;   Medical Translation Insight: TRADOS and MS Office - what's the interaction? - ForeignExchange Translations

TRADOS and MS Office - what's the interaction?With every new release of MS Office, anxiety takes hold amongst translation service providers: What are the implications of this new version with existing software and tools, particularly TRADOS' translation memory application? How will we deal with bugs; what plug-ins might be needed?

Office 2007 files, while not necessarily "new", are no exception: .docx files in particular are no friends of TRADOS, leaving linguists to wonder whether upgrading to the next version of TRADOS is worthwhile. While it's possible to save down .docx files to .doc, this is not an ideal solution since the formatting of the document is often compromised, not to mention the additional formatting time that conversion may take.

Nevertheless, as more and more organizations to implement Office 2007 on an exclusive level, this issue poses a real threat, with the implication that linguists will need to upgrade to newer versions of TRADOS.

The earliest TRADOS version compatible with Office 2007 is TRADOS 2007 (8), which also supports Office 2003 and offers full support of Word translation in TagEditor with advanced Word features. Even newer is SDL 2009 Studio, which is a completely new translation environment with a new translation memory format. This also supports Office 2007 and older.

At ForeignExchange, we encourage the use of TRADOS 2007 (8) but not the use of SDL 2009 Studio, which, as mentioned earlier, creates TMs in a new format. It's also interesting to note that TRADOS is no longer the only solution out there. Other translation memory environments such as MemoQ are rising in popularity and may solve some of these issues.

And watch out for Office 2010. A public beta release will be available shortly, and until then it is unknown how the latest Office version will interact with TRADOS. If past is prologue, we can all expect interesting times, filled with late nights and software upgrades.

Further reading if you are confused by all of this talk about "translation memories":

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  1. Elliot said...

    Thanks for posting.

    Just to let you know there are a few tools with better file filters. The XTM file filters are second to none and handle docx files like a dream!

    Just want to add that XML-INTL Ltd are developing a new version of XTM built for the individual and small business! It will be ready soon.

    All the best,
    amaxson said...
    @Elliot: Thanks for the info. ForeignExchange is continually testing new CAT tools and looks forward to a new release of XTM to test. We are always on the look out for ways to make everyone's lives easier.

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