Aug 6, 2013

Translating presentations in memoQ: PowerPoint vs. OpenOffice Impress

Microsoft PowerPoint files can be a real nuisance to translate. One of the biggest challenges with these files is the haphazard formatting that many authors apply when working in that medium: line breaks and paragraph breaks in the most inconvenient places, which can cause some stress when working with many translation environment tools.

The current status of the PowerPoint filters in memoQ (version 6.5 build 10) is not as well developed as the filters for Microsoft Word and Excel files; in particular the inability to configure the handling of "soft breaks" (line feeds) causes me no little grief. However, I can at least join segments to get complete sentences where I want them. That's something you can't do in SDL Trados Studio, though that tool at least represent the breaks as inline tags. Sometimes I prepare my PowerPoint files in Trados Studio and then translate the SDLXLIFF file in memoQ if there are a lot of breaks in the sentences. But then I miss the preview.

Recently I had occasion to look at a presentation created with OpenOffice Impress, a rather nice alternative to PowerPoint. Given the confusion over Microsoft's new licensing practices for MS Office 2013, I would not be surprised if more of my corporate clients begin to use the clever free alternative.

However, when I tried to import the Impress (ODP) files to memoQ, I found that the files were not recognized as a translatable format. However, that problem was quickly solved, and the technique for translating ODP files in the current and older versions of memoQ is shown in the video below. One could, of course, convert these to PowerPoint formats, but you might not want to. With ODP files, it is possible to have breaks treated as inline tags.

Time Description
  Importing the PowerPoint file to memoQ with options
1:10  Examining the segments of the imported PowerPoint file
1:35  Joining segments for "broken sentences" in the imported PowerPoint file
1:43  The presentation as an OpenOffice Impress (ODP) file
2:07  Importing the ODP file to memoQ
2:39  Setting the filter for the "unknown" file type
3:04  Configuring "soft" breaks as inline tags
3:34  Examining the segments of the imported ODP file
I hope to see a few more refinements of the PowerPoint and OpenOffice filters in future builds of memoQ!

1 comment:

  1. Please note that more recent builds of memoQ have addressed the problem of soft breaks in a PowerPoint file, so the problems with the memoQ filters discussed here are essentially solved.


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