Translating PDF format to PDF format

If sometimes you are stuck with a pdf file without recourse to the source, and the layout is complicated with perhaps images inserted in the text, various columns, and whatnot – then your solution is probably called Infix.

Infix is a program with two main functions: (1) It allows you to edit any pdf file. (2) It allows you to create an xliff file for translation in Studio (or other CAT tools);  the translation (in xliff format) can then be imported into Infix where a translated pdf can be created (and edited). Note that what you get is thus a pdf  while you can get the same text also in rtf format (see below), that document is completely without a layout and thus of very limited use, i.e. no better than what Studio can produce.

Here is what you do. (For background and a training video, you should also read & watch Paul Filkin’s blog post Handling PDFs… is there a best way?)

Download, registration and installation

First, go to the Infix home page ( and take a look, for your information. Then select Infix PDF Editor and Try It For Free!, which will download the installation zip file. Install it.

After installation, you should also click Buy from €8.99 on the page. When you do this, it does not mean you have to buy; you arrive at a page where you can (a) see the different purchase options, and also register for the free trial: scroll to somewhere around the middle of this page and click the Register button and go on from there.

Note: The difference between the free trial and the subscription is that with the former, you can edit not more than 50 final pdf pages in the Infix PDF Editor; after that it’s 50 cents per page. And it is unlikely that the resulting page(s) don’t require at least some editing. So do your calculations and make your choice.

The work process

1.      Open Infix.

2.      Open the pdf file you want to translate.

3.      Select Translate > Export as XLIFF.

This process requires you to log in (with the details you created/gave during registration) and also to select source and target languages as well as file name. Furthermore, your file organiser will open, so that you can check if the xlf file has been created. This is just for your information; close it if you like.

The exported document will be opened in Infix and you can see if it looks promising (with really complicated pages, you may see that you will still have some work to do after everything is done, but believe me, that’s nothing compared to all other ways of handling the same material).

Note: During this process, a box opens telling you that the document is being uploaded to That page is where everything is being done, and if you want to, you can follow the processes there, as in this image. As for how to open that page, see the end of this post.

Now you’re ready to translate:

4.      Open Studio.

5.      Select Translate Single Document, open the xml file you just created and select suitable TM(s) or machine translation or whatever. If appropriate, do a pre-translation batch task.

6.      When your translation is finalised (or when you just want to check how it looks), save it in xlf format (Shift+F12). Normally it’s OK to overwrite the original xlf file (you will be asked).

Note: All the following steps can be performed whether the translation is complete or only partly done.

7.      In Infix, select Translate > Import translated XLIFF.

8.      Browse to the xliff translation you just created and then select the Import button.

Preview or go to Final PDF?

When the import is done, you get to choose whether to view a preview of the result. You can do this as an intermediate step, or you can skip it and download the final pdf version. In both cases, you get to choose between Normal view, Compare Horizontal and Compare Vertical, the comparisons being between the source document and the preview/final version. The preview will be watermarked (“”), but that will be removed in the final translation. Another difference is that the preview is read-only, whereas the final version can be edited (see below).

The preview also contains a starting page listing translation data as well as any font problems and their resolutions (such as “Futura-Bold -> Alegreya Sans Black) and instructions on how to deal with possible problems. If you skip this stage, you can still get this font report page from the Infix site – see below.

9.      Download the final pdf: Select Translate > Download Final PDF. Select the translated xml and, if necessary, rename it so that the result is kept separate from the previous translation xml file. As with the preview, you can select to open it alone or together with the original pdf. If you open for comparison but decide you only want to see/work with resulting pdf alone, just close the comparison and open the result (with Ctrl+O as usual).

Together with the opened file, you may get a window listing possible problems, such as this:

For a close look at a problem, select it and click View. You may experiment with the Text Fitting option, but you can also use the editing tools on top of the Infix window. Paul Filkin gives some instructive examples of such editing in his video, at 10:25. The editing is a bit tricky, but there is a comprehensive guide to be accessed via the program’s Help menu; also on-line tutorials.

