Felix tips tools

Guest Post: Felix Rule Placement Tutorial

The following is a guest post by friend and Felix user Peter DeBiase. He originally wrote this as a tutorial for a friend, but it was so useful I got his permission to post it to the Felix blog. Thanks, Peter!

Ideas for Application of Felix’s New Rule-Based Placement Feature to Translation of WOSAs

-Peter Adriano DeBiase 2013/07/02

First Things First

Rule based placement is a relatively new feature in Felix, so you might not have it if you haven’t updated Felix in a while. The easiest way to check is to just go to the main memory window and select Tools. If there’s a Rule Manager… option, you’re good to go.

Launching the Rule Manager
Launching the Rule Manager

If not, it’s time for an update (Help > Check Updates…). I believe that as of the time of this writing (2013/07/01), the latest version of Felix is

Rule Based Placement Time!

In the patent translation industry, one document that you might run across is the Written Opinion of the International Searching Authority (WOSA). The most important part of a WOSA (where most of the translation needs to be done) is Box V. 2., which generally starts with a list of citations of prior art documents such as the following:


文献2:日本国実用新案登録出願4-34240号(日本国実用新案登録出願公開5-89553号)の願書に添付された明細書及び図面の内容を記録したCD-ROM(セイレイ工業株式会社),1993.12.07、全文、 図1,2(ファミリーなし)

The highlighted locations in each citation are just crying out for use of rule-based placement. Let’s look at each individually.

Each citation starts with the document number. We can set up a rule in Felix that will take a segment of the form “文献X” and magically turn it into “Document X”.

Select Tools > Rule Manager… and then select Add under Enabled Rules to add a new rule. This will display an Edit Felix Rule window. Set it up as follows.

Edit Felix Rule
Edit Felix Rule

That scary looking (\d+) and \1 are two examples of a very powerful tool called regular expressions, which is essentially like search and replace on steroids (note that they really are backslashes – my computer thinks it’s Japanese).

Gentle intro to regex, starting with the Source Field: “\d” means “look for a number here” and the added “+” means “it can be any number of digits.” The enclosing parentheses around the \d+ tell the computer to remember whatever the \d+ expression matches. Finally, the “\1” in the Target field tells the computer to take the thing it remembered from the Source field and insert it at the location of the “\1”.

If you’re confused, don’t worry, so am I. Know in advance that regular expressions have a (perhaps rightfully deserved) reputation for being difficult. Let it go for now, or read section 5.3 Rule-based Placement in the Felix Manual. That page also includes a link to a very good tutorial on regular expressions that may be of use if you find yourself wanting to go deeper into the rabbit hole later.

Now let’s looks at the other case: the date of the form 1994.04.28. We can set up another rule in Felix to turn this into “28 April 1994”, which is the correct way to write dates in WOSA citations.

Edit Felix Rule - 2
Edit Felix Rule – 2

Notice that this time we have two (\d+) expressions in the Source field – the computer will remember two things that are numbers of arbitrary length. Again, we can tell the computer where to put those two things in the Target field with the \1 (the first thing) and the \2 (the second thing) expressions.

Now, you might be saying, “Wait a second! That will only work for April!” And you are correct. We will have to make 12 separate rules to handle each month of the year. If it helps, you can copy and paste from the table below to save a little time. It might also be possible to make one super-rule to…rule…all of these cases if you know how to use conditionals in regular expressions, but personally my regex-fu isn’t quite there yet.

 WOSA Date Rules for Felix




WOSA Dates – January


\2 January \1

WOSA Dates – February


\2 February \1

WOSA Dates – March


\2 March \1

WOSA Dates – April


\2 April \1

WOSA Dates – May


\2 May \1

WOSA Dates – June


\2 June \1

WOSA Dates – July


\2 July \1

WOSA Dates – August


\2 August \1

WOSA Dates – September


\2 September \1

WOSA Dates – October


\2 October \1

WOSA Dates – November


\2 November \1

WOSA Dates – December


\2 December \1

(Note: The rules file can be downloaded here.)

The Payoff

So now, when we’re translating the citations in a WOSA, we’ll get some extra hits in our glossary from our rules:

Rule Placement
Rule Placement

And when we move to the next citation segment, those hits will be automatically updated as appropriate:

Rule Placement
Rule Placement

And the people rejoiced and there was much good in the land.

Is This Really Worth the Trouble?

That depends on what you mean by “worth” and “trouble.” We did just automate like 26 keystrokes, which is pretty cool, and now you’ll never miskey a document number or date again when you’re translating WOSAs so you can save time when proofing your translation, which is also pretty cool. There’s plenty of room for more use of rule based placement in translation of WOSAs, but to be honest I’m just getting started with those too so these are just some early ideas.

You’ve now also been exposed to regular expressions and rule-based placement in Felix, so you can extend what you learned here to making even better rules that are more suited to your translation work, because hey, we’re all translating different stuff. Also, applications of regex start to tend showing up everywhere once you know about them – it’s kind of like learning a new word and then suddenly you start hearing it all the time.


Version 1.0 of Jamming2Felix released

I’ve just released version 1.0 of Jamming2Felix.

Download the latest version here.

