How did people use MS Word for autocomplete?
Thread poster: Ricki Farn

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 17:53
Member (2005)
English to German
May 25

Dear colleagues,

I remember that when Trados Autosuggest came along, translators who were basically a generation before me said that they had been doing the same thing with an autocorrect function in MS Word, and that it took them less effort to include a new word in that feature than to include a new word in a Trados termbase.

I don't have the slightest idea how they did it. Could someone enlighten me?

I'm not planning to reinvent Word - it's just somethi
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Dear colleagues,

I remember that when Trados Autosuggest came along, translators who were basically a generation before me said that they had been doing the same thing with an autocorrect function in MS Word, and that it took them less effort to include a new word in that feature than to include a new word in a Trados termbase.

I don't have the slightest idea how they did it. Could someone enlighten me?

I'm not planning to reinvent Word - it's just something that has been at the back of my mind for a long time, and I'm curious.

Sunny greetings from sunny Germany,
Ricki
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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
"Autocomplete" function is more appropriate May 25

Entering a recurring German word (or term composed of several words) of let's say 147 characters, typing the first 2 or 3 characters and clicking "enter", this saved me hours forever. And it's true: including a new word was a matter of seconds, superfast and easy!
Today you can only "correct" a mispelled word. I don't use Trados (and never will) so I am not able to compare between former Word versions and Autosuggest. But I have used Word 97 as long as it was possible and I still badly m
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Entering a recurring German word (or term composed of several words) of let's say 147 characters, typing the first 2 or 3 characters and clicking "enter", this saved me hours forever. And it's true: including a new word was a matter of seconds, superfast and easy!
Today you can only "correct" a mispelled word. I don't use Trados (and never will) so I am not able to compare between former Word versions and Autosuggest. But I have used Word 97 as long as it was possible and I still badly miss this feature.
On the other hand, why should Microsoft that has managed to nearly destroy Skype, be supposed to keep functions in Word or other software/OS that worked really fine?

Btw, Word/Office 97 was a nice piece of software, and it crashed much less than newer versions do. But those, in return, try (at least) to save open documents which is the only benefit I can see.

[Bearbeitet am 2019-05-25 20:43 GMT]
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Philip Lees
 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 17:53
Member (2005)
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you May 25

Hi Christel,

aaah, so it was an a actual feature that I never met, not a creative way of appropriating autocorrect.

I remember Word 97 (featuring Clippit aka Karl Klammer!), but I was a technical reviewer at the time, not yet a translator, so I never learned that detail.


Ricki


 

Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 17:53
English to Russian
+ ...
This feature is different, but still there May 25

Besides Autocorrect, which hasn't changed since last century and allows you to add your own entries, Word also has the Autotext feature now. A good explanation how it works is here.

Hedwig Spitzer Cáceres
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:53
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Ricki May 26

Ricki Farn wrote:
Translators ... said that they had been doing the same thing with an autocorrect function in MS Word, and that it took them less effort to include a new word in that feature than to include a new word in a Trados termbase.


Well, I can't help with Word 97, but in Word 2003 you have two features that may be useful here, namely autocorrect and autotext. I believe autotext is more comprehensive in the latest version of Word (e.g. you can add multiline items and you can add images), but autotext works fine for repetitive phrases and sentences.

In Word, 2003, go Tools > Autocorrect options. There you'll find tabs for "AutoCorrect" and "AutoText". Both are language-specific (so it follows the language of the file where your cursor is). Adding new entries is simple if you only ever work in one language (a little more complex if you want to add entries for multiple languages).

AutoText works by proving a suggestion while you type, and then you press Enter to accept the suggestion:

quick one

You can also add the autotext entries as a toolbar with a drop-down list:

quick two

AutoCorrect works by replacing your typed text with something else as soon as you type a space or a punctuation mark. This is usually used for correcting common typing errors (e.g. you type imeddiately, Word changes it to immediately), but you can also use it for creating shortcuts for longer phrases.

When creating shortcuts like that, it is a good idea to always terminate the shortcut with a rarely used character (e.g. "qq"), so that you never accidentally trigger it.

In the example below, I set up "tqbf" for "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog". So, when I type tqbfqq and then type either a space or a punctuation mark, word will replace it with "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog".

quick four

It's possible to bulk add these entries, but it's not extremely easy to do. You have to edit a template, if I remember correctly.


neilmac
Oleksandr Ivanov
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
more May 26

While some even open-source suits can do it natively, there're several third-party add-ons and applications to complete the words not only in MS Word. However, it does require even more attention, causing more random errs.

I use the Word feature to replace several "mnemonics" for the most common phrases and long words (15+ letters).


 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 17:53
Member (2005)
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for all the great explanations May 26

I'm impressed.

And I've noticed that I was confusing "termbase" (handmade) and "Autosuggest" (calculated with statistical functions).


 


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