You can also have the translation in rtf format (without any kind of page layout). For that, you need to go to your own TransPDF site: Go to the registration/sign-in page at and sign in. This page opens:

As you see, you have here some of the options on the Translate menu, plus the option of downloading the final rtf, which sometimes might be useful for editing purposes. Also, once you have translated the file you can use this page instead of the Infix interface. One difference is that for the editing of the final pdf, you do need Infix.


This text replaces the corresponding section in the manual; it has been removed in order to save space there but also because its “competitor”, AutoHotkey seems to be more popular. It is also easier to use; on the other hand, I think PhraseExpress offers a large number of useful functions well worth exploring.

Start at the PhraseExpress feature list and look round; then download and try it.
The application, when started, is found in the Taskbar’s system tray. Right-clicking it will produce this menu:

You open the PhraseExpress window by selecting Edit phrases:

This is where you manage your autotext entries, phrases, hotkeys, etc.; we’ll get back to that. To familiarise yourself with the Help is a good idea, and you can also do that without installing PhraseExpress: it is here.

Note 1: The help text often refers to the Settings option, which you will find on the Tools menu.

Note 2: The PhraseExpress functions do not work if you have this window open, so after any action performed in it: minimise it or close it.

Text replacement (with AutoText)

1. Select the phrase you want PhraseExpress to insert when you type its “abbreviation”.
2. Press Ctrl+Alt+C. This dialog box opens:

3. Enter a suitable Autotext abbreviation. (The Hotkey option is mainly intended for the execution of macros; see below.)
4. Press OK.

When you type the abbreviation and the selected delimiter, the entry in the Description field will be inserted instead.


There is no specific auto-correction function; just as in Word, any misspelled word listed as an “abbreviation” will be replaced by its corresponding (correctly spelled) Description. Of course, for this you need a list corresponding to the lists provided with Word, and you need to import it into PhraseExpress. Depending on language, there are two alternatives:

  • Use one of the lists offered by PhraseExpress: En, De, Nl, Fr, Es, Po, or It
  • Import your Word AutoCorrect entries

Import AutoCorrect entries provided by PE

  1. Open the PhraseExpress window (right-click the tray icon and select Edit phrases).
  2. In the Phrases and Folders pane, open the File menu and select Download additional contents. The PhraseExpress site opens with the Free PhraseExpress Add-Ons window.
  3. Click a suitable AutoCorrect file and save it.
  4. In the Phrases and Folders pane, select New folder.
  5. Open the File menu, select Import and then PhraseExpress Phrase File.
  6. Locate the file you just downloaded (a .pxp file) and open it. Answer Yes to the message window that opens (to avoid duplicate entries).

The result (for German) looks like this (the corresponding English material is already provided by default):

Import Word AutoCorrect entries

  1. Open the PhraseExpress window (right-click the tray icon and select Edit phrases).
  2. In the Phrases and Folders pane, select New folder.
  3. Open the File menu, select Import and then MS Word AutoCorrect entries. Answer Yes to the message window that opens (to avoid duplicate entries).
  4. A new folder, Imported MS Word AutoCorrect entries, is created, with the imported content.

Should it happen that the import consists of the English list instead of your target language, you need to extract the AutoCorrect entries for that language – see the instructions in the AutoHotkey section below.

Input correction entries with TypoLearn

When you make a manual correction of a typing error, PhraseExpress registers that as an AutoCorrect entry for future use. (It seems you have make the same correction three times for PhraseExpress to pick it up.) This applies to single word entries if you have ended them with a space character, then deleted that space with backspace, corrected the word and then again ended it with a space. Entries are stored in the Word Corrections folder.

Text suggestions (AutoComplete)

Here is a potentially very useful function: PhraseExpress can recognise words, phrases and spelling correction which have occurred repeatedly and stores them for use exactly in the way Studio uses AutoSuggest. It may be a good idea to take a look at the settings for this (Tools > Settings > AutoSuggest).

Import an external phrase file

You can import phrase files of your own (e.g. to provide text suggestions for AutoComplete). See the Help file, the section headed Importing an External Bitmap or Text File.

Enable/disable a phrase folder

Obviously, you can have phrase folders with contents in different languages. To avoid possibly confusing AutoCorrections etc., you can disable irrelevant folders: right-click the folder and select Enable Autotext/Hotkeys so that the checkmark disappears.

