Other tools release translation memory

Version 0.2 of XLIFF Translator released

I’ve just released version 0.2 of XLIFF Translator.

You can download the latest version here.

This is still beta software, so please use for evaluation only.

Here are the main improvements to this version:

  • Support for opening single XLIFF files

    When you open an XLIFF file, the file’s directory is opened as the current project, and the XLIFF file is selected in the translation view.

  • Wide range of XLIFF files passing test suite.

    An XLIFF Translator user kindly supplied me with a variety of XLIFF files, and XLIFF Translator can handle all of them.

  • Japanese localization finished.

    There were a few strings that didn’t have Japanese localizations. I’ve added those translations in this version.

Thanks to user ysavourel who provided great feedback in the Felix forums.

About XLIFF Translator

XLIFF Translator is a free (MIT license) Windows desktop application for translating XLIFF files. XLIFF is a standard XML format for translation.

Other tools

Tip: Getting word counts from PowerPoint documents

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

Other tools

TagAssist version 2.5 released

I’ve just released version 2.5 of TagAssist, a free utility for translating HTML and XML files.

Download the latest version here.

This is the first update to TagAssist in a while. Although most of the improvements are minor, this released forms a solid base for continued development, so expect updates on a more regular basis now.

Two new features of note in version 2.5 are automated checking for updates, and a log viewer.

Once a week, TagAssist will ask you to check online for updates. If you don’t want to be bothered, just check “Don’t ask again.” You can also check for updates manually, by selecting Help >> Check for Updates from the menu.

Check for updates menu selection

There’s also now a log viewer, so you can view the TagAsisst logs and send them to support if you have problems with the program. To access the log viewer, go to the Start menu, and select All Programs >> Assistant Suite >> TagAssist >> Show Logs.

Felix Other tools

Using Copilot to diagnose and fix problems on users’ computers

I just finished using Fog Creek’s Copilot for the first time with a Felix user, and I must say that I’m impressed.

Using Copilot, I was able to remotely control the user’s desktop from my own computer. In a few minutes, I was able to run through most of the possible issues, eventually finding the problem (the user had been using an older version of Felix, and the Felix interface for Word had apparently crashed, because Word had disabled the Felix add-in).

From experience with other users, running through the kind of checklist I just completed using email or the telephone would have been extremely difficult, if possible at all. Copilot made it very easy to get in, find the problem, fix it, and get out while the user went for coffee. Very nice!

Other tools

Using Microsoft Excel as a glossary-conversion tool

As translators, we get glossaries in all sorts of formats: XML, HTML, tab-delimited text, comma-separated value (CSV), …

A good example is the Microsoft terminology glossary: a monstrous CSV file of terminology used for localizing Microsoft user interafaces.

We often need to convert these glossaries into other formats, especially to get them into a terminology management program. Microsoft Excel is actually a great tool for doing this. It can open all the formats listed above, and more. Using Felix, you could then import the glossary directly, or if you’re using some other tool, you could save the glossary in many popular formats, such as tab-delimited text or csv; chances are your terminology manager will support one of them.

Another cool trick with Excel is loading glossaries from the Internet. When Excel is installed, the context menu in Internet Explorer gets an “Export to Microsoft Excel” command; so when you have a glossary in a table on a website, you can simply right click on it, export it to Excel, and from there put it into any of a number of formats.

Export to Microsoft Excel menu selection

Of course, there are limitations to using Excel as an intermediary for glossary conversion. The main one is when terminology managers use special formats, which Excel can’t interpret in a meaningful way. In this case, you can often get around it by using one of the generic “save as” file options of your terminology manager.

Other tools

Word tip: copying text formatting

Often when working with MS Word, you’ll need to apply some common text formatting in several parts of your document. This can be a hassle if you’ve got to select a bunch of different terms, then click on bold, italic, etc. each time.

You can make this easier by “cloning” the formatting for a given segment of text. Just select the text in question, and press Ctrl+D. The Word Font dialog box appears:

Word Font dialog box

Click OK to dismiss the dialog. Now select some other text, and press the F4 key — the selected text is given the same formatting. You can continue to do this, selecting more text and pressing F4.

You can also do this with the Paragraph dialog box (Alt + O, P) and the other dialogs that affect appearance.

Other tools website

Find broken links on your website

I’ve been revamping the Felix manual, and I was worried about creating broken links in the process.

I was able to use a very cool tool called Xenu to find all the broken links on my site and quickly fix them. Xenu has a minimalistic interface, but it does what you need it to do, and very simply. First you feed it a URL or the path to a file on your computer. Xenu then spiders your site, and pops up a web page with all the broken links and the pages containing them. This is a great touch, because you can then jump right to the offending page and see where the broken link is.

The Google webmaster tools also give you a report on broken links, but it’s usually outdated (since they last spidered your site) and it doesn’t tell you where the broken links were. Xenu is thus a valuable addition to the webmaster’s toolkit.