By Jost Zetzsche © 2005 International Writers’ Group, compiled by Yves Avérous
The Tool Kit is an online newsletter that comes to its subscribers’ mailboxes bimonthly. In Translorial, we are offering you a quarterly digest of Jost’s most helpful tips of the past season. If you would like to subscribe to The Tool Kit, visit www.internationalwriters.com/toolkit/  and mention Translorial during subscription; Jost will put your name in a drawing for one free Tool Box book per edition.
Best Cheap Software of 2004
Here are four programs that have really helped me throughout last year:
- Maxthon (see www.maxthon.com ), formerly MyIE2, must be the most often-used application on my computer. It is only a “shell” to Internet Explorer, but it offers a whole new world of browsing. My hands-down favorite features are the tabbed browsing, the very effective pop-up protection, and the automatic domain completion for several different domains (you can type internationalwriters in the address field, and by pressing Ctrl+Enter, the browser will automatically open www.internationalwriters.com . Though this particular shortcut works in the plain version of Internet Explorer as well, in Maxthon you can set additional domains, such as Shift+Enter for .co.jp and Ctrl+Shift+Enter for .de). I was very willing to switch to Firefox when that was released but gave up after just a couple of days because I did not find the tabbed browsing as easily customizable as it is in Maxthon.
- Still in the “Internet section,” I use both Ad-Aware (see www.lavasoft.com ) and Spybot (see www.spybot.info ) to catch malicious spyware and adware running on my computer. I have found that it’s wise to have a combination of programs — some will catch what others don’t. For virus protection I have used Norton for many years but have just switched to F-Prot (see www.f-prot.com ) after mounting frustration with Symantec’s customer service.
- For searching through a large number of files, my all-time favorite Search & Replace (www.funduc.com ) has been a true friend this year. With the recent release of a whole host of new indexing tools from the likes of Google and Microsoft, however, this may change in the coming year(s).
- WordToys (see www.wordtoys.com ) has restored some of my enthusiasm for working in Word again. Its very large number of new and newly combined options for Word are fun to discover and work with and are serious productivity tools (such as quick access to special characters or language-specific quotes or symbols, the AutoPilot that allows you to combine up to 20 processes with a single command, or the advanced save and copy options).
Unformatted Pasting in Word
Hans Leander came up with another good way of pasting unformatted text into Word (great when you copy and paste from a website, email, or DTP application):
“Open a Word document. Click Tools> Macro> Record New Macro, give the macro a name, and click OK. The macro recording starts. Click Edit> Paste Special> Unformatted Text> OK> Stop Recording. “Then click View> Toolbars> Customize> Commands> Categories> Macros and scroll down in the Commands list. Find your new macro, select it, and drag it up to a toolbar and drop it there. Close the Customize window. You now have a button for your Paste Special/Unformatted function.
“Last, click View> Toolbars> Customize again and right-click on your new button. A dropdown menu opens, and you can change the name in the Name field to make the button smaller. Close the Customize window.”
A question from reader Lucius A. Passani (www.proz.com/pro/53653 ):
“I am presently editing a text that is highly repetitive but distributed among various files which cannot be consolidated. It would be great to have software that can remember the sentences I corrected (sort of a monolingual TM) and then, if the same sentence appears in a different file, suggest this corrected sentence.”
There are probably a number of ways to go about this but I think the smartest is the one that Lucius himself hinted at. Most translation memory tools allow you to create a translation memory project that goes from one language to the same language (or maybe from British English to American English, Canadian French to European French, or Traditional Chinese to Simplified Chinese). If your tool doesn’t allow you to do that, you could also just “cheat” by calling the source language whatever you prefer and the target language your real target language so that you can still use the spellchecking facilities of your tool in that language.
What’s in Your Machine?
Peter Golisch pointed me to the little freeware download Belarc Advisor (www.belarc.com ) which provides a detailed report of all the hardware and software that you have installed, including operating system, processor speed and memory, system serial number, printers, controllers, displays, etc.
I installed and ran it and was thrilled with the detailed report I received (including all the serial numbers of the software I’ve installed!).