Clipboard manager

PhraseExpress has a “clipboard cache” function which saves a number of clipboard contents. By pressing Ctrl+Alt+V, you can select them in a popup menu (and by right-clicking a content you get further options).


There is an enormous amount of actions you can perform using the macro functions in PhraseExpress. Most of them may not be very useful in Studio, however.


Dependency file not found

When you open a partly translated file to continue translating it, you may encounter the error message “Dependency file not found” with the question “Would you like to browse for this [i.e. the original] file?”.

What to do:

If you have the original source file, the simplest solution is to answer Yes to the question in the error message and locate the source file. But if you are working on a project package, you will normally not have any source files included. Here are two ways to proceed:

  • Close the project in Studio. Go to the project’s TM file (where all your translations so far are stored) and re-name it (or if you want to be really safe, copy it to another location). Open the original .sdlproj file again (i.e. re-create the project from scratch). Then change the project settings to use your “old” TM instead of the newly created one, and run the batch task Pre-translate Files. (Whatever you do, do not just re-open the project package without safeguarding your TM, since the TM which is generated will overwrite the existing TM with the same name and you will have lost all your work.)
  • Another method in both cases (project package or not) is to skip the source file matter and answer No to the question in the error message. You can then continue translating as usual, but you cannot Save Target As, Finalize, Generate Target Translations or Preview. What you can do, however, is make sure that the TM you produce is complete; i.e. does not contain any unconfirmed or un-translated segments.

Once you have done this, you can start from scratch using the TM you have just produced. Or, in case of a project package, follow the procedure described above.

There are other solutions, mostly to do with restoring the dependency files or repairing the .sdlxliff files, but to me they seem unnecessary complicated and not completely reliable.

Why this happens:

According to Knowledge Base #3897 (see below), a dependency file is created “when the original file is too large to be embedded in the .sdlxliff file”, and a ‘dependency file’ is then created which contains a link to the original file. The dependency file is stored as a temporary (.temp) file. However, some computer tune-up/diagnostics software will delete all .temp files unless they are instructed not to (you need to find out for yourself how to do that). It could also happen that the Windows hibernation function is the cause, in which case that particular energy option needs to be disabled.

Furthermore, you can adjust the Studio settings which control the file size leading to the creation of dependency files. Go to Files > Options > File Types > SDLXLIFF – General and move the ruler under “Embedding” to its maximum (100 MB). Why is the default value 20 MB, and will this change have any negative effects? I don’t know. (Thanks to Walter Blaser for pointing to this solution.)

There are two entries in the SDL Knowledge Base dealing with this problem:

Article 3897 (for project packages), and

Article 4731 (for a corrupted .sdlxliff file)

The latter describes (under Resolution) how to recreate the .sdlxliff file, which could be a useful option. It is, however, not primarily intended for the case when the dependency file is lost but when the .sdlxliff file for some reason is corrupted.

Creating one .sdlxliff file for several virtually merged files

If you are working on at project with several files, and in particular if at least some of them are pretty small, and you did not merge them when the project was created – then it may be a nuisance that you cannot export them all into one file for review/proofreading.

However, the fact is that you can! A file necessary for this is created automatically as Studio auto-saves the files you are working on. This means that if you go to


you will see that a .tmp file (with a non-meaningful name like “tmp123A”) is created with the interval set for auto-saving. (You will also see that there are a large number of those – and similar – temp files collected there, eventually taking up a lot of memory space. This is not a good thing, of course: normally, only the last of them is useful for this purpose. But don’t start deleting en masse – some of the temp files are necessary for you to be able to create target files.)

When the files are ready for review, just copy that last .temp file to a location of your choice, rename the file extension to .sdlxliff (and maybe give the file itself a meaningful name). Then you can use it as appropriate: send it to a colleague for reviewing it in Studio, or open it in Studio yourself for exporting for bilingual review. In the latter case, before you can perform any batch tasks at all, you need to (1) save the file, and (2) change its language (in the Files view) to the source language.

