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I’ve been using CAT tools for nearly 9 years now, first Wordfast and then Trados Studio a couple of years later. I’ve attended a few training courses in both over the years, but inevitably these tools are constantly being upgraded and new features brought out, so it’s hard to keep up with all the latest developments and features.

I try to attend the SDL Trados roadshows in London if I can, as these often provide a whole host of tips and tricks that I wasn’t aware of before. If the comments of colleagues I talk to at such events are anything to go by, a number of other Trados users are equally unaware of many of the more advanced features. Or even some quite basic features, for that matter… Often, especially if you’re self-taught, the only time you learn a new feature is if you have cause to use it – but then again, how can you know what to look for, if you don’t know it’s there in the first place?! Chatting to colleagues, asking advice, attending workshops and participating in online forums are all excellent ways of keeping abreast of what’s out there. These programs are tremendously powerful and I’m willing to bet that most of us only use a fraction of their capabilities….

One such discovery for me relatively recently was the Advanced Display Filter that came out with Studio 2017. In actual fact, it was a colleague who uses Memo Q who suggested I use the filter to narrow down my search – it would never have occurred to me before. It’s hard to search for things when you don’t know what they do! I’d never used the previous filter at all, just using Find and Replace to find terms as you would in Word.

Advanced display filter_cropped

The default layout for Trados has the Advanced Display Filter pinned to the side of the main screen, but I found I kept activating it by mistake and concealing the termbase window – especially frustrating before I started to use it. After unpinning it, you can access it via the View tab:

View toolbar Trados_cropped

This brings up the advanced display filter menu shown above, which you can then move around as you wish. I tend to move it onto my second screen and access it as you need it. You may like it in its original position, or you can pin it somewhere else on the page, but I found this very difficult to do! Emma Goldsmith explains here how to tweak the layout should you feel so inclined. Alternatively, you can press the funnel symbol at the bottom of the Trados main screen. It should show All segments at first, but by clicking you should get the list of segment types to be displayed at any one time, and can click to change as you require.

Filter funnel Trados 2017_cropped

With a long document, the beauty of the advanced display filter is that you can ask the program to only show you those segments that contain a certain word in the source and/or target. Immediately, this reduces the number of segments you are shown and provides an overview of the terms in question in context, enabling you to search through and decide what is most appropriate in each situation. With common words (or in French, where words might have several different meanings in English), this can be extremely useful.

Then there’s the ability to search by attributes. Say you’re feeling under time pressure for a certain job for whatever reason (frequent interruptions, IT problems, family matters – we all have days when we don’t get through anywhere near as much as we’d hoped…), you might decide to isolate all repeated segments and translate the first occurrence of these segments first so that you can make rapid progress and have a better idea of how long the rest of the translation will take you. It goes without saying that you will need to revisit these segments in context as you translate, but it can be a neat way of relieving stress if you’re starting to feel you’ve bitten off more than you can chew! Similarly you can ask it to display just fuzzy matches, or 100% matches, or items copied from source – there’s a long list of options.

I’m only scratching the surface here: the advanced display filter offers the opportunity to filter based on far more complicated features too, such as document structure and regular expressions, but I haven’t graduated to this level of complexity yet! Do check out articles by more advanced users such as Emma Goldsmith (https://signsandsymptomsoftranslation.com/2016/11/21/studio-2017-display-filter/) or Nora Diaz (http://blog.sdltrados.com/my-7-favorite-features-in-sdl-trados-studio-2017/ to find out more.

Hoping this feature will prove as useful to those not in the know as it did to me – and will help you make the best use of your time and sniff out the most appropriate translations…

Poppy in the woods