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Care for preview (and fairness)? Don't buy SDL.
Thread poster: Ekhangel

Ekhangel
Local time: 12:02
Aug 30

The bottom line is this: https://community.sdl.com/product-groups/translationproductivity/f/studio/25845/preview-functions-one-big-failure/82579#82579

There is a commonly known issue with malfunctioning Word preview in the latest (or not so latest, in fact) SDL Trados releases. I personally have noti
... See more
The bottom line is this: https://community.sdl.com/product-groups/translationproductivity/f/studio/25845/preview-functions-one-big-failure/82579#82579

There is a commonly known issue with malfunctioning Word preview in the latest (or not so latest, in fact) SDL Trados releases. I personally have noticed the problem after purchasing Studio 2017 some two years ago. I inquired about this in the SDL forums (these were the times when I still had the patience and kindness to be polite to the SDL staff). They told me there are issues with Click-2-Run installs of Office showing problematic compatibility with the Trados scripts responsible for previewing .docxs. Fair enough, I naively thought. Microsoft must have screwed something up again, maybe it'll get fixed, maybe I'll just get "the right" Office version in the meantime.

After upgrading to 2019 the problem remained, and I got more and more tired of having being deprived of this crucial feature. I believe anyone who translates, and translates a lot knows how important it is to know where you are EXACTLY in the document. The preview worked on my former Studio 2011 copy perfectly and was one of the key features of the software that made me very fond of it from the beginning.

Therefore I inquired further about the problem, and requested Mr. Filkin to record vidoes demonstrating the functioning of the feature on his end, on his supposedly compatible version of Office. And he granted me this pleasure, which I appreciate. However, to my surprise it turned out I must have been mislead for two years because the feature on his PC shows exactly the same basic flaws as on my platform! One of the problems I managed to identify in the video - showing a rather unextensive working scenario, by the way (which, as I am made to believe, was purposeful) - was segment highlight disappearing by itself and rendering the preview feature virtually useless. Another thing is the lag when highlighting, which is survivable but definitely something to work on in the future.

Another thing is the HTML preview, which did work decently - though not without problems, including disappearing cursor on my end - a year or two ago (that was on Studio 2017 or the initial release of 2019, I'm not sure), and with the present release it seems to have been simply ridden of the highlight feature entirely, as Mr. Filkin's video doesn't show the HTML preview following the edited segments in the document. The only sensible explanation as to why SDL would remove important features from its software is because they proved to be compromisingly unreliable.

The bottom line is: everything seems to suggest that SDL doesn't offer a properly working .docx preview whatsoever at present, be it embedded, external Word preview or HTML preview. What's more, it mislead its users as to both the reason for and solution to the deficiency of their software.

These are practices that I believe deserve condemning by the translation industry, and I definitely recommend against purchasing SDL Trados if you care for a functioning preview or commercial fairness. SDL is well known for releasing buggy and unreliable software. Whether their software is statistically more or less buggy than the competition holding the minority share of the market I don't know, but misleading their customers and concealing problems with the software is sure not a way to improve this reputation or expand their customer base.

Now - don't get me wrong. I understand that software can get problematic, and don't expect every single thing to always work. But had I been honestly warned about SDL's failings in the preview field, I would definitely have considered the competitors before making the purchase decision, be it MemoQ which is a little more sluggish in handling files and projects and doesn't enable running multiple instances, BUT has a neatly working HTML preview (and other great features such as wonderfully convenient find&replace), the way cheaper (and blazing fast) CafeTran, or perhaps DejaVu, which I haven't tested thoroughly.

Be warned! And shame on you, SDL!

[Edited at 2019-08-30 18:18 GMT]
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Will2300
 

Sandra& Kenneth  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 13:02
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
? Sep 4

Ekhangel wrote:

The preview worked on my former Studio 2011 copy perfectly and was one of the key features of the software that made me very fond of it from the beginning.