In all, this is excellent news, and you can read more about it in Paul Filkin’s blog post, Good bugs… bad bugs!, which includes a video tutorial. Thanks are also due to Yuji Yamamoto for discovering this in the first place.

Note: It has been known to happen (i.e. I and a few other people have noticed) that the AutoSave function suddenly does not work any more (but the temp function described above still does). You can check that by opening the AutoSave folder, located here:

c:\Users\[USERNAME]\Documents\Studio 2015\AutoSave\

and see whether it is updated appropriately. If not, it may help to deactivate the function and then activating it again (it is active by default). You will find it under File > Options > Editor; then look at the AutoSave header at the bottom in the righ-hand pane.

All this will of course be included in the the next edition of the manual.

Where to find lots of information about Studio 2015

[Updated 25 August, 2015] If you’re curious about the new version, the first thing you should do is go to Paul Filkin’s multifarious blog and read Studio 2015, first things first!. Not only does he tell you about the new features, he also informs about compatibility, the update procedure, migration… I don’t think there is anything that you need to know that Paul hasn’t covered here.

Another blogger, Emma Goldsmith, has written two informative posts on her Signs & Symptoms of Translation:

and they are exactly what you expect.

The “official” information on Studio 2015 is of course the Release Notes.

A particularly popular new feature, the extension of the AutoSuggest facilities, is described in detail by Nora Díaz in her blog post, Studio 2015: AutoSuggest Gets Even Better (in Nora Díaz on Translation, Teaching, and Other Stuff).

And since (a) the 2015 of my manual is not out yet, and (b) it would anyway probably too late to read about this particular OpenExchange plugin if you have already bought and installed Studio 2015, you should take note of it already before you do that. I’m talking about the Studio Migration Utility, which helps you in a clever way to transfer all your work from one version of Studio to another (likely 2015). Read more about it in Paul Filkin’s blog post, With a little help from my friends.

Also, if you are upgrading and have OpenExchange applications installed for Studio 2014, Emma Goldsmith’s blog post How to transfer apps from SDL Trados Studio 2014 to 2015 should be useful.

Finally, I’m pretty certain that sooner or later, you will need Paul Filkin’s blog post SDL Sustenance, where you can read everything about how to find support and help for Studio. (And it’s a lot!)

And that, friends, gives you a very good start when making the decision to buy or not to buy Studio 2015, and getting started with it (and using it) if you do.

Then towards middle September you can expect to be able to get the 2015 version of the manual, all 510+ pages of it. (Yes, a new version of Studio only adds features without detracting anything, and this is reflected in the girth of the manual.)

From “In review 0%” to “In translation” or “Translated 100%”

Here is a problem reported by David Perry and solved by Jerzy Czopik.

1. When does Studio decide to go from “100% translated” to “In review 0%”? Some files do this automatically when I reach the magic 100% mark, others don’t. 

2. How can I go back to “In translation”? My package has  two files that refuse to go back to the “In translation” status, even though I can make changes in them. I have tried editing segments and changing the segment status globally, but the status does not change from “In review”.

Solution: Run the batch task “Translation count”. The status of the file will then be the result of the status of all segments. When all are “translated”, the file will be “Translated 100%”. When one or more are “draft” or “not translated”, the file will be “In translation”.

IntelliWebSearch – a quick start guide to Version 3

Michael Farrel’s IntelliWebSearch (IWS) is an extremely popular program for looking up terms in a large number of terminology (and other) resources, also from within Studio and other CAT tools. It’s quite easy to use, but the help pages (on the net) may be slightly off-putting. Therefore, I have written this quick guide, which will help you use the basic functions (which as usual is what you will use most of the time).

Note: This guide is about Version 3 of IWS. In 2015, however, Michael released Version 5, which is substantially improved in many ways, but which also is not free (although you might argue that €25 for a twelve-month license is not an awful lot of money; besides, you can test it for free during two months).

And eventually, there will be a guide to Version 5 on this website, similar to this one.

In brief: With IWS – both versions – you select a word or expression in your text and the either uses the shortcut Ctrl+Alt+B which will take you to the search window, where you can choose one or some (or all) of the web sites – up to 50 in Version 3 – which you have selected as suitable search places. Or you can enter a shortcut directly to a selected site (which may be preferable, since this directness is one of the great advantages of IWS).

