1. Explorer Magic
Why is it important to rename files? Well,
what if you need to change the extension, say, from HTM to HTML, or you
need to change the actual file name from filename.docx
to filename_edited.docx? (I want to meet the translator who hasn't done that
All this is easy to do in Windows
Explorer. (I know, it's now called "File Explorer" in Windows
10, but it just makes it so complicated to always write Windows/File
Explorer to cover all the different Windows versions, so I'm
sticking with the old name.) Just right-click a file name and select Rename
or simply single-click a file name.
It's a lot harder to do that for many files
at once, though.
That's why you have renaming programs.
Here is the one I used to use and
The developer of the awfully, awfully named Rname-it (don't miss
the irony!) has long stopped developing his tool (I just assume this has to
be a guy -- surely no woman would create such a convoluted interface), but
it still works and does its job very well. The only downside to the tool is
that you cannot rename files within subdirectories, and this is a problem.
For a while I recommended the equally
ridiculously named 1-4a Rename
for that particular task, but it was admittedly hard to use and sort of a nuisance.
Hacène Dramchini (the author of the Out of Office newsletter)
finally showed me a tool that looks a little more 21st century and has a
(slightly) better name: ReNamer.
Like all other renaming tools, it's free
(for non-commercial use) and it's able to do just about everything with
your files -- in fact, almost too much.
There's just one thing it cannot do -- and
that was always my favorite feature in Rname-It. It cannot change
the time and date stamp of any file. This missing feature comes in
particularly handy if you have worked until 5 am and prefer your
client not to see that... .
Of course, it's also possible to rename lots
of files at one time with one of the many replacement programs for Windows
Explorer. These are called "File Managers" and there must be
dozens of them. The two that have been recommended most often to me by
readers are Directory Opus
and Total Commander.
One thing that you can do with those kinds
of tools is add comments to files that you can then view without opening
the file. This can be a very helpful feature that not only saves a lot of
time but provides a sensible place for notes. I was always frustrated about
the lack of this feature in the plain vanilla version of Windows
Explorer. Well, it does exist. Sort of.
Windows does allow you to access a Comments field for certain file
types without actually opening them, enter or change your comments, and
then view them in Windows Explorer.
How and which files?
It works for all Office and most
multimedia files. Just right-click the file in Windows Explorer,
select Properties> Details, and then enter your text under Comments.
Once you enter the text, you can enable the Comment
column in Windows Explorer by right-clicking the column header and
selecting Comments (you might have to select More to access
When you're finished, you can
see your comments in Windows Explorer:
You might notice that one of these files is
an OpenOffice/LibreOffice ODT file. In those cases you will actually
have to open the file, select File> Properties> Description,
and enter your comments in the Comments field there.
Here is one more little file management
I have always loved the Send to
shortcut -- you know, the command you see when you right-click on a file in
Windows Explorer. It allows you to send any file or folder to any
drive (or any program).
All these shortcuts that are displayed when
you select Send To are stored in the SendTo folder. It's
really super-easy to open the folder and add any kind of shortcut to any
program you want. All you need to do is press the WinKey + R and enter shell:sendto.
Reader Adrian Lumsden sent me a couple of
extra tricks awhile back:
There's an additional
wrinkle that you might appreciate and enjoy. It makes adding things to the
Send to menu even easier. The trick is to add a shortcut to the SendTo
folder itself into the SendTo folder. Give it a title something like Add to the 'SendTo' menu. This has the effect of adding an Add to the 'SendTo'
item to the Send To menu.
Selecting this for a file or folder will add that file or folder to the
Send To folder (and therefore menu) itself. Sorry about the slightly
convoluted and self-referential language here.I've used this for many years
and it works a treat.
More recently I've been using the Send To Toys app. It adds
an item in the Control Panel that is quite powerful for configuring and
modifying the Send To context menu item.
