding records with non-ascii characters in the context field), version 1.2 of Memory Serves includes a new program called Memory Importer:

Memory Importer window

Uploading large memories or glossaries to Memory Serves would sometimes cause a time out error; you can use this application to import your translation memory (.ftm/.xml) and glossary (*.fgloss/.xml) files into Memory Serves, without worrying about time outs.

To launch Memory Importer, go to the Start menu, then select All Programs >> Memory Serves >> Memory Importer.

Next, simply select a memory or glossary file, then click Import. You can also edit the meta information about the memory, such as the source language, creator, or client, or add notes about the memory.

Note that you have to run Memory Importer on the computer where Memory Serves is installed. It can’t import memories over the network (yet).

About Memory Serves

Memory Serves is a free application that shares Felix translation memories and glossaries over a local network, allowing multiple translators to share their TMs/glossaries in real time. Translations added to the memory by one translator are available to the other translators instantly.

This is great when several translators are working on the same project, when you have a company-wide standard glossary, or any time you need to share a memory/glossary that is still being added to.

Memory Serves creates a Web server on your local machine using the open-source cherrypy framework. This server is visible within your LAN or VLAN only; it’s not visible to the entire Internet. The IP address it uses is that of your own computer.

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in Felix, Memory Serves | No Comments »

Memory Serves version 1.1 released

Apr. 11th 2009

I’ve just released version 1.1 of Memory Serves.

Download the latest version here.

This update includes a fix that will allow Memory Serves to work with Felix’s translation history feature (with the 1.4.6 release of Felix), as well as the following improvements:

  • It’s now possible to install Memory Serves for the current user, or for all users
  • Bug fix: The record creator name was replaced with the current user when uploading memories
  • Bug fix: An error occurred when editing a record in the browser, if there was another duplicate entry in the memory/glossary
Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in Felix | No Comments »

How much information to collect from users

Apr. 10th 2009

I’m starting to roll out a “check online for updates” feature for my various applications. So far, it’s implemented for TagAssist and Count Anything, and I’m gradually adding it to my other applications as I upgrade them.

I thus think that this is a good time to review my policy on collecting information from users. Right now, I use Google Analytics to track visitors to my site: things like what pages they visit, how long they stay on the site, what files they download, and what keywords they used to find the site. I don’t track individual users, but only trends to help me improve the site (like, a lot of visitors are searching for the keyword “PowerPoint”; I ought to add some content about translating PowerPoint files). I also never share this information with third parties (this is basically detailed in this site’s privacy policy).

I think that it’s pretty reasonable to collect this information, especially because I don’t track any individuals. At any rate, almost all the information I get through Google Analytics (and more) would be available from my Apache log files anyway.

But what about checking online? Even if Felix doesn’t send any information, the mere fact of connecting to my server tells me that somebody is running my software, and from the user’s IP address, I could tell a lot more (like link that IP address to the IP addresses of people who have downloaded the software — presto, download-to-install ratio).

So collecting that information could be useful to me, and it doesn’t violate my privacy policy. Even so, I’ve decided not to do it, because my users are checking online for updates: they’re not connecting to my server in order to feed me statistics, and I don’t think it’s reasonable for them to expect that.

Some other software makers are quite strident about “capturing” user information. Many will force you to give an email address before even allowing you to download their software, or make you contact them in order to get a price. They call people like me foolish to not grab every “lead” I can. I strongly suspect that most such companies are run by graduates of marketing or business programs, and not software developers.

But to me, it’s not about what you can do, or what will earn you the most money in the short term, or even what you can get away with. I prefer to be as open and transparent about my activities as possible, and if some action strikes me as sleazy or shady, I’d rather just avoid it.

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in marketing | No Comments »
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