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Table of Contents
- Batch Tasks
The Multilingual Excel filetype is designed to provide support for translating Excel files that support more than one language. The Excel file does have to be structured so that the content is within columns, but this is the typical layout for most files used in this context. Examples would be Excel files used for Gaming and Software localization, and files used for translating terminology. For example:
Image: Gaming Excel with a column for character length check, software key and comments from the developer:
Image: Terminology Excel with various columns providing context and columns supporting pixel length checks:
At a high level the filetype is designed to do several useful things:
- create a single multilingual filetype project from one source file for any number of target languages
- support embedded content
- support character length checks (can be language specific)
- support pixel length checks (can be language specific)
- generate a single multilingual excel file from the completed project
At a more detailed level the app supports many features the user will find helpful, and in many cases provides support for files that are not easily handled out of the box by the existing Excel filetypes.
Using the filetype (Video)
The following video provides an overview of how the filetype works in practice:
Video length: Approx. 28 mins
File Type Information
Standard filetype interface providing minimal info about the filetype name, identifier and the type of files it supports:
This page summarises the settings used to map the content from the excel file so Trados Studio knows how to handle it. It does this by mapping the column references in excel to the data being held in Trados Studio. This page, and all others have good mouse and keyboard support:
These type of excel files often contain instructions in the first few rows of the file. You specify here where the relevant data for the project starts, and if you have multiple worksheets in the file you have the option to read the data from all the worksheets as long as they follow the same layout for the content. So in this example the heading starts on row 5, and this row is checked to identify that it is the column headings and not translatable:
Using the tabs across the top you can Add as many language as you like, Edit them, Delete them, and Set Default Language. The Set Default Language feature is useful because it allows you to populate one language with all the settings so that all additional languages will use these settings when you add them. You can of course change the settings but this can significantly reduce the data entry time for files with many languages:
When you Add or Edit a language the following window will open allowing you to map the excel columns as required:
Language: one language can be entered in here either by selecting from a dropdown list, typing the language name in full (english (united kingdom)) or by using shortcodes (en-gb).
Content: the column name associated with the language content in the excel spreadsheet. In this example the english source content is in column D. Letters are not case sensitive as the application will correct them for you.
Context Information / Comments
Context Information: the column name associated with the context information in the excel spreadsheet, separated by a semicolon. You can add as many columns as you like in here and the information will be represented as Document Structure Information (DSI) in Trados Studio. For example, in this case four columns were added, B, C, E & F and they are all represented under the Location "Context". All segments will have the Location "Paragraph and "Multilingual Paragraph" by default:
Comment/Notes: the column name associated with the comments in the excel spreadsheet, separated by a semicolon. You can add as many columns as you like in here and the information will be represented as Comments in Trados Studio. For example, in this case two columns were added, G & H and they are all represented under the Comments:
An important point to note here is illustrated by segment #2. There are two comments, one source and one target. The source comment was taken from an entry in the excel spreadsheet in column G. The target comment was taken from column M which was specified in the language settings for German. You can filter the comments by source or/and target using the Trados Studio settings here:
As these have been added as Trados Studio comments they are also marked up in the Editor so you can see where the comments are:
This could be a little distracting, especially if you wish to add your own comments as they will not be easily picked out unless you make sure to use a different "severity" level for the colour:
Or use the DSI Viewer from the appstore. This is probably a better option for viewing the context anyway as it will display all comments (three Studio comments have been manually added here) and DSI context in one view dynamically as you work through your file:
If you want a cleaner view in the editor then it may make sense to add all the comments as DSI instead. The DSI Viewer from the appstore has been updated to make sure it wraps text correctly when long sentences are used as Document Structure, so the view may be better like this where the target language comments have been moved into DSI instead:
Now the editor looks cleaner with only source language comments in this view:
Working in this way means you will not clutter the editing environment with comment markup, or mix and match by adding the source comments as real comments, and the target comments as DSI. The choice is down to personal preference and well supported with through Trados Studio and the apps possible through the integration framework.
Another important point to note is that the row headings in your Excel file are used as Location information in the DSI column below, and the DSI Viewer as you can see above. This feature is almost equivalent to a preview for this type of file since layout isn't important, but understanding the context is:
If there are no headers in your file, or the cell content for a column is empty then the Location will be Excel Context by default:
Note that these settings link to the Multilingual Excel Verifier which is covered in the next section. The reason they are here in the filetype is to avoid the need to have language specific verification settings as well as the language mapping in the filetype. This way all the mapping to content from the Excel spreadsheet is on the same page which significantly simplifies the creation and maintenance of the filetype settings.