If you do both of the things that Adrian
suggests, you might end up with something like this:
Two of the commands in this menu are Clipboard
(as content) and Clipboard (as file name). These are
put in through the Send to Toys program that Adrian mentioned. They
are really nifty commands. With one of them you copy the content of the
file (provided that the file format is supported) and the other just the
file name (in the Control Panel item mentioned above, you can set
whether you just want the file name or the whole path as well).
And now it's time to try this out yourself!
Now even easier: Across Language Server v6.3
Across v6.3 enables users to integrate third-party systems in
their Across workflows in a controlled manner. The
translation environment also boasts a number of new features. For example,
this includes filter and sorting functions as well as support for PDF and
JSON files. The release of the new Across version
was accompanied by the go-live of the new network for all Across
users. crossMarket brings together translation service providers and
customers. For freelance translators, the crossMarket membership also
includes the basic or premium variant of the Across Translator
Edition, depending on their membership type.
Would you like to learn more about version
6.3? Check out the new features.
the age of browser-based tools, Fluency (it's actually "Fluency
Now") won't strike you as an extremely modern tool, but it is a
very comprehensive tool.
. . you can find the rest of this article in the Premium edition. An annual
subscription to the premium edition costs just $25 at www.internationalwriters.com/toolkit.
You can also purchase the Tool Box ebook at www.internationalwriters.com/toolbox
and receive a complimentary annual subscription.
Here are some numbers that might surprise
you: More than a billion words were translated with Memsource for two quarters in a
row now, and David Canek, Memsource's CEO, now has 30 people working for
him (including 10 developers). It's actually the second number that I find
particularly impressive, especially seeing that some of them are well-known
names such as Konstantin Dranch and Isabella Massardo. Anyone who says the
translation technology market (for professional translators, that is) is
stagnant would clearly be proven wrong by that. (I'm not sure who might
actually be saying that, but I'm just saying...)
Since Memsource is a
cloud-based translation environment tool (you can find a number of earlier
articles about it in the archives for Premium subscribers), updates
occur frequently without much notice (except most likely for the very user
the update was meant for). And even the slightly larger "point
releases" (releases like 4.2 and 4.3) occur every four to six weeks,
for which typically the only thing that users need to do for those is
educate themselves on the new features. (With Memsource, of course, there
is an exception because there is an -- optional -- desktop component, an
offline editor that actually will have to be downloaded once it's updated.)
The newest release -- 5.3 -- is not one that
will change any paradigms, but I found a couple of things interesting
enough to have a quick chat with David.
The first thing I noticed is a pattern of
partnerships. The last Tool Box Journal contained an article about
iLangL's Generic Content Provider, which offers a relatively
seamless way of communicating with content management systems (CMS). So
far, the only direct integration with a translation environment tool is
with Memsource -- and both sides say they have a lot of plans with
each other. In this new Memsource release, you'll find an InDesign
preview feature (it's actually not a true and live preview feature since
the InDesign files are rendered as PDF files for the layouted
display to the user), and again this is done through a partnership, in this
case with Frontlab Solutions, an InDesign
review workflow provider.
The drawback of the feature is that you'll
have to pay for it (after a free trial period), but I like it on a more
fundamental level. I like partnerships. Why? Because expertise in a certain
area really is not to be had overnight. So why not focus on what you're
good at (in Memsource's case, according to David, "the actual
translation") and partner with those that are good in the other areas?
Karen Tkaczyk just reminded us in a very poignant blog post
in the ATA's Savvy Newcomer blog of the 10-year or 10,000-hour rule,
"which says that no one can be an expert until they have spent 10
years working in a field."
One area that has also been strengthened in
the new edition is business analytics (this feature will first be rolled
out for enterprise customers only and for other users in about two months).
Wordbee in particular has long had an emphasis on its very strong
business analysis module with dozens and dozens of reporting facilities.
Though Memsource doesn't necessarily try to completely emulate it,
it's at least "aware of it" and has now invested in a dedicated
data warehouse to house the analytical data. Much of that can be accessed
through a widget-driven system right from within Memsource and will
eventually also be accessible through the open-source Kibana analysis and
visualization workbench for completely customizable reports.
Other improvements will include . . . well,
check those out for yourself on Memsource's blog.
