So I sent off a few e-mails to some friends, asking what they felt the "top five" features of their choice of CAT tools are for their purposes. I'm still waiting for a few responses, but I'd like to share what I've heard so far. I'll add more as and when I get more feedback. Others are welcome to add their Top 5s in the comments.
The respondent here uses this tool exclusively and does a fine job of correcting me every time I put my foot in my mouth with a misstatement about the capabilities of the software. He wrote with his typical humility:
I don't think I'm the right person to do this. Mainly because OmegaT is the only tool I've used for the last nine years.Favourite features:
- It runs on Linux.
- It does what it says on the box.
- It *always* works. It doesn't hang or crash. I can't remember when it last did, if it ever did. Bugs are rare and when they do happen tend to concern secondary features that are still at the beta stage.
- It's fast; almost everything is near-instantaneous. (An exception is the "Search files" function, though I don't use that much and I doubt many others do, either.)
- "Upgrading" means downloading and unpacking, that's it.
Just gets the job done? Well, what more could one want? There are plenty of tools that often don't manage that. I've seen huge improvements in this environment in recent years, and there are certainly worse tools to start with. It is Open Source but worth taking seriously for professional work.Not very sexy, sorry. Like my '99 Mazda 626 wagon, it just gets the job done
SDL Trados Studio
The respondent here is still using Studio 2009, so surely more notable features will be discovered after an upgrade to Studio 2011. But for his team of top-notch translators, the three he indicated are pretty persuasive:
- AutoSuggest (which is apparently so good that Kilgray will implement it in the next memoQ version, a rare exception to emulation that more often runs the other way)
- File format filters. (I have often used SDL filters to prepare content to translate in other environments)
- Project package sharing. (This is useful in any environment which offers it, but there is a need for all vendors to get off their butts and support interoperable package standards.)
See Victor Dewsbery's comment below. DVX used to be my favorite tool, one whose innovations have still to be matched in some respects by any of the competition. Its visionary software architect is arguably one the greatest contributors ever to the development of user friendly CAT tools.I am not personally familiar with the current version of the software at the present time nor with the server solution which was finally released.
I spend far too much time on my blog talking about my fave features of this tool, so I asked a few others to have their say. One said that the things she found most helpful were
- PDF alignment (although it doesn't always work)
- The infinitely customizable interface - fonts, colors, sizes of windows, placement of windows, horizontal/vertical split, etc.
- Extensive [bilingual] export options (memoq bilingual, xliff, trados, two-column rtf)
- Lean software - version 5.0.62 is under 26 MB download, even smaller than version 3.0.37 which was nearly 35. Compare this to the bloat of SDL - currently 338 MB if my research is correct.
- "Duh" comments: very responsive support, frequent new releases and features, inexpensive
Do you use one of these tools or another and want to share the features which help you most to be productive or which just put a big smile on your face? Have your say in the comments.