OmegaT provides an incredibly powerful capability to filter segments in the editor pane. A similar function is available in other translation environment tools as well, e.g. Wordfast allows you to select just 100% matches or fuzzy matches for easy navigation. OmegaT, however, takes this functionality to a whole new level. This post describes some of its applications.
The basic idea of using a filter is to save time by limiting your scope of work to only those segments that require attention, while also making navigation between them instantaneous. To apply a filter, you need to open the Text Search window (Ctrl+F), perform a search to find all segments you need, and then click Filter in the lower right corner. The OmegaT editor pane will now display and make available for editing only those segments. To disable the filter, perform any other search, click Filter, and then Remove Filter.
- Perhaps, the greatest benefit our translation company derived from using this feature is the ability to remove unpaid 100% matches from the scope of work. This ability is essential when a client wants to insert 100% matches in the current translation automatically and without any review, thus avoiding the costs associated with reviewing them. It makes sense then to exclude such 100% matches from the workflow to a reasonable extent. While translating, you can simply skip 100% matches by going to the next untranslated segment each time (Ctrl+U). For the editing step, however, this shortcut obviously doesn’t work. This is when a filter comes in handy. All you need to do is come up with the appropriate search criteria that will find only the segments changed in the course of translation. An example of such criteria is searching for all TM entries committed under a specific translator’s name. After finding them and applying the filter, you will be able to focus exclusively on the required segments.
- You often need to make global changes, e.g. to ensure a term is translated consistently. The straightforward way is to find the segments containing this term through the Text Search window and then start clicking the segments one by one to open and modify them in the editor. Clearly, the more occurrences of this term you have, the less efficient this navigation procedure gets. In such cases, we sometimes prefer to open the project’s TM in a text editor such as Notepad++ and make changes there in order to do it faster. The filter feature reduces the need for this type of workaround by allowing you to display only those segments that require changes and move through them with speed.
- To process TTX files that include already translated Context TM (Perfect Match, XU) segments, we use the great Toxic utility to convert the files to the format supported by OmegaT. The downside of this process is that OmegaT incorrectly provides the target text of such Context TM segments for translation as if it were the source text (due to Toxic’s method of conversion). Just as with the unpaid 100% matches, these segments can slow you down. To increase efficiency, you can use the filter feature to exclude them from the scope of work.
- Recently, I mentioned that OmegaT now provides the note feature. The filter function can help optimize this feature as well. After finding all segments with notes in the Text Search window, you can apply a filter to display these segments and move through them directly in the editor pane, rather than do this by clicking each segment in the Text Search window and switching back to the editor. Again, the more segments with notes you have, the more efficiency a filter will bring.
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