Dec 6, 2017

Iconic changes to memoQ

Like many people, I keep several versions of memoQ installed on my computer at the same time. Some of these are newer versions, which are strictly for testing until I have determined that they are completely stable for the processes I rely on in my work. Others are older versions needed for compatibility with particular client servers that have not been upgraded yet.

One thing that has always been somewhat inconvenient to me in maintaining multiple versions of the software on my computer is the fact that Kilgray does not distinguish the icons at all between versions, nor do they distinguish the icons used for various auxiliary programs for memoQ, like the web search and the very useful TM external search tool. Well, I fixed that.

new working icons for memoQ

I created a series of new icons to distinguish the shortcuts I use to launch various memoQ versions and the memoQ TM search. They are available here, along with the original 64x64 pixel memoQ icon in case somebody wants to do a different custom icon based on it.

Changing the icon for a program shortcut is very simple. Simply right-click on the shortcut on your Desktop, for example, and click the Change Icon... button to open the corresponding dialog, from which you can select an icon file (*.ico) or a program from which to extract an icon for use.

There are, of course, other approaches, such as using the free Resource Hacker tool to change the icons used by the EXE file. But messing with executable files isn't really advisable in most cases.

If you have artwork to convert into an icon (ICO file), this can be done using the free CONVERTICO web site:

The site can also convert ICO files into bitmap files that can be edited using Microsoft Paint or other applications. Click on the logo above to go to the site.

Changing the icons for my shortcuts give me a better overview on the Windows taskbar of what is actually running when I work with some version of memoQ:

The Windows Taskbar icons seem a little fiddly to change. It took me a few tries of pinning and unpinning the application on the taskbar before the icon appeared right for memoQ 2015 (7.8), while the newer version looked OK on the first try. It's probably some sort of Windows Registry issue. In any case, the icon change for the desktop shortcuts works every time, and that at least gives me a better visual overview so I don't launch a version of the program I don't intend to work with,

Dec 1, 2017

Appearances matter in your CAT tool.

This morning on the social media memoQ forum of Putin's Western election influence platform, a user expressed their [1] woes while editing a translation with a lot of italic formatting in the text:

I assume they were facing something like this:

The problem is not so much the italic text per se, but the user's choice of display font for working. I have the same problem sometimes. Usually what I do is switch the text in the translation and editing grid of memoQ to a monospace font like Courier. I also keep the non-printing characters visible (and do so in Microsoft Word as well) so that I can pick up formatting problems like extra spaces, for example, or optional hyphens (which tend to produce "rogue tags" in a CAT tool, making term matching and search functions useless in most cases and complicating the work in other ways too).

The font here is Courier New

This approach can be used with most CAT tools which have their own editor. In recent versions of memoQ, this is done via the Quick Access Toolbar under Options > Appearance:

Changing the font in CAT tools can not only improve the visibility of the text you work on; it can also be an aid in editing. Many studies and articles have been published on how to improve accuracy when editing or proofreading one's work, with tips such as these:

12. Font size
Change the font size to one you can work with easily on your screen.
13. Font
We all have our favorite fonts. For proofreading change the font to the one that allows you to find mistakes most easily. Start by trying Times New Roman, Arial and Calibri and work through other fonts until you find one you like.

It would, of course, be nice to have a one-click changover possible; I don't think any tool offers that at present. Considering that everyone faces this issues, software providers should think about that.

A font like the one above isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it would slow me down and make me notice careless typing errors better when I read through a text before delivery.

[1] This post is gender-neutered to provide a safe space for today's university students to pick up editing tips.