Characters - Max Length: the column name associated with the maximum character length in the excel spreadsheet. This feature is a simple length check by counting the number of characters in the source and/or target segment and comparing the result with the number specified in the relevant Excel column. This can also be language specific, so you can have a different length for each language, and for each paragraph (Excel cell) being translated.
Pixels - Max Length: the column name associated with the maximum pixel length in the excel spreadsheet. This feature is also a length check, but this time the length is determined by the length of pixels occupied by the paragraph text in the source and/or target segment and comparing the result with the number specified in the relevant Excel column. This can also be language specific, so you can have a different length for each language, and for each paragraph (Excel cell) being translated. To calculate the pixel length you need to know the font size and also the font family since pixel length will be variable based on these values.
Pixels - Font Family: the column name associated with the pixel font family in the excel spreadsheet. In the example settings used in this wiki column I contains the value for the Font Family. However, you must always have a default font specified in case Trados is unable to recognise the type of font entered into the Excel spreadsheet. In this example the default is Berlin Sans FB. In the Excel file column I may contain the value Calibri for example. So the font used for the pixel verification will be Calibri. However, if Calibri is missing from a row, or if it's spelt incorrectly, then the default will be used. So it's important to make sure the values in the spreadsheet can be found by Trados Studio. This also means you must have the font installed on your computer because the application uses this to be able to calculate the pixel length.
Pixels - Font Size: the column name associated with the pixel font size in the excel spreadsheet. In the example settings used in this wiki column J contains the value for the Font Size. However, you must always have a default font specified in case Trados is unable to recognise the size of font entered into the Excel spreadsheet. In this example the default is 15. In the Excel file column J may contain the value 12 for example. So the font used for the pixel verification will be 12. However, if a value is missing from a row, then the default 15 will be used.
Multilingual Excel Verifier
This new filetype also incorporates a verification part which is accessed under the Verification node in your settings. It contains four settings which use the information from your mapped Excel file to determine what is reported:
Check maximum character length: the value used for the character length is taken from the value in your spreadsheet as explained under Verification Checks above. You have the option to decide whether you need to report on this or not, and to specify the severity of the message.
Check maximum pixel length: the value used for the character length is taken from the value in your spreadsheet as explained under Verification Checks above. You have the option to decide whether you need to report on this or not, and to specify the severity of the message. The pixel length check also clearly identifies if the default values were used because they were either missing, or incorrectly spelt. In this example the Font Family for segment #22 was Calibri, but in the spreadsheet there was a typo and it was entered as "Calbr", As a result the report identifies that the Default was used for that segment allowing you to correct the typo and re-run the file:
Check maximum lines in a paragraph: this option allows you to specify how many lines are allowed in a paragraph (paragraph equates to an Excel cell). So if you use a soft return to add an additional line when the value is set to report when there is more than one line (the default) then the verification will report an error. For example, if you did this:
Then a warning (default) is flagged because you exceeded one line:
You have the option to decide whether you need to report on this or not, and to specify the severity of the message.
Scope of verification checks: the verifier can check source and/or target for the reportable errors mentioned above.
The embedded content processing in this page supports the use of the Embedded Content Processors available in Trados Studio:
This provides good functionality for html support, or plain text through the use of regular expressions. For more information on this please see the regular Trados Studio help.
However, this filetype has some built in html support which means that handling Excel files that do contain html embedded content may not require the use of an embedded content processor at all. You may only need to use the Embedded Content Processor for content that is particularly complex. For example, in the sample gaming file at the start of this wiki you can see content like this:
If you were using the out of the box Bilingual Excel filetype you would have to define your own rules to handle this content. In the Multilingual Excel Filetype you can use the HTML embedded content processor (this example uses a custom html embedded content processor called "WackyRaces_gaming") to achieve this:
You can also choose not to use anything and the filetype will still manage manage the tagged content, and it won't need to add the orange file tags after every segment that contains html markup:
This is a significant improvement over the bilingual excel filetype for a common usecase requiring users to learn a little about regular expressions.
There are also some important under the hood improvements with this out of the box mark-up handling in that entity and encoding support resolve some of the problems users have encountered when writing back the translatable content only to discover that characters were written as entity values, or they were not encoded properly and appeared as corrupt characters in the Excel target file.
