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Aug 15, 2013

Comments on memoQ comments and YouTube playlists

I recently produced a small video tutorial on what I feel are the useful aspects of the comment feature in memoQ 2013. Although quite a few new things have been introduced to commenting in the current version of the software, the real significance of these changes for ordinary users of the software is limited. Now that what was broken in the memoQ 2013 release is largely fixed, those who care about comments for offline use can continue to use this great feature without much inconvenience.

Here is an idiosyncratic overview of how I use comments in my projects (HINT: these embedded videos are easier to watch if you do that in full screen mode by clicking the icon at the lower right of the play window):

Time  Description
0:28  Opening the comment dialog
1:01  Commenting highlighted text
1:48  Adding "codes" to comments for later filtering
2:44  Selecting all files, creating a view with all comments
3:35  Comments shown in speech bubble tooltips
3:57  Creating a filtered list of comments (code = '@PM')
4:50  Creating a filtered list of comments (code = '@CST')
5:20  Exporting commented segments in a bilingual RTF file
6:15  Check segments for extraneous comments before sharing the exported list
What I didn't show here is my usual way of accessing and exiting the comment dialog: keyboard control, opening with Ctrl+M and exiting with a quick tab to the OK button and hitting the Enter key. Having multiple comments makes editing slightly less convenient if one has to click on an icon, but the ease of deleting an entire comment in a series, and the separation of comments by a new paragraph in an exported RTF bilingual file are compensating conveniences.

That six-and-a-half minute video really has more information than someone generally familiar with the old way of using comments in memoQ would care about. The only part which might really interest someone who already knows how to create an exportable view with commented segments is how the procedure for creating views of selected comments differs from creating a view with all comments. So I decided to use the excerpting feature of YouTube playlists to create a special "view" of the tutorial video which shows only that little bit from which I believe many experienced users may benefit.

(Use the link above to look at the trimmed playlist on YouTube - I removed the embedded video code here, because its behavior in the Google Blogger environment seems to be quirkier than links on a Moodle web page or Facebook page. This technique is useful but may still require careful testing of the environment in which it will be used.)

No index needed here - the video is barely over a minute long in its two parts. This technique of playlist excerpting on YouTube could be used to "mine" longer teaching videos for specific bits of information needed to understand a specific issue. One can combine separate video clips, "in whole or in part" as contract lawyers like to say, or individual segments of a single video as I have done here. This is a useful technique which, along with time index lists such as that shown above, I hope to see applied more often for the education and support of translators.

How does Kilgray present the state of commenting in memoQ? The video clip below is from Kilgray's YouTube channel - interesting, but really another world. The video shows the commenting feature as it was at the end of May, with "innovations" which sparked the Commentgate controversy.

This presentation is really very focused on users of the memoQ server, because all that lovely highlighting is only visible in the memoQ environment itself, and these comments with highlighting do not currently export in the usual medium for sharing feedback (comments) with clients offline: RTF bilingual files. In fact, it's really a shame that in all the years that memoQ has offered exportable comments, this very helpful feature has hardly been part of the official teaching, because in the real world of client relationships, it is often a great asset.


  1. Hello,
    We use comments for a different purpose. Localising software means there are length limits for certain strings. We parse this maxlength info into the Comments (using the multilingual filter) and then run a QA to check the length of the localised strings against this value.

  2. Interesting process, Levente. But why not just use the usual length QA features in memoQ for this? What special contribution does the comments feature make here? I assume this parsing is done on an RTF bilingual export. I have quite a few QA manipulations I do on these.

  3. We do that as well, but that's at the end of the translation process. It could be a personal thing, but I prefer upstream support to downstream verification. By adding the maxlength info to the comment I provide the translators the option to pick whichever method they like.
    We usually localise xls/csv files for multiple languages, and the source document contains this maxlenght info in a column, which we parse as comment. We also use reviewers, who can also run the length QA (we store/share the QA settings resource on our memoQ server).
    The RTF bilingual export from my point of view is inefficient, because every edit made on the RTF has to go back to the TM by importing the file back to the project and confirming the changed rows again (after reviewing them one by one of course).

  4. So it is now 2016, and it would appear that comments on highlighted text are now exported in bilingual RTF files. However, the selected text portions are not highlighted in the RTF, which would be useful, I think, even if there would of course be no way to connect these highlighted portions with multiple comments. I think this ought to be made optional. What do you think?

    Another idea I had today relating to comments, which would be useful to me at least, is if we had the option of using MS Word comments in the RTFs, instead of the Comment column.

    1. Good suggestions - send them to as a feature request.

  5. Hi Kevin

    There is a way in the 9.6 release to export lines with comments only?

    I mean exporting ONLY the lines that contain comments, not the table with comments included in the whole file

    this could be very useful when you are translating a 40,000 words file, and you ask your customer to fix your doubts (also called oddities or simply crap wrote down by unfit authors)

    1. Into Word, for example? Not as far as I know, since a complete document is exported in each case, just filled in with source text if the translation is incomplete. What's wrong with an RTF table in this case? It can be used with any source format.

      If you wanted an MS Word file with only the commented lines, you could probably do a VBA macro in Word, but I doubt it's worth the effort.


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