Oct 7, 2011

New version of CodeZapper

While I was traveling this week, our esteemed colleague Dave Turner released version 2.8 of his CodeZapper macros for Microsoft Word. I have written about these before; they are among the finest tools I know for cleaning up messy RTFs and MS Word formats that make work with translation environment tools Hell because of superfluous and disruptive tags.

CodeZapper can be a big help with any translation environment which displays tagging in some way. These include OmegaT, Déjà Vu, memoQ and the various Trados instances. For whatever reason, no tools vendor has seen fit to create a quality management tool of this same caliber, though Kilgray at least partially addressed this with a memoQ filter option that often does help with trash tags.

Version 2.8 of CodeZapper is currently available by direct request to the author, Dave Turner. There is now a separate "read me" file explaining the functions of the macro buttons in some detail.

If you benefit from this tool, please support its creator. I do. He has saved me many, many hours of tribulation in translation, far more value given that the little money he has received from me. Here is the first part of Mr. Turner's documentation to give more background on this useful tool:
What is “CodeZapper”?

"CodeZapper" is a set of Word macros (programs written in VBA to automate operations in applications) designed to “clean up” Word files before being imported into a translation environment program such as Deja Vu DVX, memoQ, SDL Trados Studio, TagEditor, Swordfish, OmegaT, etc.
Word documents are often strewn with junk or “rogue” tags (so-called “smart tags”, language tags, track changes tags, soft hyphenations, scaling and spacing changes, redundant bookmarks, etc.).
This tagged information shows up in the DVX or MemoQ grid as spurious {1}codes{2} around, or even in the mid{3}dle of, words, making sentences difficult to read and translate and generally negating many of the productivity benefits of the program.
OCR’d files or files converted from PDF are even worse.
CodeZapper tries to remove as many of these tags as possible while retaining formatting and layout. It also contains a number of other macros which may be useful before and after importing files into DVX or MQ (temporarily transferring bulky images (photos, etc.) out of a file, to speed up import, and then back in the right place after translation, moving footnotes to a table at the end of the document and back after translation, for example).

Is it freeware?

No. To help ensure its continued availability and improvement, there is now a one-time, 20 euro charge for the program. This will entitle you to free future upgrades.

Is it risk free?

Although it’s been fairly extensively tested on a range of files, you should obviously only use it on a backup copy of your files and at your own risk.

How do I install it?

CodeZapper come in the form of a Word template (.dot file) with a custom toolbar which you can either copy to the Word startup directory (following the path in Tools/Options/File Locations/Startup) in which case it will be enabled on starting Word. or to the “Template” directory containing Normal dot and other Word templates (following the path in Tools/Options/File Locations/User templates). You then enable it by selecting it in Tools/Templates and Add-ins, as and when needed.


  1. I also fully recommend CodeZapper (and the other useful tools Dave Turner has developed).

    I bought the tool as soon as I saw it mentioned (probably here in Translation Tribulations).

  2. Dave's stuff is super. I have his latest PhraseMiner as well, which I hope to review soon. I remember when all this started ages ago on the dejavu-l list and how Dave came through when group efforts sort of fizzled and commercial entities ignored the sufferings of working translators. These macros can help ANYONE who works with RTF or MS Word in a translation environment tool that supports and displays format tags. No exceptions. No commercial product I know has this scope.

  3. May I chime in to highly recommend CodeZapper? I almost always use it after OCR, when converting PDFs to a translatable Word file. Dave Turner also provides excellent support (initially, I had some problems with choosing the right version for my then dated Word 2002, and he, within shortest time, emailed me several CodeZapper options to find the right one). Very recommendable indeed!

  4. I am glad to hear there is a "read me/help" file. I had tried to use CodeZapper in the past but never managed to figure out how. I will give it a try again. Fortunately, most of my files do not require it, but surely I will need it one day.

  5. Let me chime in too and add my praise for CodeZapper, which I have been using ever since Kevin recommended it to me. DV's a disaster with docx files, and I now zap every file I create from an OCR'd PDF. Not having to work around all those useless codes improved segment readability and my productivity. And indeed, Dave offers excellent support. I had trouble with the spellchecker after zapping, and Dave had me sorted in 2 minutes.


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