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

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.

Felix tips

Felix tip: Switch between concordance and match views

Felix has a concordance feature that allows you to see how you’ve translated a word or phrase in the past. It can be used from the Felix window, from the MS Word interface, from the MS PowerPoint interface, and from TagAssist (select Felix >> Concordance from the menu).

The results of concordance are then displayed in the memory window, which will look something like this:

Concordance search results in Felix

(The matching word or phrase is highlighted.)

If you already had a memory lookup displayed in the memory window, you might want to show it again. To do so, select View >> Current View >> Match View from the menu (or press Alt + V, V, M).

Felix menu command to switch to match view

You’ll then be back at the match view:

Felix match view with sentence lookup

(You can go back to concordance view by selecting View >> Current View >> Search View.)

Note that the same functionality is available from the Glossary window as well.

Felix tips

Felix tip: Choosing your own segmentation

The Felix CAT tool

Clicking the right arrow button (or pressing Alt + Right Arrow) will select the next segment for Felix to look up. In MS Word, MS PowerPoint, and TagAssist, this means the next sentence or line of text. For MS Excel, this means the next cell in the worksheet.

Sometimes you may want more fine-grained control of how segements are selected. This is quite simple: just select the text you want to look up, and click the “L” button (or press Alt + L). That will be the segment that Felix looks up. This works in MS Word, MS PowerPoint, and TagAssist.

It’s also fairly easy to extend your lookup segment. This is useful if you want to translate two or more segments/sentences as a single unit. From Word or PowerPoint, press Ctrl + Right Arrow to extend the lookup to the next segment. In TagAssist, the keyboard shortcut is Alt + X. (I plan on making the keyboard shortcuts more consistent in a future version.) Since the Excel interface is cell-based, it’s not possible to extend the lookup from Excel.

In Microsoft Word, you can also control several aspects of segmentation from the preferences. From the Felix menu, select Felix Preferences, then the Segmentation tab.

Felix segmentation preferences for MS Word

Here you can select the “stop” characters (which characters mark the end of a segment), whether to skip segments containing only numbers (useful when translating tables of figures), and whether to skip segments unless they contain Asian characters, or unless they don’t contain Asian characters. (The label says Japanese, but it works for Japanese/Chinese/Korean. This is a UI bug that will be fixed in the next minor release.)

The Felix manual has more information about segmentation for the MS Word and MS PowerPoint interfaces.