Wednesday, July 25, 2018

SDL Trados Studio 2019: The new Tell Me feature

My favorite feature in SDL Trados Studio 2019 is Tell Me, which SDL has described as Instant Access to Everything.

I have recently learned that Trados has over 700 commands and 1300 settings. No wonder it feels so complex at times!

The good news is that most of those settings don't need to be changed all the time, but when they do, it definitely helps to know where to find them. In pre-2019 versions of Studio, that meant clicking through menus and various screens to get to the right place. In SDL Trados Studio 2019, it's as simple as starting to write a command's name, then clicking on one of the offered options, and you're there!

To access Tell Me, click on the new blue rectangle you'll find on the top right of the Studio screen, or use its shortcut. The default shortcut is Alt+Q, which I've changed to F1, as I rarely use Help and Tell Me includes links to Studio's Help anyway.

Let's look at a couple of examples.

Just yesterday, I was talking to a colleague about Match Repair, so I thought that would be a good example to try.

This is what I get if I type "match repair":

From here, I can go either to Options or Project Settings. I want to check my match repair settings for the current project, so I'll select the one for Project Settings, and by clicking on it, I get to this screen:

Bonus info: SDL Trados Studio 2019 offers the option to turn off termbases as a source of match repairs, as seen above.

So that took 2 clicks. Pre-2019, that would have taken a few more clicks, plus, I would need to know where to find the setting.

Let's try another example. This time, I type the word "Open", which displays 16 different commands. From here, I can perform a wide array of actions, such as opening a package, opening my file for review or opening a translation memory.

Note how there's always a "Search for x in Help" option at the bottom of the screen, so at any time, I can go from the Tell Me screen to Help. This comes in handy when you're trying to find something that isn't included in Tell Me. For example, I want to get to the date auto-substitution settings, but Tell Me doesn't show me that when I type in "date":

If I click on the offer to search for "date" in Help, I get this screen, where the second entry is what I'm looking for:

So that's the idea. Now, even before we type anything in, Tell Me offers five options:

These are all helpful, and in my case "translation memory" will be frequently used, as it provides access to a good number of commands and settings that I use all the time. I would like to see "terminology" or "termbases" included in this list as well (both are available if typed in), and hopefully SDL will further refine the default and search options in Tell Me as SDL Trados Studio 2019 matures.

I'll finish by saying that when I first heard about the concept for Tell Me, I wasn't necessarily excited about it. After all, I use Trados Studio everyday and I know how to get to the settings I need, but after I tried it for the first time, I was hooked! Now it takes no time to change Autocorrect settings (you'll see me typing "quotes" and "initial" often to change quotation mark format or first-letter capitalization settings). 

Like I've said before, among all the SDL Trados Studio 2019 new features and enhancements, Tell Me is my absolute favorite, and one that I think fulfills SDL's goal of improving the user experience.


  1. Dear Nora, before reading your post I would have just shrugged, but your cases are convincing - is SDL really succeeding in making its products more accessible?! I really will try 'Tell Me' ;-)
    There is something else: I found your blog via a search for information about Dragon&Studio - as you have tested Studio 2019, would be so kind and tell about your experience with Studio 2019 and Dragon - are there improvements or degradations or is it stable? As far as i have understood you would recommend using the Knowbrainer plugin for text control as well as for interface control via speech. Thanks in advance for some comments on this issue. Rouven

  2. Dear Nora, I love your blog and has helped me a lot. I have two problems with Trados Studio 2019 and DNS, these problems ONLY happen when dictating in Trados Studio. Not in Notepad, Word or any other application. Sometimes, the first letter of my sentence is omitted. For example, if I dictate "Presione", "Resione" will appear instead. This is random, but occurs only in Trados. I wonder if there is a conflict with some kind of QA, autosubstitution or similar process. It only seems to happen at the beginning of a segment. Also, when I'm dictating instead of writing what I dictate Trados opens the SDL website and performs all kind of crazy functions like opening files I'm not working on. Do you know if there is any way to turn of the "Tell me what you want to do" feature and voice commands inside Trados? I can;t figure it out and it makes me lose a lot of time and patience. Thank you in advance!

  3. Hi Nora,
    I translate from Italian (sometimes English) into French
    Due to shoulder tendinotis I am considering using DRAGON PROFESSIONAL INDIVIDUAL combined with SDL TRADOS STUDIO
    1) Where do I buy DPI from?
    2) What is the current state of art of interaction between DPI and TRADOS?
    3) Once I download the software, what are the next steps to work with both DPI and TRADOS?
    Thank you in advance for your help