Thursday, October 23, 2014

TransTools for Visio

Not terribly Perl-specific, obviously, but here's the first tool I've ever found to help with translating Visio documents and embeds: TransTools for Visio. It's not perfect (what in the Microsoft ecosystem can ever be?) but it's a damn sight better than slogging through by hand, and a point of departure should I run into more Visio in the future. For some reason, it's sadly rare.

As things stand, with Word 2003 and Visio 2007, translating in TRADOS 2011, the workflow is:

  • Open the TransTools for Visio file in Visio.
  • Find a Visio drawing. If it opens directly, great, otherwise:
  • Cut and paste the drawing into a new document and open it directly there.
  • Select All and copy out everything in the drawing.
  • Paste into a new unnamed drawing in the same process as the open TTV drawing with the macros.
  • Run the magical macro to search the unnamed drawing and build a Word table.
  • Copy that table into a new document because the macro doesn't open the table in a full Word instance with menus (this could be fixed, obviously)
  • Drag that new document into the source language side of SDL.
  • Prepare that for translation.
  • Move to target language and translate. Don't use tabs, as they'll mess us up three steps from now.
  • Save the target document.
  • Open that document, select the left column, and paste into the original interim document, then copy the whole table.
  • Run the magical macro to search-and-replace the unnamed drawing. This uses a tab-delimited paste of the table, so tabs in your text will be Very Bad Indeed.
  • Select All in the unnamed drawing, and copy.
  • Delete everything in the embedded drawing, and paste the translated bits.
  • Jockey around to align properly. This is pretty manual. Sometimes you need to adjust text sizes as well, so actually this probably has to be manual.
  • If you copied the drawing out into a separate document, now copy it back in. Adjust for location and size if that step screwed things up, which they appear always to do (I don't have enough experience yet).
That's a pretty lengthy process, and yet it's still far superior in terms of mental capacity and quality control than not translating using a real tool. Everything except the translation and the last two steps could be automated, some during job preparation (which is obviously a good thing, because otherwise your word counts will be off).

So. Very nice tool.

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