Translating over a formatted Word document
Sometimes you are provided a Word file to translate, or a PDF file which you can OCR< to convert to Word, already formatted. This can save you a lot of formatting work, but there are still a few tricks to know how to make this work faster.
Make sure you have a copy of the source document in case you need to refer back to it.
The easiest method is to place the cursor at the beginning of the paragraph or line you want to translate, press ENTER (or SHIFT+ENTER might work better), then press the left arrow button on the keyboard to bring the cursor up to the blank line, and translate. This should maintain the same formatting as the paragraph you are translating while keeping the source text in easy view. Once you have finished translating the line or paragraph, delete the corresponding source text.
If you make a mistake somewhere along the way, do not forget about the handy CTRL SHIFT C to copy formatting from the same location in the source document (CTRL SHIFT V to paste the formatting – keep an eye out whether or not the backwards P is selected for either process).
If the document comes with an automated Table of Contents (Insert > Reference > Index and Tables – it should turn grey when clicked into), once you are done with your translation, simply update it by clicking into it and pressing F9 (or you may have to select all of it first). Keep in mind that it updates according to the Heading 1, 2 and 3 etc. styles and on what page they are located in the document, so make sure to translate these carefully and not accidentally change them to another style.
Inserting a Graphic
Sometimes you might want to insert a graphic. For example, a customer sends you a source document in .pdf format (Adobe Acrobat Reader or Nitro Reader) in which there are some fancy graphs or pictures you want to include in your translated Word document. The easiest way to do this is to take a screen shot of the graphic by pressing the PrtSc (Print Screen) button on your keyboard (usually found at the top somewhere above F10). This copies what you see on your monitor to the Clipboard. You can zoom in or out in your PDF file so that your graphic fills up your screen nicely.
Once you have copied a picture of the graphic to the clipboard, you want to crop it. My favourite for this is IrfanView, with instructions here. To copy the clipboard into the program, have it open and simply press Paste (CTRL V). Select the section you want to crop with your mouse and then press CTRL Y. Now copy your cropped selection (CTRL C). This you can paste directly into Word.
But you may want to paste this into a Text Box, so that you can position the graphic anywhere on the page in your Word file. To insert a Text Box, show the Drawing Toolbar (icon 17 on the custom toolbar), and then click on the TextBox icon (hold your mouse still over the icons to show an explanation of each). When you press the TextBox icon, the mouse will turn to a +. Use it to draw yourself a box (you can resize that later). Click INTO that box to move your cursor into it, and then paste into that your cropped graphic. You can resize your graphic, position it anywhere within your file, add or remove the visible textbox border, change the background colour (or remove the background fill), move it to the background or foreground over top or under other TextBoxes, and do all sorts of neat things (right click with your mouse onto the TextBox’s border to access the formatting menus).
You can also create other TextBoxes for actual text. For example, you can create a new TextBox, give it a white fill background, write in it some text, and position that over top of the original text in your graphic, as such positioning your translation of the text in the graphics overtop of the text. This way you can deliver the translation to your customer so that it looks very visual and professional. You will certainly impress them this way, and once you learn this technique, you will find it goes rather quickly.
Something which can be extremely useful for translating is Auto Text. For example, you might have some long name that takes time to type, especially if in the source language requiring a keyboard switch.
To create an autotext, simply select the text that you want to create a shortcut/abbreviation for, press alt+F3 and type your abbreviation in the resulting window. After that, whenever you type your abbreviation followed by pressing F3 (make sure your abbreviation is not followed by a character but rather by a space, for example), your abbreviation will be replaced by the long string of text. This can be entire pages, tables and so on.
If your selection does not include the backwards P, it is possible that the inserted autotext will match the formatting of the surrounding text, but this is not always the case. In which case you often need to ctrl+shift+c copy formatting of a word in the surrounding text and then ctrl+shift+v paste that formatting into the autotext you just inserted.
Back to Translation Tips
- Translation memory software - August 4, 2018
- Work on an older, slower computer - August 3, 2018
- Machine translation - August 3, 2018