Hi Ekhangel,
It is true that the preview function of Trados never worked properly as far back as I can remember, including in the 2011 version of which you are so fond, but I don't think that this is a key feature at all.
AFAIC, it's a minor issue that is not worth wasting any time, effort or nervous energy.

I work checking the translation against the original, which does not depend on any SW, is always open, does not need to be re-generated, does not use any computing resources and does not make Trados crash .

HTH,
Sandra


Christine Andersen
 

Ekhangel
Local time: 12:02
TOPIC STARTER
Regardless... Sep 4

Do I understand correctly that you don't use CAT at all? Or do you only proofread the text in Word? In any case, it hinders workflow. Visual context is in some cases (not saying always) necessary to make proper sense of what is being translated.

Oh, and by the way: today, when trying to post something (unrelated) on the SDL forum I noticed that my posts are now subject to moderating. Talk about fairness! I'm not a conspiracy theories lover, but what is this if not an attempt to conc
... See more
Do I understand correctly that you don't use CAT at all? Or do you only proofread the text in Word? In any case, it hinders workflow. Visual context is in some cases (not saying always) necessary to make proper sense of what is being translated.

Oh, and by the way: today, when trying to post something (unrelated) on the SDL forum I noticed that my posts are now subject to moderating. Talk about fairness! I'm not a conspiracy theories lover, but what is this if not an attempt to conceal the truth? I recommend you read through the thread I linked here carefully, watch Filkin's video and draw your own conclusions.

Regardless of whether you find this a key feature or not (I definitely do, like many others, I believe), this is unfair marketing practice which shouldn't go unnoticed if we care for the development of the CAT industry as a whole. Plus, it simply insults me personally when anyone treats me like an idiot (that's probably why I'm not a democrat) - like in this case when SDL tried to tell me the thing doesn't work only because I have a wrong version of Word installed.

[Edited at 2019-09-04 10:05 GMT]
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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 12:02
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Off-topic Sep 4

Ekhangel wrote:
Oh, and by the way: today, when trying to post something (unrelated) on the SDL forum I noticed that my posts are now subject to moderating. Talk about fairness! I'm not a conspiracy theories lover, but what is this if not an attempt to conceal the truth?


Your posts have been always moderated because you are neither a paying nor a VIDed member. You are a rather long-standing user so you should know this, but here is the link to the site FAQ, just in case:
https://www.proz.com/faq/3064#3064


 

Ekhangel
Local time: 12:02
TOPIC STARTER
Misunderstanding Sep 4

No, I meant the SDL - SDL forum, not ProZ.

 

Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 12:02
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
OK Sep 4

I see - I have misunderstood you.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:02
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Wrong version of Word Sep 4

Ekhangel wrote:
In this case SDL tried to tell me the thing doesn't work only because I have a wrong version of Word installed.


Other features in Trados also only work if you have the appropriate version of Word installed (e.g. bilingual review). Which version of Word do you have, and which operating system? If a CAT tool's preview feature uses MS Word for displaying the preview, then obviously it will matter which version of Word you have installed, and it may even matter what your settings in your installation of Word is. In fact, I would not be surprised if the version of Word that created the original file (your source file) also matters. I know I'm not helping.

[I don't really use this feature, but I just tested it with a few files, and I can see how it can be useful. The "embedded" view only ever shows the source text (even in the "Target" tab), and the HTML view doesn't highlight any text, and the MS Word preview opens in my default version of Word (2003) and it updates itself with the target text each time nicely (and shows highlights). When using multiple files simultaneously, sometimes the preview updates with the target text and sometimes now. Somtimes you have to click the preview pane twice before Trados jumps to the next segment. One time, a preview refused to generate and I was told in an error message that "Word 2007 or later" must be installed (I have Word 2003 and 2016 installed). In one case, the preview refused to generate on the embedded viewer, and the embedded viewer launched MS Word's file-open dialog. Also, if the SDLXLIFF file doesn't have the original file embedded, Trados gives a weird error message when I try to generate the preview. Quirks, quirks, quirks.]