Once arrived at the site you might find a suitable translation, in which case you select it and press Ctrl+Alt+C. The text will be copied and at the same time you are taken back to Studio (or wherever you started), where you can paste it with Ctrl+V.

All shortcuts are re-programmable.

It’s that easy. In fact, the only part that might be a bit tricky is if you want to program a site which you want to use and which is not already on Michael’s lists (see below). But there is a “wizard” for that (and the help, of course).

Basic use

You get the installation file on the Version 3 download page (and here is the introduction). During (or after) the installation you can choose to start the program with Windows or put it on the desktop. When it’s activated, a small i is shown to the right in the taskbar, or behind the Show hidden icons arrow. By right-clicking the icon, you open a menu leading to all IWS windows :







And this is the search window, to be opened by Ctrl+Alt+B or the quick menu above:





















In the search field on top you will see the search expression, which you can edit. You can also strip numbers or punctuation.

Explanations of the search options (note also the option of using shortcuts here: Alt+underlined figure or letter):

PluriSearch means searching on the sites that you select in a list like this: Click the Search settings button. The Search settings window opens (see figure below). Select the check boxes in front of the sites you want to arrive at (i.e. Group and number) and then use the Add/Remove from list button. Once you’re done, close the window (or go to another one).
















GroupSearch means searching in the group that’s open. You select another one using the Group list button. You can rename the group using the Rename button in the Search settings window.

To create a shortcut for direct search on a certain site (instead of using Ctrl+Alt+B), open Search settings, select the site, select Edit > Edit selected, and assign a Shortcut Key. Then click Save and close.

Language combination

Note that for some sites, you need to select a language combination, which you do in the same place where you assign a shortcut, i.e. Search settings. (Select the site, select Edit > Edit selected and make the change in the Finish box – which is usually set to it > en. Example: for IATE



You set the basic shortcuts (and other stuff) in the Program settings window (which you open via the search window or the right-click menu).

More search sites

For some reason, there are – at – some sites which are not on the list in the Search settings window. There you can select a suitable combination of languages and subjects and then download any results – some or all – to your computer. (Select the whole list with Download all as a new user’s starter pack or click a specific site and select Download the settings as a file.) Then add it in the Search settings window (Share > Import from file). Here you will find specialised sites such as IATE Law Domain Term Search, and an advantage with this procedure is that you will automatically get the correct language combination for all sites that you find.

Since I haven’t explored the settings for searching in local term databases, I can’t describe that function. But admit that it sounds exciting!

Good luck!

The IATE termbase – some suggestions

IATE (Inter-Active Terminology for Europe) is the European Union’s inter-institutional terminology database, and it is such a huge – more than 8 million termpost entries – and comprehensive (and also to a great extent normative) terminology resource that I feel motivated to include some extra information about it.

A good place to start is IATE’s own “Download IATE” page, with a brief description including the number of term posts for each of the 26 languages and a download link.

Further information, including some links to useful sites, is found at the Terminology Coordination site, the Download IATE.TBX page.

If you want to learn about the basics of how to use the gigantic .tbx file and the practical problems associated with that, Paul Filkin’s blog post What a whopper! is a fine place to do that.

If, however, you want to go directly to importing a suitable language pair, then if you’re lucky, Paul has already done the work for you. For 11 English <> [some other EU language], he provides (free of charge) the corresponding .tbx file, as well as for 7 other language combinations involving French, German, Italian, Polish, Dutch, Spanish, and Portuguese. Go to the blog post A few bilingual TBX resources and find out.

However, there are glitches in the IATE base material, and they are present also in Paul’s files. But they have been dealt with in the files that are provided by Henk Sanderson via his SanTrans site ( The problems, specified in detail by Henk, are these:

  • The handling of synonyms varies.
  • Context notes are sometimes inserted in the term itself.
  • There are a lot of HTML tags or formatting strings that mess up the term post.
  • Subjects are listed as numerical codes which are extremely problematic to interprete.
  • Some terms are in fact whole sentences, more appropriate for a TM than for a termbase.
  • There are numerous non-UTF-8 characters.
  • There are a lot of 1-, 2- and 3-letter words.

