Aug 30, 2012

Reimporting memoQ 6 bilingual files

Changes in the translation menu options in version 6 of memoQ have caused a little confusion with some users. The differences in handling "memoQ bilingual" files, which are used for external translation or review, seem to cause particular stress in some cases.

In previous versions of memoQ, the bilingual files had a special command for importing, re-importing or updating (Import/update bilingual). In memoQ 6, this was consolidated with the Import function, which replaces its predecessor in earlier versions, Add document.

memoQ automatically detects that the file is a bilingual document associated with a file in the project. When the file is selected, the appropriate import options for the bilingual update will be set automatically:

The file name displayed is actually the name of the file to be updated, not the name of the bilingual file. Clocking OK updates the translation file with the changes in the bilingual document - in the example shown above a bilingual RTF table created from the document to be translated. The results of the update are shown in a dialog:

After that, the changes can be viewed with tracked changes features if desired (if versioning is activated):

Even without tracked changes, the status of updated segments will be set to edited, so these segments can be found quickly using the filters to confirm that the changes are acceptable before the finished document is exported.

Aug 29, 2012

Replacing bitmap graphics in MS Office 2007/2010

A few weeks ago I published a series of posts about different aspects of embedded objects in DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files and how to translate them a bit more conveniently. When I described this procedure to a colleague this afternoon, he thought it was a solution for convenient substitution of bitmap graphics in these files as well. Well, sort of, but not quite.

If you rename the extension of a DOCX file to ZIP and open the ZIP file using Windows Explorer (in order not to mess up the compression), you will see a folder named word.

 Inside this word folder are other folders of interest:

The embeddings folder has the objects such as Excel tables or PowerPoint slides described in previous posts. The bitmap graphics or pictures are in the media folder, however:

The view inside the media folder above shows one bitmap graphic (the JPEG file) and various other files with images of the embedded objects (an equation, and Excel table and a PowerPoint slide). Only the bitmap files are of real interest. If other graphic files localized for the target language are named the same as the original files in the media folder and substituted there, when the ZIP files is renamed to have its original extension, the substituted graphics will appear in the document the next time it is opened.

This way, for example, screen shots for an entire file can be substituted quickly. One could, of course do this by a number of other means, but this way is fairly convenient and could probably be automated without much ado if your organization needs to make such substitutions a lot.

Addendum: I was curious about those other files in the media folder - the ones with the views of the embedded objects. So I deleted them to see if they would re-generate when the document is opened. Instead, this message was displayed at the location of each object:

Double-clicking the "broken" object display opened the object and restored the view. So clearly, refreshing object views involves updating the content of the media folder.

Aug 4, 2012

Coping with embedded "BIN" objects in MS Office documents

When I published a procedure for getting at embedded objects in Microsoft Office documents, I mentioned that older documents in MS Office 2003 formats could be saved as Office 2007/2010 equivalents in order to access the embedded objects via Windows Explorer after renaming the extension to ZIP. What I failed to mention is that older format embedded objects are stored with a BIN extension, not the proper extension of the application with which they are associated. The icon above, for example, is for an embedded PowerPoint 2003 slide.

There are a few ways of dealing with this. If you know what the object should be, just re-name the extension to fit (PPT in this case). Or if you are importing to a CAT tool, specify the proper filter for the *.bin file. Here's an example for memoQ 6:

The number at the end of the file name before the extension indicates the order of the objects in the document, which may be helpful in identifying the new extension to use. If you want to put the translated objects back in the embeddings folder, remember to change the extensions of the older objects back to BIN.

Examining embedded objects in Microsoft Word

Recently I described a method for translating embedded objects in Microsoft Office documents. The final step in that method requires these objects to be refreshed by opening them manually or using a corresponding macro.

The macro below is intended for inspecting all the embedded objects in a Microsoft Word document. When run, it opens each of these objects if possible, regardless of type, and leaves the corresponding editing window open. This allows last minute changes to be made conveniently before the objects are saved and refreshed in the document view. A similar approach can be used for objects embedded in Excel or PowerPoint, though the references are a little different.

This macro could also be used to test quickly whether a large document has embedded objects to be dealt with. Sometimes it's hard to recognize these. It does not, however, open bitmaps inserted as pictures.
Sub openEmbeddedObjects()
   Dim longShapeCount As Long
   On Error Resume Next
   Application.ScreenUpdating = False
   longShapeCount = ActiveDocument.InlineShapes.Count
   If longShapeCount > 0 Then
      For i = 1 To longShapeCount
   End If
   Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

Aug 2, 2012

memoQuickie: pretranslation in memoQ

Pretranslating is the process of automatically translating a text or portions of it by comparison with a translation memory, the application of machine translation or the use of a previous version as a reference document. This description covers the first two cases.

Select Operations > Pre-Translate... from the menus.

Select the appropriate pretranslation settings for your file(s). In some cases, using TM-driven segmentation can greatly improve matching.

Here is an example of results with fuzzy matches from a translation memory and some segments (2 and 4) machine-translated (using the pseudotranslation engine as an example for contrast). Without machine translation or fragment assembly those segments would remain empty.

This method of pretranslation is often good to use as a follow-up step when translating with a reference document (i.e. a previousversion using the X-Translate function).