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4. The Tech-Savvy Interpreter: Your Internet
Connection Speed: How to Test It and Why It Matters (Column by Barry Slaughter
In many parts of the world, Internet access
has become almost like electricity. With few exceptions, we expect it to be
there and we expect it to work. For interpreters, it doesn't matter if we
are at a conference in a soundproof booth, at a medical clinic or a
courthouse, the ability to access online materials while working with all
kinds of devices is important. In addition, with the growth of remote
interpreting platforms, fast, reliable Internet access has become essential
for interpreters working over the Internet. Needless to say, reliable
Internet access is essential for translators as well.
So, this begs a question. How do you know
just how fast your Internet connection really is? In this month's
installment of The Tech-Savvy Interpreter, we'll take a look at a simple
way to test your Internet connection on any Internet-enabled device. But
before we get down to that, let's take a look at three basic measurements
that make up an Internet speed test and will help you understand how fast your
Internet connection is.
Your Internet-enabled device (e.g. a desktop
computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone) has to do three things to
communicate on the Internet-establish a connection with a computer that has
the data you are looking for (known as a server) and then download and
upload as needed. These data are first broken down into
"packets," which are sent across the Internet and then
reassembled on the device that requested them. This information may be in
the form of text, photos, audio, video, or other data. It's the miracle of
ones and zeros known as binary.
These three actions (connection, download,
and upload) are the three parameters used to measure the speed of your
Internet connection. Let's take a look at each one.
Connection or "Ping"
Your device's reaction time with the server
is known as the "ping." Specifically, the ping, or ping rate, is
the amount of time it takes for your device to establish a connection with
the server it wants to communicate with and receive a response from it. It
is measured in milliseconds (ms). The ping gives you an idea of how
responsive your connection will be. As a general rule, if you have a ping
of 150ms or lower, your connection should be responsive enough for audio
and video conferencing, but the lower (i.e., the faster) the ping the
better. (It is very good for online videogames, too; just don't tell your
teenage son.) Ping rates above 150ms can lead to pronounced latency (or
lag) in both audio and video. If you are just using the Internet to do
research or read information, ping rates over 150ms should not be a
Download speed measures how fast your device
can receive data from the server it is connected to. Download speed is
often referred to as "bandwidth," or more technically as the
"data transfer rate," and is measured in megabits per second
(Mbps, millions of bits per second). Think of it this way. Your connection
is like a pipe, and the bigger the pipe the more data that can be pushed
through it per second. Typical entry-level home broadband packages offer download
speeds of up to 5Mbps. Faster plans are available, particularly with cable
modems, which offer up to 50Mbps and even 100Mbps. Of course, the cost of
the plan increases as the bandwidth does. Internet users are hungry for
more bandwidth, and Internet service providers (ISPs) are working hard to
deliver it. For example, in certain cities in the United States,
Google Fiber provides speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (that's 1,000
megabits per second or 1Gbps), and Comcast is now rolling out home Internet
connections of 1Gbps and up to 2Gbps in certain areas. That is serious
speed that will make HD videoconferencing bandwidth requirements seem
Download speed is the measurement of greatest
importance for most Internet users because most people's Internet activity
is based on what they download. That means they consume much more data than
they produce. Think about it. How many books do you download and how many
movies and video clips do you watch compared to emails you send or files
you upload? In fact, according to Cisco Systems, one of the world's largest
manufacturers of networking equipment, by 2018, 84 percent of all Internet
traffic in the United States will be streaming video (See Cisco's Visual Networking Index
Report 2015). If you are curious about what kind of
download speed different online activities require, check out the US
Federal Communication Commission's consumer Broadband Speed Guide.
All of the concepts explained above for
download (i.e., bandwidth and Mbps) apply equally to upload; the flow of
data simply runs in the opposite direction from your device to the server.
