Aug 16, 2013

memoQ AutoCorrect: mysteries revealed

Actually, AutoCorrect isn't that mysterious to those familiar with it. Many Microsoft Office users love it or hate it. I usually love it when I type English, but when I switch between languages in the same document, strange mutations occur in my words and I often wonder how I could possibly have typed some of the things I seem to have typed and of course did not.

Last December when I started the research to update my book of memoQ tips (which is still in progress, because the software is a fast-moving target to describe), I found a way to migrate the AutoCorrect lists from Microsoft Word to memoQ (and vice versa). This was a happy day for me, as a Dutch partner had been asking for exactly that for a very long time, and Kilgray's Support had not been able to offer a solution. I never did get around to blogging my findings, but a few months later, a similar solution was published in the Kilgray Knowledgebase. It states that it's perhaps only for migrating AutoCorrect lists from MS Word 2003, but I used an old macro from MS Word 98 when I worked out the problem, and if that still functions for MS Word 2010, then I'm sure Kilgray's posted solution must be fine for new versions. (Just be careful to use UTF-8 as the code page of text files you transfer or there may be trouble.)

But the best solution was actually published a few years earlier by Val Ivonica. In Portuguese. She included the macro code, and I like her macro (or the one she got from someplace) better. For some strange reason, the only really good information available on memoQ AutoCorrect up to now that I could find is in Portuguese. There are some nice examples of useful AutoCorrect shortcuts for periods of a year from William Cassemiro on the Janela Tradutória blog.

I was quite surprised to learn that many users of memoQ have no idea what AutoCorrect is; Déjà Vu offers the same feature, but I think it's missing in the various Trados versions, possibly because of the history of Trados Workbench as an application used primarily in the MS Word environment. The Kilgray documentation I could find was rather skimpy and seemed entirely focused on typing shortcuts. The idea of correcting spelling or vocabulary differences between language variants wasn't anywhere I could find it.

So I put together this "little" overview of how AutoCorrect works in memoQ and how and where to manage the AutoCorrect list resources there. It's a start... perhaps Kilgray or someone else can fill in the missing bits.

Time  Description
0:38  Activating AutoCorrect in an open project
1:47  AutoCorrect in action while typing
3:30  How the "primary" AutoCorrect list "rules"
3:55  Slide show: overview of AutoCorrect
4:59  Slide show: Three places to manage AutoCorrect


  1. Kevin, yet another solution is using a tiny substitution application called Texter, developed by good people at Lifehacker. I've been using it for several years now. It works in every Windows program, including Word, memoQ and browsers. As far as I know, you have to type every word separately, but it works as a nice companion to other programs' AutoCorrect lists, especially if you are haunted by certain frequent typos (every translator knows his/her enemies: "transaltor" instead of "translator", "Nordhrein-Westfalen" instead of "Nordrhein-Westfalen", and so on).

    Plus, the app can be used not only for AutoCorrect, but also for shortcuts to include text elements that you have to type frequently (such as emails accompanying quotations for translation projects, the URL for your website(s), phrases like "Mit freundlichen Grüßen" and "Sehr geehrter Herr...", HTML code for when you're writing your website, and so on). Really useful stuff.

    This is where I first learned about Texter:

  2. Hi,
    I prefer to use an autocorrect script that works in ALL Windows applications.

  3. Do these other more universal solutions allow you you to maintain multiple lists, assign priorities to them and have several active at the same time? The appeal I find with the model of AutoCorrect I see in memoQ is that I can create multiple lists for various purposes and switch these on or off in combinations suited to a particular job. Thus it's easier to create a special add-on list with just project scope and not mess myself up on other work later.

  4. With the Autohotkey script, you can use different lists for different languages or subjects. Just make a copy the original script and change whatever you want.
    If you need to change scripts often, you can just put a shortcut to the scripts on your desktop or taskbar and you can launch them very quickly.

    In my opinion, a big advantage of the Autohotkey script is that you can maintain your lists in a plain text editor.

  5. Thank you very much indeed for such a clear heads-up on the autocorrect function in MemoQ. That was really helpful.


Notice to spammers: your locations are being traced and fed to the recreational target list for my new line of chemical weapon drones :-)