It is only at that moment that you remember you should have round-tripped the source file first thing, before translating it, to see if it would convert back cleanly.
If this happens to you, don't panic: there is (usually) a quick solution.
- First, just to be sure, save everything: your translation with its memory.
- Then create a new project. Add to it a copy of the memory you used, and the original file (or files) you had to translate.
- The project should pretranslate your file for you. There may be a few segments left untranslated (if you split or joined them). Don't do anything to them yet.
- Try exporting the target file. If the program succeeds, go back to the (new) project, complete any missing segment (joining and/or splitting them as necessary), and export your target file. If the program manages to do that, you are done.
- Open your source MS Word file, and save it in two different formats. If your source was a *doc file (MS Word 2003 or earlier format), save it as both an *.rtf file and as a *.docx (MS Word 2007 or later format). If it was a *.docx file, save it as both *.doc and *.rtf--and if it was an *.rtf file, save it as both *.doc and *.docx file.
- Add the two new versions of the file to your new project. Pre-translate them. Try to save them as target. Most likely one of the two versions will save cleanly as target. If it does, you are done--you have a clean target file, and, if you need, you can then save it in the format needed by your client.
This quick trick may not work always, but it works often enough that it should be in your bag of SDL Trados Studio tricks.