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OmegaT 2.5.1 Review

The free and open-source OmegaT is a powerful translation environment tool that individual translators and translation companies can use to boost quality and productivity of their daily work. One aspect of this tool particularly worth noting is the ongoing improvement process. The development team steadily brings out new versions, and now is time to look at another portion of enhancements introduced in version 2.5.1. As with our previous posts about OmegaT, I’ll review just those options that we already use for English to Russian translations on a day-to-day basis.

1. The latest release features a host of tag-related improvements. The primary enhancement is displaying tags in gray to visually separate them from the surrounding text—very similar to Wordfast Pro. This has been a long-awaited functionality because a plethora of tags in a segment makes it difficult to distinguish, and concentrate on, the translatable content. With gray tags, however, distinguishing the text is made easy. And it’s also much easier to avoid extra or missing spaces around tags so that the translation is free of double spaces or words glued together. The new feature doesn’t apply to the Fuzzy Matches pane, though, which still displays tags as regular text.

2. It’s now possible to remove all inline (displayed in the segment) tags from the entire source file by selecting Tools > Remove Tags. Removing tags makes sense when segments contain too many tags, in particular those that carry no meaning whatsoever. The problem of multiple tags is commonly associated with the DOCX files (Microsoft Word). As a workaround, we have been using CodeZapper to pre-process the DOCX files, but this new option offers an elegant way to handle them without resorting to an external solution. Be sure to use it carefully, though, because it also removes valid tags such as those representing bold words or hyperlinks. Currently, at least two applications come to mind:

(a) If your text contains many unnecessary tags, but little or no valid tags, you can remove the tags and translate without them. After finishing translation, you create the target document and compare it with the source document manually to check for any formatting missing due to deleted valid tags.

(b) If your text contains many unnecessary tags and quite a few valid tags, you can also choose to remove the tags. After finishing translation, you re-enable the tags. The segments with tags will appear untranslated. You then simply insert your translations, keeping out the unnecessary tags and adding just the valid tags.

3. Oftentimes, software localization projects involve files with Java-like tags such as placeholders, e.g. “{0} users like this.” OmegaT now makes working with these tags easier by handling them just as its own tags, that is displaying in gray and allowing to check them or insert with Ctrl+T. To use this option, select Options > Tag Validation and enable Check simple Java… You can even go beyond the standard tag pattern to define custom tags through regular expressions. For instance, in an ongoing project we do, many Java-like placeholders include one or more words. To process the entire placeholder as a tag, we can now create a regular expression. To do so, we will select Options > Tag Validation and enter a pattern in the Custom tag(s) regular expression field. Here is an example:

Segment before applying the custom pattern:

More {0 [product name]} reviews

A possible pattern to process {0 [product name]} as a tag is \{[^rn}]*}

Resulting segment:

More reviews

The new improvements make OmegaT an even more compelling choice for translation professionals. To download the latest version, please visit this page. Or you can download OmegaT 2.5.1 for Windows directly by clicking this link. And be sure to thank the developers for their valuable pro bono work by leaving a message in the project’s Yahoo group!

3 comments

  • It’s now Project > Properties > Remove Tags (used to be Tools > Remove Tags before)

    This is for the benefit of others, who may also be confused, because the “Remove Tags” feature in OmegaT seemed to disappear, even though it didn’t – it just moved.

    How to use “Remove Tags” in OmegaT now (I’ve tested that this works in version 2.6.3, which I use on Windows 8):

    “Remove Tags” is now a project property feature, so use:

    Project > Properties and check Remove Tags
    or
    Ctrl-E and check Remove Tags

    What happened to cause my confusion:

    Didier Briel’s post here: http://sourceforge.net/p/omegat/feature-requests/755/ says that in OmegaT 2.5 there is a Tools > Remove Tags menu choice (I have also seen this functionality mentioned thus also elsewhere, e.g. here).

    However, the Remove Tags functionality is no more a global option, so it is not under the Tools menu anymore, as I found out from this post by Susan Welsh: http://tech.dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/OmegaT/message/26504

    THANK YOU OmegaT team for making this a standard feature, my early August 2013 project would have been such a pain without this.

    • Hello Ronja,
      Thank you for your addition, it is a good one. Yes, moving this feature to project properties has been a brilliant idea. I think we need even more functions moved to project properties, especially some of the general settings such as Allow translation to be equal to source or Do not allow creating translated documents with tag issues.
      Why are you using the standard version 2.6.3 instead of the latest version, currently 3.0.4_1?
      Best regards,
      Roman

  • Hi Roman and thank you for your email, too.

    By all means translate my comment into Russian or indeed have it translated into any language that would be useful, you have my permission. If someone translates it into Finnish or Swedish before I have a chance myself (I’m awfully busy ATM), I would like to check the text if possible.

    Version 2.6.3 had just come out when I bought my new work laptop, so I installed that version, and I have not had sufficient reason to update yet. I’m a pretty lazy updater, have to admit.

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About the Author

Roman Mironov
Roman Mironov
CEO & Founder

As the founder of Velior, Roman has had the privilege of being able to turn his passion for languages into a business. He has over 15 years of experience in the translation industry. Roman has helped dozens of clients increase sales by making their products appealing for speakers of other languages.