Friday, June 16, 2006

Poor technical support from SDL

This morning I received an answer to my support request concerning the "skipped segments in tables" bug (see Serious bug in Trados):
[...]The only workaround I can see is to use the option to Set Close after translation and place your cursor before the next segment in the table that needs translating and then use Open/Get to open this segment for translation.

I hope this helps.[...]
I consider this answer less than helpful, and said as much to the support person:
Your suggestion is totally unsatisfactory: having to manually open and close each single segment is part of the problem, not of the solution.

I use Trados in order to speed up translation. Having to manually open, then close each single segment is not conductive to that. Bear in mind that the real-world files in which I encounter this problem may have several hundred segments.

Please note:
  1. Trados 5.5 did not have this bug.
  2. This bug was introduced with version 6.5 (or possibly 6... I did not test it on that version), and is still present in version 7.1
  3. We paid good money for a program that is full of bugs.
What are SDL plans in order to resolve this issue? Your company should put some programmer at work and issue a free patch as soon as this serious problem is solved.

In the meantime, a better suggestion than the one you gave me is to use Tag Editor to translate the word files with the tables in them.

I discovered this yesterday by trial and error - you may want to suggest it to other people suffering this problem, while your company (hopefully) fixes the problem. Unfortunately, using Tag Editor will work for users of Trados 7, but not for those of Trados 6.5, since version 6.5 of Tag Editor could not open MS Word files.

Does any of you know if other programs (e.g. Wordfast) suffer the same problem? Does anybody know of any workaround better than using Tag Editor to translate the MS Word files? If so, please let me know.


New answer from SDL trados support: they agree that using Tag Editor is a better workaround, and say they are going to pass the issue on to the developers:
Please translate the file in TagEditor as a workaround and I will raise this as an issue with the developers. We recommend anyone to use TagEditor rather than MS Word as a translation enviroment as it enables them to use the verification tools on their file.


  1. I am a Wordfast user and cannot recall whether tables have been a problem or not. I know that Wordfast has other issues, but tables have never caused any trouble to me... at least, I cannot remember anything similar.

    I can only suggest that you try Wordfast for this particular problem. It is free as long as your TU does not exceed 500 TUs (or a certain size in kB).

  2. Ricardo, there may be a few things to look for in your Word document. For starters, see if each protected cell ends with a paragraph mark. If not, the algorithm used by Workbench may trip on these cells.

    Former TRADOS tech support

  3. I tried adding paragraphs marks at the end of each protected cell, with no result whatosever.

    I do believe that the agorithm used by Workbench trips on these cells...but the strange thing is that the same file, handled through Trados 5.5 does not exhibits the same problem.

  4. "In the meantime, a better suggestion than the one you gave me is to use Tag Editor to translate the word files with the tables in them.

    I discovered this yesterday by trial and error"
    This is one of the features this version offers. I don't think the service was poor, they just didn't think someone would not read even the description of the version they buy.

  5. Hope it helps ...
    this sentence is the more disturbing side of SDL support, and unluckily, its' the more common suggestion seen so far (99,99% of support suggestions ;-)))

    Claudio Porcellana


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