One of the downsides of using the embedded content processors in Trados Studio is that you have a choice, html markup OR other types of placeholders, but not both. If you have content like this for example:
This cell contains html markup, and also placeholders in curly brackets. The Multilingual Excel filetype provides the ability to support both types of content at the same time. In this case you could allow the out of the box html markup capability to deal with the html, and then use the Embedded Content Plain Text processor to create rules using regular expressions. Or you could use this Placeholders page to define simple rules to deal with the content that is not being tagged as you require:
Four rules supporting the more common type of placeholders are available by default, but you can create your own if the content you need to tag is not handled by the out of the box expressions. In the example file these expressions will suffice and this can be easily achieved:
The entity support in this page uses the same support available for other filetypes in Trados Studio:
For more information on this please see the documentation on entity support in the Trados Studio filetypes, for example HTML.
The QuickInsert support in this page uses the same support available for other filetypes in Trados Studio.
For more information on this please see the regular Trados Studio help.
There are two batch tasks associated specifically with this filetype:
Import Multilingual Translations (Excel)
This task imports the content of the target language information in your Excel files. It isn't mandatory to import this all the time, for example if none of the target languages have been translated yet, but it may be required if you have language specific character or pixel length checks, comments or other contextual information. So this means that for all but the most simple Excel files you will probably need to run this batch task to be able to work correctly with target language verification and contextual data.
If you are using the Freelance version of Trados Studio this will have to be a separate task after you have created your project because you won't have the ability to create custom batch tasks. But if you have the Professional version of Trados Studio you can of course create the tasks you wish to be run while creating your project. For example, here we have used three tasks only to create the project which can significantly speed up the time it takes to create a project:
In this example we added a pre-translate task to the end and use four tasks:
Running the task after the project is created is not a serious problem, but you must remember to do this to ensure the availability of all the features available in this filetype if you have more than just columns for the translatable text.
It's also worth noting that if you hide rows in Excel, or filter them out, then the import will ignore these hidden rows. Additionally there are options on the import to Overwrite existing translations, set the Origin System (this might be helpful for TM updates or filtering in Trados Studio with the Advanced Display Filter), or set the status of the segments after import (Draft, Translated, Translation Rejected, Translation Approved, SignOff Rejected, SignOff Approved):
It's also possible to Exclude Segments from being updated in Trados Studio based on various criteria:
- Translation Rejected
- Translation Approved
- SignOff Rejected
- SignOff Approved
- Perfect Match
- Context Match
- Exact Match
- Machine Translation
- Adaptive Machine Translation
- Neural Machine Translation
- Fuzzy Match
So a good degree of flexibility with regards to importing content from your Excel files.
Generate Multilingual Translations (Excel)
This task generates the target Multilingual Excel file. It's different to the out of the box Generate Target Translations because this task will create a separate Excel file for each language pair in your Multilingual project. The Generate Multilingual Translations (Excel) batch task will also merge all your target languages into one file. So if you had forty different target languages in your Excel file this is going to save you a considerable amount of work putting the file together. The larger the project, number and size of files, amount of content, number of languages, the longer this task will take. So waiting times of a few minutes will not be unusual.
The target files will be created in a folder in your project folder called Multilingual:
It's also worth noting that running this task will finalise your project. This is a rather irritating feature of Trados Studio that we were unable to workaround using the API. So if you run this mid-project to provide an update to your customer be prepared to have to Revert to SDLXLIFF for each file in each language in your project.
Note to Trados AppStore Team: create an app to Revert to SDLXLIFF for an entire project in one click!
Generate Target Translations
We also support regenerating the file using the standard batch task: Generate Target Translations. This is always run and will generate the standard bilingual version of the target native file in each target language folder.
The filetype also includes the sheet name as document structure that is displayed in the Editor navigation window. This may be useful if you are importing from multiple sheets in a workbook.
Future Planned Enhancements
There are already enhancements planned for this filetype that we will address after the initial release:
- this may be useful, although using the DSI Viewer from the appstore in conjunction with this filetype somewhat negates the priority on this for now.
- Support for multiple worksheets with different layouts
- the intention is to provide a mechanism for Excel worksheet specific settings so there won't be a need to create separate projects for each worksheet and manually merge afterwards
If there are features for this filetype you think we should be supporting please use the ideas platform to share them.