Do I understand correctly that you don't use CAT at all? Or do you only proofread the text in Word?


I understood Sandra's post to mean that she keeps the document open in MS Word next to Trados (i.e. she has Trados and Word side by side on her screen), or that she makes a print-out of the source text and keeps it next to her monitor (or next to her keyboard).

[Edited at 2019-09-04 11:47 GMT]


 

Ekhangel
Local time: 12:02
TOPIC STARTER
Doesn't matter Sep 4

Samuel,

The Word version appears not to really matter in this case. This is the clue of the original post, the key to understand how SDL misleads us, and the answer to the question why the SDL forum thread linked in the original post has not received any response from the SDL staff lately.

For more details, read the link.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:02
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Ekhangel Sep 4

Ekhangel wrote:
...why the SDL forum thread linked in the original post has not received any response from the SDL staff lately.


Well, I've read the thread, and if I was Paul, I would have considered all questions already answered, so there isn't really a need for further replies. It is clear from Paul's video and from your testimony and from my very brief experimentation that the issues you mention are current bugs in the feature. Not all bugs are fixable.

In Paul's video, the embedded preview's Target tab actually updated with the target text when you confirm the segment, but in my experiments it did not. So it's interesting to see what it could do, in ideal circumstances. You ask what is the point of a preview without highlighting, but you can still click the preview and cause Trados to jump to the appropriate segment, can't you? So it's not entirely useless. And, when the highlighting disappears, can you get it back by clicking in one or two other segments?


 

Ekhangel
Local time: 12:02
TOPIC STARTER
Maybe I can, maybe I cannot Sep 4

As regards the last question: maybe I can, maybe I cannot. I don't know. The bottom line is SDL claimed everything is fine with non-C2R versions of Word, apart from maybe the lag. This was (accidentally?) proven by Paul himself to be bollocks. Besides, the disappearing highlight was definitely not the only issue with the preview, which I believe I had mentioned in the SDL thread. Other issues were bugs with preview reloading itself often -which the bug could have indeed been concealed by the slo... See more
As regards the last question: maybe I can, maybe I cannot. I don't know. The bottom line is SDL claimed everything is fine with non-C2R versions of Word, apart from maybe the lag. This was (accidentally?) proven by Paul himself to be bollocks. Besides, the disappearing highlight was definitely not the only issue with the preview, which I believe I had mentioned in the SDL thread. Other issues were bugs with preview reloading itself often -which the bug could have indeed been concealed by the slow switching between segments, as presented on Paul's video. He failed to present an actual and realistic workflow, and it looks like this was his original intention.

And plus, all the questions HAVE NOT been answered, because I kept inquiring into why the highlight disappears (expecting a "marketing" explanation rather than a technical one) and why the HTML preview stopped tracking segments in the recent SDL version (!), but my questions were ignored. This is not a way to treat a paying customer, no matter how demanding.

[Edited at 2019-09-04 12:14 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-09-04 13:00 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-09-04 13:00 GMT]
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Sandra& Kenneth  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 13:02
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
@Ekhangel Sep 4

Ekhangel wrote:

Oh, and by the way: today, when trying to post something (unrelated) on the SDL forum I noticed that my posts are now subject to moderating. Talk about fairness! I'm not a conspiracy theories lover, but what is this if not an attempt to conceal the truth? I recommend you read through the thread I linked here carefully, watch Filkin's video and draw your own conclusions.


1. I have been using Trados starting with the Workbench and am quite familiar with all the versions. I check all the time the original copy for the "visual context", which is, indeed critical.

2. I read your post on the SDL site. I was shocked that a professional would use such language in any forum, let alone in a professional forum, under his real name, print the links to this post, and expect the forum participants to help. I am not surprised that your posts are moderated, I am surprised that it was not deleted and that people actually tried to help.