Henk has taken care of all this in the files he provides. They are not free, but very inexpensive: 10 euro for the first language pair, 7.50 for each additional pair. Order under the Contact & Comments tab at the SanTrans site. Included are very detailed and easy-to-follow instructions.

You will find all this illustrated in a pedagogical way in Paul Filkin’s blog post IATE, the last word… maybe!.

The SDL Language Cloud

This will be a long post…

With the cumulative update (CU) 6, on 5 August, the SDL BeGlobal Community was replaced by the SDL Language Cloud. It offers many more options and hence requires a sub-section of its own, which will be included in the upcoming update of the 2014 version of the manual. (Note, however, that this applies only to the 2014 version of Studio. Users of the 2011 and 2009 versions still have access to the BeGlobal Community but not to the Language Cloud.) The SDL Language Cloud gives you the following options:

  • Free access to the roughly same facilities as with the BeGlobal Community, only under another name. It is restricted to searching for 600,000 source text characters per month (more than for BeGlobal, where it was 4,000 words per day).
  • Basic access, at $10 per month, to 750,000 characters per month (extra characters at $20 per million), plus the option of using one dictionary (i.e. a dictionary for one language combination), where you can upload any number of your own suitable dictionaries. More on that below.
  • Advanced access, at $35 per month, to 2 million characters per month (extra characters at $30 per million), plus the option of using 2 dictionaries and 1 specially trained and industry-specific machine translation engine.
  • Expert access, at $75 per month, to 3 million characters per month (extra characters at $30 per million), plus the option of using 5 dictionaries and 2 specially trained and industry-specific machine translation engine.

You can try this out for free during 30 days. The trial includes 1 million characters, 3 dictionaries and 3 engines. For those who are familiar with API programming (I’m not), there is also the SDL Language Cloud Translation Toolkit (at https://langu­, which enables devel­opers to submit content for translation via the SDL Language Cloud translation platform.

Getting started

If you don’t have a Language Cloud account when you open Studio, you will be greeted with a Welcome to Language Cloud window. Click Next, log in, and then click Finish. This establishes your account with Language Cloud, and the 30 day free trial will be activated at the same time. Next, go to File > Language Cloud. The LC account summary will open in the right-hand pane, detailing the details of the trial option:

When the trial period is over, you will be requested to select a subscription option.

The SDL Language Cloud page

All manipulations of your Language Cloud account is done on the SDL Language Cloud page, which you reach via Studio: Go to File > Langu­age Cloud, then select the Manage Subscription button (or, as the case may be, the Upgrade your subscription button). You will be taken to your account page, showing your Current packages:

– Plans and pricing: If you want to see the different options (or select one of them), select the Pricing tab:

– Available languages: On this page there is also a link to a list of all available languages (you can find it direcly – without being logged in – at

– Customized package: If In addition, you can have a subscription package taylored to your specific needs: scroll down to the Need more? part:

As for the other tabs – Overview, API Documentation, and FAQ – I leave them for you to investigate.


A dictionary in the Lanugage Cloud is an empty container specifying source and target languages, and you then fill with content of your own. The difference between having those entries automatically looked up in a MultiTerm termbase and in a Language Cloud dictionary is that in the former case you will see the hit in an AutoSuggest list – and have to select it manually if you want to use it – whereas in the latter case it will be automatically inserted into the machine translated target segment.

– Add a dictionary: On the SDL Language Cloud page, go to the left-hand menu and select Translation Tools, then Dictionaries. The Diction­aries pane opens. If you haven’t created any dictionaries, you’re invited to do so. Otherwise, the pane looks like this:

Click the New Dictionary button. The Add a New Dictionary pane opens:

Fill in the fields and select languages, then Save. Now you can import content, or you can do it later. The Dictionaries pane will list the new dictionary (dictionaries).

