Oct 9, 2015

Track changes in memoQ: misunderstandings and navigation

Although tracked changes have been part of memoQ since the distant days of memoQ 5.0, many users are still confused about how to use these features and how to navigate marked changes in a translation.

The confusion starts with the menu for activating the tracked changes, which in recent versions of memoQ is found on the Review ribbon. What most people do not realize is that the first two options - Against Last Received Version and Against Last Delivered Version - are not relevant to the usual workflows of an individual translator working in a local project created on his or her computer. Often I have caught myself selecting the option Against Last Delivered Version for the tracked changes to show, because I want to compare against the last version I delivered to my client by exporting and e-mailing the document, because I forget that this refers to the actual Deliver function in a server project.

If I am working locally in my own projects, the only track changes option that is relevant is Custom, with which I can show comparisons to specific minor versions:

In the present example, I've selected a comparison with a "snapshot" I made before an editing session. A snapshot creates a record of the status of a translation at a given time and makes rollbacks possible. Use the submenu of the Versions icon on the Documents ribbon to make a snapshot of your translation:

Once the tracking of changes for the current translation compared to a previous minor version has been activated, the relevant changes will be marked in red in the translation grid. If changes have been made to the source text (correcting OCR errors, for example, by editing the source text with F2), these will be shown as well.

Changes can be rejected by choosing Revert To Earlier Version on the Review ribbon, in the context menu (right-click) or with the corresponding keyboard shortcut. Or a version of a target text not shown in the markup can be recalled with the Row History and restored by copying it from the dialog (Ctrl+C) and pasting in the target cell and editing out extraneous information.

But how can one navigate many tracked changes in a larger document? Many users think this is not possible, though in fact it's rather simple with memoQ's filtering features.

Clicking the filter icon above the target text column opens a dialog to specify filter criteria for the working view. On the Status tab under Other properties... the option Change tracked can be selected to show only those segments with tracked changes.

Alternatively, the Go to next segment settings (Shift+Ctrl+G) can be configured in the same way with Change tracked on the Status tab, so choosing Go to next (Ctrl+G) or confirming a segment (if the option Automatically jump after confirmation is selected in the Go to next segment settings dialog) will take you to the next segment with tracked changes.


  1. Thanks, Kevin - this is useful. The menu options themselves are anything but intuitive.

    1. Well, those menu options had me fooled for a couple of years!

  2. I for one didn't even know it existed and have been quite frustrated about the lack of a Track Changes function. I have looked for webinars but they all love to tell you all about the translation process and advanced functions - but not proofreading for some strange reason. So, thanks for this article - I will try it out :)

  3. Maybe you can help where Webinars and other appeals for help have failed (so far): Scenario as you describe it: I have a local project, delivered the translation to the client by email as a mono-lingual WORD doc. He does not have MemoQ. Client proofreads the document, makes changes to my translation and returns the proof-read version to me. He then sends me an update of the same document with the request to translate the updated version. How do I compare my existing translation with his proof-read version, and transfer the changes to my TM before I start to translate the updated version, which much contain all the changes of the proof-read and client-made changes to the previous version. Can MemoQ handle this? All the literature appears to be talking about comparisons of bilingual documents, which the client's proof-read document is not. Delivery time is ticking, and any assistance will be much appreciated. Thanks a lot, MS, Ireland

    1. I am surprised Kevin hasn't replied, but perhaps he is busy. The old answer was to do a compare of the Word files and insert the corrections manually. Fortunately, memoQ offers a function that allows you to reimport the proof-read file and align it with your translated document in memoQ and thus update your translation and your TM. The problem is that this is not immediately obvious. You will find it in the Documents ribbon under Monolingual Review. Once you have imported the file, just as with a bilingual RTF, all those segments that have been modified, will be classified as Edited (pink). You can do track changes, and check and approve the modifications. Once you have completed this operation and updated your TM, you can use the Reimport function in the same Document ribbon, to import the new version of the original document and then X-translate it against the previous version to insert all your translations from this document, thus leaving only the new/modified parts to be dealt with.

  4. Kevin thanks for this. I will be sent an xliff tomorrow to proof/edit with a really tight deadline. Since I'd never done track changes on an SDL xliff before, I felt I ought to find out how to do it before the file arrives. So I ran an experiment this afternoon using your post. And it worked! You really are the tops. I have quite an old version of Memoq so the fact that the post is quite old is not a problem for me.


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