Ppt.Helper - A Real Help!

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 »  Articles Overview  »  Technology  »  CAT Tools  »  Ppt.Helper - A Real Help!

Ppt.Helper - A Real Help!

By Reed James | Published  01/24/2007 | CAT Tools | Recommendation:
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Quicklink: http://heb.proz.com/doc/1132
Reed James
מספרדית לאנגלית translator
נעשה חבר: Dec 3, 2005.
View all articles by Reed James

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PPT.HELPER: A big help!

When I first saw a link to this CAT Tool on Internet, I hesitated before clicking on it. Could yet another translation software application make any difference to my daily work? Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw when I did click on the link. Ppt.Helper is a small yet effective tool to help you translate PowerPoint presentations.

I have been dealing with PowerPoint ever since I started translating: the mid 1990s. As a computer user, I can clearly see its advantages: it is highly visual, intuitive and handles a wide variety of media formats. As a translator, however, the very fact that it is visual and not text-based means that special techniques and software applications must be applied to produce accurate and profitable translations. Before I continue with the merits of ppt.helper, I would like to give the reader a brief history of my bittersweet relationship with PowerPoint files.

In the early days of translating by computer, coping with PowerPoint files was a real headache because it forced the translator to perform several steps simultaneously. Whenever more than a couple of steps are performed at the same time, the quality of the finished product invariably suffers.

Working “manually" with PowerPoint entailed: creating a copy of the source file, renaming it and overwriting the source text with the target text. Though seemingly straightforward, this technique has its share of pitfalls: you can accidentally add or omit target text, erase source text before overwriting it with the target text and erase original formatting. Furthermore, proofreading is made more laborious because you are forced to open the source file and compare the translation to it while attempting to ignore the distractions associated with PowerPoint’s highly visual display. As can be gathered from this description, there are at least three opportunities for committing a mistake that will most likely be brought to your attention after the project manager has gone over it.

Then, sometime after the year Two Thousand, I came upon CAT Tools. The first standalone one I worked with was Deja Vu. It usually did a god job with PowerPoint files. However, on occasion, there would be that one belligerent PowerPoint file that would refuse to export. It turned out that I had misplaced a code (those pesky numbers between brackets: {151}). Other times, I reached the “PowerPoint export impasse” because there were many image files and Deja Vu decided to be altogether uncooperative. (Yes, I know, there is always a workaround. Nevertheless, I would rather just “work” without the “around”).

Recently, I switched over to SDLX. I like the way it handles PowerPoint files better than I do Deja Vu. However, SDLX has its catch too: if you want to export PPT files, you have to make sure the SDLX ITD file is in the same folder as the source file. Otherwise, nothing happens. I did not know about this for quite some time and was copying the target text from the ITD file and pasting it into the target PPT file. What a mess! (Yes, of course, shame on me for not posting a question in a forum or going back to the help file.) Nevertheless, I believe that software should be intuitive and make work less complicated instead of complicating the already busy translator with technical details.

This brings me back to ppt.helper. It is both simple to use and rich in functionalities. I was using it within five minutes without even glancing at the help file (which, by the way, is very well written and quite explanatory). Among ppt.helper’s main features are: its own translation memory, search, separate source and target Windows, built-in preview, supports Unicode compatible with SDL Trados, updated version, compatibility with Wordfast, it includes the Concordance search in TM, and allows converting to the standard format for localization (*.tmx).

In fact, I found myself wondering how I had managed to translate PowerPoint files before this program. There are no codes (thank God!) and no exporting. That means that you can open the target PPT file from within ppt.helper at any time with no extra steps. It is also nice to have an application that concentrates on one type of file. The program is pleasantly lightweight, which means that you can save your RAM for other programs you might have open simultaneously.

I could go on with my PowerPoint translating history, but I would rather you took the time to try out ppt.helper yourself. If you decide to buy it, you will find that it will most likely be less expensive than the next PPT file you are assigned.

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