lundi 31 octobre 2011

Change growing apace?

Today is Halloween, and to celebrate, fellow blogger, Miguel Llorens, has relaunched his blog of a year ago featuring his public answer to a rather manipulative e-mail from Didier Hélin, VP of Lionbridge (LIOX): Hélin's e-mail was to persuade translation suppliers used by Lionbridge to accept a 5% reduction in their rates on the basis of the economic climate. Llorens outed Hélin by a public reply through his blog. Quite appropriate considering that Hélin's piece was one of those no-reply jobs.

The anniversary re-post shows great timing: all around the world, people are participating in the Occupy * movements, and at the same time, the figures on the pay rises among the top 1% of earners are coming out showing enormous increases with no justification in their performance, while the rest of us mortals - faced with inflation - are constantly losing ground.

Perhaps the days of translators taking things lying down are coming to a close: bad publicity may be better than none at all, but it can't help a company like Lionbridge if their corporate customers begin to wonder about the motivation and loyalty of their independent suppliers.

So, dear reader, since Hélin's outing, have you seen more negotiation between equals in the translation marketplace? Let us know!

dimanche 2 octobre 2011

Word 2010 Annoyances / 1

If you've bought a new Windows laptop or desktop recently, chances are that it has a trial version of Office 2010 pre-installed. So, you may already be using this suite, in particular Word 2010, or will be using it quite soon.

What are Word 2010's inherent annoyances?

If you're a translator, there's one huge annoyance that you will run into every time you open a file that a customer has sent you: Protected View.

The Microsoft people have come to the conclusion that many users simply download large numbers of files from the Internet, have no antivirus software, and open the files without thinking that they might contain virus-ridden macros. So, they've decided that the safest bet is to consider this to be a universal use case, and only allow any file downloaded from the Internet to be opened in Protected View, i.e. read only mode.

If you are a translator and receive documents, for example newsletters, with a certain amount of boilerplate text that your customer doesn't even want you to include in your statistics at a discount rate for 100% matches or context matches, you probably already select all the text to be ignored and use character formatting to hide it so that your translation environment doesn't take it into account. This, of course, means editing the file.

You may also receive Word documents generated from PDF files (in other words, your customer didn't have the source file). These require a considerable amount of editing before you can translate them (see Kevin Lossner's post on this subject:

For these two use cases, the Protected View default setting will drive you crazy ... at least, initially because it means yet another extra step: as shown below, you have to click the "Allow editing" button and wait a fraction of a second until Word allows you to do what you want.

Luckily, you can disable Protected View once and for all. Doing this isn't recommended by Microsoft, but how often do your customers send you files with viruses? It's not really in keeping with their profile, nor is the MS general user in keeping with yours either.

Here's how to do it:
  1. Click File | Options.
  2. Click Trust Center from the left sidebar

  3. Click the Trust Center Settings button in the main window.

  4. Now in Trust Center dialog box, select Protected View from the left sidebar to disable protected view for files that have been downloaded from the internet.

  5. Click OK.
Now you're set to optimize any Word file that a customer sends you without ever having to remember again to allow editing.

This is only one of the annoyances for translators in Word 2010 and The next one I'll be presenting involves the Save as feature. What others have you come across? Send me a brief description by a comment on this post, or by twitter: @dmydmy. I'll write a complete description here and if possible, provide a workaround too.