– Import dictionary content: You can, at any time, import new content into your dictionaries. Go to the Dictionaries pane as described above. Click the Edit pen for the dictionary in question:

The Manage Dictionary pane opens:

Click the Import button and upload your dictionary file (must have a TBX or XML file extension, TBX being the XML-based standard for exchanging terminological data). Note that neither the Studio SDLTB nor the old MTW will not do, so you may need to open the dictionary in MultiTerm and export it to the appropriate format. (In the Upload file box which opens when you click Import, there is a link – Learn more – to Knowledge base entry #5267 with a video showing the full import process including how to export from MultiTerm.)

Note: To get the best results you should simply your termbase, making it one-to-one (synonyms are not handled intelligently in Language Cloud dictionaries). This dictionary function is at its best when you are using very specific terminologies, such as for brand guides.

In the same Manage Dictionary pane, your imports – successful and failed – will be listed in an Import History list.

– Search for dictionaries: On top of the Dictionaries pane (see above) there is a search field. It is used for searching for a particular dictionary. Why would you do that when even the Expert subscription only gives you 5 dictionaries? The answer is found further down on the pricing page: “Need more? Contact us to discuss packages and pricing.” If your needs are such that you handle 30 different dictionaries (or millions of words per day), there is a solution for that, too. And then the search function (plus the box for specifying how many hits per page you want) may come in handy.


An Engine is a more or less specialised application of machine translation. The one which is included in the free option is the same as before, in BeGlobal Community, which means a  general content TM for automatic translation much like Google Translate or Bing. For the paid options, there are specialised engines – currently, however, only with English as source. This is because so far, these are the only ones “trained” enough to give demonstrably better results than the standard ones. (I haven’t checked this myself.) The domains of specialisation are Automotive, Electronics, IT, Life Science, and Travel (not all of them are available for every language combination).

(The training of an engine – possible if you use BeGlobal Enterprise – requires statistically significant volumes of translation data, preferably more than half a million words per update. For an organisation doing a lot of translation this may be a worthwhile exercise, but it is hardly useful for the freelance translator.)

– Select engines: On the SDL Language Cloud page, go to the left-hand menu and select Translation Tools > Engines. Then click the engine(s) you need. Once you have saved your selections, you cannot change them until the next billing period – see below.

Billing period

To see your current billing period: On the SDL Language Cloud page, go to the left-hand menu and select Subscription. You can change between Auto-Renewal and manual renewal anytime you want. Just click the left-hand or right-hand part of the Auto-Renewal part here:

In this example, the Auto-Renewal option is on, and the wording “Active until” means that the subscription will be automatically renewed on the specified date. If the Auto-Renewal option is off, the corresponding wording will be “Expires on” (which is a lot more clear than “Active until”, I would say).

Current subscription status

You can always see the current status of your subscription (package type, how much you have used, etc.) on the Summary pane which opens when you select, in Studio, File > Language Cloud.

Menu items

The left-hand menu of the SDL Language Cloud page gives access to resources as follows:

Summary: The summary of your current subscription activities (see above) which is also shown in the Studio window via File > Translation Cloud.

Subscription: The Current Package / Available Packages pane (see above).

Translation Tools: Sub-items Dictionaries and Engines (see above).

Integrations: Sub-item API Keys; for the creation of API keys (for more information, select the API Documentation tab).

Analytics: Sub-items Machine Translation and Human Trans­lation; for reports on your usage of those features.

Profile: Sub-items User Information, Account Information, and Password.

Administration: Sub-items Account Balance, Billing Details, and Translation Limits.


Make sure to read Paul Filkin’s multifarious posting on this topic – particularly if you’re a 2011 user who has run into an error message telling you that you have exceeded the maximum number of words per day, even though you know you haven’t.

Error during Update from External Review

It’s not uncommon that the Update from External Review ends in error. This will happen if the review document was handled in Word 2003 or previous versions (even if the .docx format is retained), but it can happen for other reasons as well. However, this is often a solution:

  1. Open the problematic reviewed document in any version of Word and accept the changes as desired (if you haven’t already).
  2. Copy the thus changed reviewed target column.
  3. Insert the copy into the original review document and, as applicable, delete the extra right-hand column or accept all changes.
  4. Save the amended original review document and use that for the update process as above.
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