Video: Saving Time by Using Project-Specific Settings in OmegaT

The CAT tool OmegaT makes it possible to have project-specific settings for two options—file filters and segmentation rules—on a per-project basis. Watch the video below to get a grasp of this functionality. This video is back from 2014, so do not be surprised if you already watched it.

Global settings

Unless you instruct OmegaT to use project-specific settings, it uses the global ones stored in its configuration folder.

Default configuration folder under Windows C:\User name\AppData\Roaming\OmegaT
Default configuration folder under Linux /home/User name/OmegaT

Regardless of the location, OmegaT keeps global settings in two files:

Settings Path Access in OmegaT
File filters C:\User name\AppData\Roaming\OmegaT\filters.xml Available under OptionsFile Filters
Segmentation rules C:\User name\AppData\Roaming\OmegaT\segmentation.conf Available under OptionsSegmentation

You can access global settings in OmegaT even without opening a project. If you change any of these settings, you will notice that the respective files change as well. When you open a project that does not have project-specific settings, OmegaT applies global settings by default.

Project-specific settings

Suppose you use OmegaT on two computers and store OmegaT projects either on one of them (a file server) or on both (using a cloud storage disk, such as Dropbox, to synchronize files between them). While working on a project located on one computer, you add a segmentation rule to your global segmentation settings. This rule is saved to the configuration folder of OmegaT on that computer. If you open the project from another computer, the segmentation will be different, because there is no such rule on the second computer. You saved it locally on the first computer.

The same goes for file filters. Suppose you enabled the Remove leading and trailing tags option in the global settings on the first computer. This setting is saved to the configuration folder of OmegaT on that computer. When you open the same project on another computer, this option may not apply, because it might be disabled in the global settings on that computer.

To avoid such situations, you need to save changes that you make as project-specific settings. This means selecting ProjectPropertiesSegmentation or File FiltersMake the segmentation rules project-specific or Make the file filter settings project-specific. As soon as you do it, OmegaT will copy the respective global setting files to the omegat subfolder of the project. All further changes made to the project-specific settings will be saved to these files. Whenever you or anyone else opens this project on another computer, OmegaT will use the project-specific settings instead of the global ones. Here is what you end up with:

Settings Path Access in OmegaT
File filters \project\omegat\filters.xml Available under Project →  PropertiesFile Filters
Segmentation rules \project\omegat\segmentation.conf Available under ProjectPropertiesSegmentation

Recommendations

I recommend keeping file filters and segmentation project-specific at all times. It is a good idea even if you use OmegaT on just one computer and do not share your projects with anyone. Imagine that you added quite a few segmentation rules for a particular project, but saved them as global settings. These rules may backfire in future projects, ruining segmentation there, and you might end up spending quite some time pinpointing and fixing the problem.

Another good reason for keeping file filters and segmentation project-specific is the ability to create projects using a project “template.” Instead of creating each new project through OmegaT, you maintain a template and copy it to the desired folder to create each new project. In this template, you have project-specific settings that you improve continually. For example, if you come up with a great segmentation rule, you add it to this project template. Next time you create a project by copying this template, this rule is guaranteed to be in your project-specific settings, regardless of the computer you created it on or accessed it from. Compare this to the process of creating a project through OmegaT, in which OmegaT uses the global settings that might not have the latest segmentation rules if you use OmegaT on several computers.

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