Monday, April 25, 2016

Quick Tips: when Studio cannot create your target file

You know that sinking feeling when you have completed a carefully crafted translation in Studio, spell-checked and self-edited it, then run it through QA (using Studio's internal QA function and/or Xbench) - only to discover that when you try to export your target translation, Studio refuses to create it, saying there is something wrong with your MS Word file?

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.
  1. First, just to be sure, save everything: your translation with its memory.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Most likely, however, #4 here above will fail with the same error message you got the first time round. At this point there are still things you can try:
  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
If none of the new files saves correctly as target, you are out of luck and of quick solutions. If you have a support agreement with SDL, now is the time to open a ticket. If you don't, start looking on the SDL knowledge base and elsewhere online for more specific solutions.

This quick trick may not work always, but it works often enough that it should be in your bag of SDL Trados Studio tricks.

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