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Dec 15, 2008

Templates for quicker DVX project setup

One of the things that does get on the nerves of some Déjà Vu users is going through the Project Wizard to set up a project each time some little file needs to get translated. Some people get around this by having a "master project" with all the settings for a particular client; small new jobs get added to this as they come along. Somewhere I read a suggestion to create a template with all the settings for a particular client and copy this template into each new project folder and use it.

Today I was reading the "SDL Trados Studio 2009" review on the Tracom blog which described a number of questionable "advantages" of Trados (when I saw the comment about the over/under arrangement of segments being superior to an SDLX/DVX/Across/MemoQ columnar arrangement, I wondered what they were smoking). One point, however seemed plausible: the ability to "plunge right in" (more or less) and translate a file without a lot of preparation, then clean it, deliver it and write the bill. "Gee," I thought, "Maybe that's right."

I thought about it for a while and decided to try a little test. I made a DVX "template project", with no client or subject area specified. I saved it in my main folder for current projects. Then, with an eye on the second hand of my watch, I opened a folder with a little press release I have to translate, pasted in a copy of the template, double-clicked the icon to launch DVX, then I opened up the Project Explorer and used the drag & drop technique to add the file straight from the desktop folder (rather than use the program's internal navigation - I'd never tried this before, but I thought "why not?"). Then I right-clicked the file listed and imported it. The whole process took well under one minute. Now if I feel like assigning it to a client or categorizing the job, I can do so quickly via Project > Properties...

What was that about "plunging right in"? If I try to assign client or category attributes in Trados the whole process will probably take longer. Or not - I don't really care any more. This is just another typical example of unsubstantiated assumptions used to justify continued kowtowing to an abusive "market leader". That said, I do agree that other tool vendors could do a lot to simplify their project setup processes, and they could certainly do more to explain shortcuts. I hope one day they do.

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