In basic consumer broadband packages, if your download pipe is the size of
a water main, then your upload pipe is more like a drinking straw. Typical
entry-level home broadband packages usually offer around 0.5Mbps upload
speed. The reason for this difference has everything to do with the habits
of average Internet users. They download data much more than they upload
Here again, ISPs offer other packages with
faster upload speeds. If you only use your Internet connection for surfing
the web and email, 0.5 Mbps should be sufficient. If you use
videoconferencing, web conferencing, or interpret remotely over the
Internet, you should definitely have a more robust Internet access plan
that provides you with upload speeds of over 0.5Mbps.
There are many different services available
to test your internet connection. In this column, I will focus on perhaps
the best known and most used service-SpeedTest by Ookla. It is a simple
test that takes just a few seconds but provides you with the ping,
download, and upload speeds of your current Internet connection.
If using a desktop or laptop computer, the browser-based
will be simplest. If you are testing the Internet connection of a tablet or
smartphone, I recommend downloading the SpeedTest app from Google Play
(Android) or the App Store
(iOS). If you are one of the rare birds that uses a Windows Phone,
the app is available for that operating system as well.
The browser-based version has paid
advertising, but don't be put off. Just be sure to look for the "Begin
Test" button in the middle of the screen. The free app versions of the
test also have ads, but they are much more subtle.
Once initiated, the test establishes a
connection with a nearby server and checks the ping. It then tests the
download speed followed by the upload speed. And, voilà! You have a
snapshot of how well your Internet connection is working. The test will
work on any network-wired, Wi-Fi, or cellular. The app keeps a history of
your tests so you can compare connections speeds on different networks and
at different locations. If you know you need to connect to Internet servers
located in a specific part of the world, on the browser-based version of
SpeedTest, you can even specify the region of the world where you want to
connect to a server. Just drag the viewfinder to the part of the world map
where you want to connect, click on one of the white dots representing a
server, and start your test. Of course, if you are connecting to a server
halfway around the world, your ping, upload, and download speeds will be
slower than if you were connecting to a server across the street.
I usually test my Internet connection when I
am getting set up to work at a conference venue to give me a baseline of
the kind of speeds I can expect. I then test throughout the workday,
especially if the Wi-Fi network is shared by conference delegates, which
can bring Internet speeds to an excruciating crawl. At that point, I
usually switch to a cellular data network if cell reception is good enough
at the venue. At more established conferencing facilities, robust wireless
networks are becoming more common. However, since interpreters often work
in different venues around town and around the world, testing your Internet
connection can give you some idea of what kind of connectivity you can
expect at a given venue throughout the day.
Conducting regular speed tests from your
home or office computer allows you to know if your ISP is actually
providing you the kinds of upload and download speeds stipulated in your
contract. As they say, knowledge is power.
Do you have a question about a specific
technology? Or would you like to learn more about a specific interpreting
platform, interpreter console, or supporting technology? Send us an email
Manage your translations with the new Language Terminal!
Language Terminal is a project management system for translators,
delivered by Kilgray Translation Technologies, the developer of memoQ.
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Language Terminal is free for everyone! Try it at http://languageterminal.com
5. Trados OpenExchange
I talked to folks at SDL about the OpenExchange
program before it actually went live more than five years ago, and it's
been interesting to watch as the wary skepticism I had back then was
quickly replaced with great enthusiasm. I think OpenExchange is
one of the most creative and innovative programs we have in the translation
technology world. It allows tools (SDL Trados Studio, MultiTerm,
etc.) that are already plenty massive to morph and grow in all kinds of
ways as determined by each user's needs and her determination of the
functionality she wants to add to the tool.
That's not why I'm writing this, though.
When I was first introduced to the platform,
there were a number of mechanisms in place that made it really not
completely open. First of all, you had to own a Professional edition
of Studio. There was also a fee that had to be paid. And after all
of that, there was the possibility that you could be denied permission to
develop your app -- Kilgray in particular ran against that wall a number of
Well, by and by all of that has changed, and
I wasn't (hint: made) aware of that.
So, no need any more for a Professional
license to develop an app (unless you want to develop something
specifically for Professional license owners). There is no longer an
application process so anyone can publish anything, and there's no fee
It's all open, baby!
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