This version fixes some bugs when converting Jamming files.

About Jamming2Felix

Jamming2Felix is a free utility for converting Jamming glossaries into Felix format. Jamming is a popular glossary program in Japan.

Felix tools

A macro to export an MS Word table as a Felix TM

I’ve written a Word macro that will export a table as a Felix TM.

The table should be in the following format:

Source 1 Translation 1
Source 2 Translation 2

To Install

  1. Download the
    macro file. (Right click and choose “Save As…”)
  2. Unzip “”
  3. Launch Microsoft Word
  4. Press Alt + F11 to topen the Microsoft Word Visual Basic window.
  5. From the File menu, select Import File…

  6. Import the “RegisterTableTM.bas” file.
    Close the Visual Basic window.

To Use

Press Alt + F8 to get the macro window, and specify RegisterTableTM.RegisterTableTM.

Next, click Run.

The first table in the document will be exported as a Felix TM.

If you will be using a macro more frequently, then you can assign it a keyboard shortcut. To do so,

  1. Select Tools >> Customize
  2. Click Keyboard
  3. Set the “Categories” to Macros, and “Commands” to the macro you wish to assign
  4. Select “Press new shortcut key,” and press your keyboard shortcut.
  5. Click Assign.

Felix tools

Version 0.3 of XLIFF Translator released

I’ve just released version 0.3 of XLIFF Translator.

Get the latest version here.

Here are the main improvements:

  • “Review Mode” interface with side-by-side source and translation, and “note” field (see relevant manual entry)
  • “Auto Translate” and “Auto Translate to Fuzzy” functions implemented
  • Easier navigation through segments (see relevant manual entry)

Click here for the online documentation.

About XLIFF Translator

XLIFF Translator is a free tool for generating and translating XLIFF files. It’s made to work with the Felix translation memory system, but can also be used as an XLIFF editor/creator.

XLIFF Translator screen shot
XLIFF Translator
Felix tips tools

Using Analyze Assist with MS Office 2007/2008 format

The current version of Analyze Assist can’t recognize the new “.docx”/”.pptx”/”xlsx” file extensions in MS Office 2007/2010 by default. I will be adding these definitions in the next release of Analyze Assist, but in the meantime, you can configure Analyze Assist to recognize these file formats.

Analyze Assist uses something called “segmenters,” and you can add the “-x” extensions to the various segmenters to make Analyze Assist recognize them.

To do this, from the Tools menu, select Options. The following dialog appears.

Screen shot of the Options dialog in Analyze Assist

As shown in the screenshot above, add “;*.docx”, “;*.pptx”, and “;*.xlsx” to the respective fields, and click OK.

Analyze Assist will now recognize the “-x” formats.

Felix tools

Some Word macros for use with Felix

There are two main ways to extend Felix: through scripting and customizing its templates.

I’m planning to set up a dedicated section of the website with useful scripts and macros for automating Felix. In the meantime, there are two that I recently wrote for Felix users.


This Word macro will go through the current document, and highlight all terms for which there is a match in the currently loaded Felix glossaries.

Download HighlightGlossMatches


This Word macro will replace all the glossary matches in the current selection with their translations. It sorts the matches so that longer terms are replaced first.

Download ReplaceGlossMatches

To install one of the macros, first unzip it, and then from Word, press Alt + F11 to bring up the Visual Basic window. From Word 2007/2010, you could also go the the View ribbon, click Macros, and then click Create.

In the Visual Basic window, right click on Normal in the upper left window, select Import, and then import the unzipped macro module.

Incidentally, I’m also currently working on a tool that will make customizing the Felix templates easier. Stay tuned!

Felix tools

Beta version of XLIFF Translator released

I’ve just released the first beta version of XLIFF Translator, a free tool to generate and translate files in the XLIFF format using Felix.

Go to the XLIFF Translator home page


For this project, I’m experimenting with a new documentation system called Sphinx. The documentation it puts out is very pretty, and it’s easy to write as well.

See the XLIFF Translator documentation


I’ve created a forum on the Felix forum site for discussions, bug reports, and feature requests regarding XLIFF Translator.

XLIFF Translator Forum

Other Support

You’re also welcome to contact me directly with any questions or problems using XLIFF Translator.

This is an initial, beta release, so expect bugs. Your feedback will help me greatly to improve XLIFF Translator and get out a great 1.0 release.

align assist Felix tools

Align Assist manual online

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.


Analyze Assist version 1.2 released

I’ve just released version 1.2 of Analyze Assist.

Download the latest version here.

Here are the main improvements in this release:

  • The new Felix translation memory (TM) extension (*.ftm) is supported.
  • You can now drag and drop files into the file lists on the Analyze wizard.
Felix tools

Align Assist version 0.8 released

I’ve just released version 0.8 of Align Assist.

Download the latest version here.

New in this version:

  • Ability to save intermediate results.
  • Translation memories saved with the new “.ftm” extension by default (you can still save memories as “.xml” files as well.
  • Bug fix: ampersands and angle brackets were not properly escaped.

About Align Assist

Align Assist is a free utility for creating Felix translation memories from legacy translations. See the Align Assist page for details.