Jorge Payan
SDL Community
Nora Diaz
 

Ekhangel
Local time: 12:02
TOPIC STARTER
..... Sep 4

Sandra (or Kenneth)?,

You see, I'm experimenting with an innovative approach - combining substantive and to the point questions with giving the staff a little push into providing a substantive and to the point answer. Because the latter are rarely seen in the tech industry when it comes to tech problems. However, I never allow those "pushes" to replace substantive questions entirely.

And plus, the perk of the trade is that none of my customers care about what I think a
... See more
Sandra (or Kenneth)?,

You see, I'm experimenting with an innovative approach - combining substantive and to the point questions with giving the staff a little push into providing a substantive and to the point answer. Because the latter are rarely seen in the tech industry when it comes to tech problems. However, I never allow those "pushes" to replace substantive questions entirely.

And plus, the perk of the trade is that none of my customers care about what I think about the working tools I use and with what words I express my frustration with them. Why should anyone care what a plumber thinks about his wrench in the past time.

Also, the beginning of the moderation strangely coincided with my post here, though I might be wrong as to the exact timing. Anyway, it surely is convenient for Mr. Filkin or whoever moderates there to be able to approve my thoughts on their software from now on.

[Edited at 2019-09-04 16:11 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-09-04 16:26 GMT]
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Ekhangel
Local time: 12:02
TOPIC STARTER
..... Sep 4

Sandra (or Kenneth)?,

You see, I'm experimenting with an innovative approach - combining substantive and to the point questions with giving the staff a little push into providing a substantive and to the point answer. Because the latter are rarely seen in the tech industry when it comes to tech problems. However, I never allow those "pushes" to replace substantive questions entirely.

And plus, the perk of the trade is that none of my customers care about what I think a
... See more
Sandra (or Kenneth)?,

You see, I'm experimenting with an innovative approach - combining substantive and to the point questions with giving the staff a little push into providing a substantive and to the point answer. Because the latter are rarely seen in the tech industry when it comes to tech problems. However, I never allow those "pushes" to replace substantive questions entirely.

And plus, the perk of the trade is that none of my customers care about what I think about the working tools I use and with what words I express my frustration with them. Why should anyone care what a plumber thinks about his wrench in the past time.
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Sandra& Kenneth  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 13:02
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
Innovative approach? Sep 4

Ekhangel wrote:

You see, I'm experimenting with an innovative approach - combining substantive and to the point questions with giving the staff a little push into providing a substantive and to the point answer.

the perk of the trade is that none of my customers care about what I think about the working tools I use and with what words I express my frustration with them. Why should anyone care what a plumber thinks about his wrench in the past time.


Hi Ekhangel,

This type of rants is not innovative and definitely not motivating (the "push").

You can think whatever you wish about your wrenches and anything else. You can curse SDL as much as you want in front of your computer when Trados crashes and you lose work. Nobody is happy when this happens, and it happens. However, posting this a public forum is a different story.

Your service provider is not a wrench.

Would you like your customers to use this language when they find an error or mistranslation in your work? Would you feel inspired to produce better work for them the next time or correct your mistakes?


Sandra





[Edited at 2019-09-04 16:46 GMT]


Jorge Payan
 

Ekhangel
Local time: 12:02
TOPIC STARTER
Wrench Sep 4

Yes, he is a wrench to me, just like I am a wrench to my customers. And I don’t expect anybody to have problems with me having expectations towards them. Just like I would not be surprised seeing my customers frustrated by my persistent, year-long failings, ignorance of quality matters and misleading them as to the reason of why my translations are bad.

Quality first, reliability second, manners third!

Marketing - somewhere at the bottom.

[Edited at 2019-09-04
... See more
Yes, he is a wrench to me, just like I am a wrench to my customers. And I don’t expect anybody to have problems with me having expectations towards them. Just like I would not be surprised seeing my customers frustrated by my persistent, year-long failings, ignorance of quality matters and misleading them as to the reason of why my translations are bad.

Quality first, reliability second, manners third!

Marketing - somewhere at the bottom.

[Edited at 2019-09-04 17:07 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-09-04 18:26 GMT]
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