The Tool Kit is an online newsletter that comes to its subscribers’ mailboxes twice a month. In Translorial, we offer a quarterly digest of Jost’s most helpful tips from the past season. BY JOST ZETZSCHE © 2012 INTERNATIONAL WRITERS’ GROUP, COMPILED BY YVES AVÉROUS

Refactored memoQ
Rather than just looking at the new features of recent tools and versions of memoQ, I chatted with the developers to get some of the background story. I met with István and Gábor to hear them out about version 6.

Much like previous major releases, this one has a “theme,” something that explains and justifies the changes that are being made. It’s “refactoring.” By “refactoring,” Kilgray wants to communicate that they left everything the way you’re used to, only better. By “refactoring,” of course, they also let us know that they are still geeks at heart (this may have been unintentional, though). But, hey, who doesn’t love geeks, especially of the Kilgray kind, who strive for excellence with utmost precision and reliability.

The program has not only become faster but also smaller. A case in point is the Project home page, where a confusing (and ever-growing) array of options from previous versions has been streamlined and renamed (Import sounds better than Add document), and we’re all glad that options like the mysteriously named Reimport as… or Import/update bilingual have vanished.

memoQ developers have taken many steps in the right direction. There are some interesting new features for the freelancer who uses the Pro edition. A number of those have been in the Server version for some time but have now made it into the Pro version as well. These include version control (so you can compare and track two different versions of the same source document) or folder connections (this allows you to instruct memoQ to watch a specific folder for source documents; if files in that folder are updated, memoQ will automatically transfer those updates to the relevant project). memoQ also offers predictive typing (AutoComplete) now–just like TradosDéjà Vu and Wordfast–which many users have really grown to appreciate as a productivity aid. The predictions that are displayed come from the termbase, subsegmenting results and automatic concordance matching. You can also select between having the suggestions shown in a ghostly, greyed-out script in the actual translation cell, or a dropdown box like other products, or both.

Earlier versions of MS Office (.doc, .xls) files can now also be processed without having MS Office installed; you can view the target cell you are currently translating in underneath the source cell if you would like to; the Concordance dialog has been revised; and the list goes on and on.

Should you upgrade? Most certainly if you are on the automatic maintenance plan. (By the way, you can leave the earlier version of memoQ simultaneously installed to be able to serve customers who are still using version 5, since due to a different database structure you cannot work with version 6 on a version 5 server project.)

What if you haven’t bought into the maintenance plan and now have to retroactively pay for it to get to the latest version? Well, you should upgrade if you are a power user who enjoys the latest features, OR if you would like the program to be faster, a little bit “lighter” and a little less error-prone, OR if your clients are using the new version and you want to continue to work with them.

The better kind of PDF
I recently stumbled on an interesting twist to PDFs and the ability to process them directly in translation environment tools. It has to do with the way that PDFs can be created and then processed in the free office suites and LibreOfficeLibreOffice just released a new version 3.4 that you can download.)

LibreOffice (by default) and (through an extension that you can download right here) offer the option of creating a PDF that has a LibreOffice/ file embedded, making this PDF completely editable within its originating application. In fact, when you open this PDF within LibreOffice/, it automatically opens in the word processing/spreadsheet/presentation component it was created in just like a normal document. If it’s “only” a normal PDF that is not directly editable, it opens in the graphics component.

These kinds of PDF files are called hybrid PDFs, and you can create them by selecting File> Export as PDF> Create hybrid file ( or Embed OpenDocument file (LibreOffice).

There are plenty of translation environment tools that offer PDF compatibility, but in essence they have simply integrated one of the readily available PDF converters. For small and less heavily edited PDFs this often works fine, but for more complex PDFs you’re usually better off converting the PDF using your own preferred method and then processing it in a TEnT.

The latest TEnT that offers this PDF compatibility is the latest version of Déjà  Vu X2. It uses the same PDF converter as VisualTran MateAlchemy Publisher and Wordfast Pro–the BCL Technologies plugin–but Déjà Vu X2 automatically also uses CodeZapper, a little utility that strips the resulting Word files of unnecessary codes, resulting in much cleaner files than some of its competitors. JZ