Wednesday, August 12, 2020

SDL Trados Live: A New Way of Working!

SDL Trados Studio 2021 has brought us a new way of working that opens up exciting possibilities: SDL Trados Live.

In a nutshell, SDL Trados Live integrates cloud capabilities to SDL Trados Studio, even for freelance users.

What this means is that users can create a cloud project on our desktop version of the program and continue working on the cloud from any device with a browser, be it a tablet, a computer with or without SDL Trados Studio installed on it (great news for Mac users!), and even a smartphone. New projects can also be started entirely on the cloud and then either completed online using the Online Editor or opened on the desktop version of Trados Studio for a true hybrid experience. 

A mix of cloud-based and local projects in the Projects view in SDL Trados Studio

Cloud-based projects list in SDL Trados Live

Adjusting expectations

While SDL Trados Live offers many great features, I think it's important to understand from the get-go what the limitations are.

What is not possible at the time of the initial launch of SDL Trados Live is transferring a local desktop-only project to the cloud. If, and when, this feature becomes available, the power of SDL Trados Live will be significantly enhanced, in my opinion, as we will be able to move packages received from clients to the cloud, if needed.

The second thing that's not possible with a regular SDL Trados Live Essentials subscription, the one available by default to freelance translators, is sharing. This means that we can access our own cloud-based projects and resources, but we can't share them with a colleague who will be reviewing our work or collaborating with us on a large project, for example. This is possible with other types of subscriptions at higher pay tiers, the most basic of which is SDL Trados Live Teams.

Using SDL Trados Live

So, you have upgraded to SDL Trados Studio 2021 and now have an SDL Trados Live subscription. How do you get started? Below you'll find a few tips to make the process as smooth as possible.

Connecting to SDL Trados Live

Make sure you're logged in to Language Cloud, which now includes SDL Trados Live. Do this by going to the upper right corner of SDL Trados Studio and signing in with your SDL account credentials:

Once logged in, you can easily access SDL Trados Live by going to the SDL Trados Studio Welcome view and selecting Language Cloud and SDL Trados Live.

This will open a window in your browser. You are now in the cloud environment called SDL Trados Live.

Setting up your SDL Trados Live

When you are getting started with SDL Trados Live, the first suggestion you see in the Dashboard is to Add Customers.

While you may be tempted to skip this step and try to jump right into project creation, it's not a good idea to do so, as you will find that you actually need to have some data set up prior to creating your projects. The time you invest in this step will save you time and frustration down the line.

Even if you don't want to add each individual customer here, it's a good idea to set up a general "customer" under which to organize your projects. For example, if you translate ES-EN and EN-ES, you may want to set up at least two, one called "All customers, EN-ES" and another one called "All customers, ES-EN". This makes sense because your resources (translation memories and termbases) can then be easily assigned to these "customers" when creating new projects.

Right after you create a customer, you will be asked to add a Project Template. Fill in the required fields and click Next. 

You will now be asked to create a New Translation Engine. A Translation Engine is a central location where you have all your Translation Memories, Machine Translation engines and Termbases, along with your language selections for that specific template. Follow the prompts and either add existing resources or create new ones as you go. 

Remember that any new translation memories and termbases you create will be stored on the cloud. You can easily export the contents of your local translation memories and termbases and import them into these new cloud-based resources to have access to your existing local assets while working online.

While you are given the choice to enter all three resources: translation memories, machine translation engines and termbases, you don't have to add them all. For example, in this case I chose not to add a machine translation engine.

I could create a separate template for this customer that includes a machine translation engine, and select the appropriate template when creating a new project, depending on whether machine translation is to be used or not.

Once you are done setting up your Translation Engine, click Next to go to the Settings step. Here you can have a look at the default settings and change anything to your liking. Once you're satisfied with the settings, click Save.

At this point, you can create your first project based on your newly-created template. Before you do that, though, you may want to take a detour and import any existing translation memories or termbases you want to use (remember that ones you've just created are completely empty at this time).

Importing data into translation memories

To import data into your translation memory, go to Resources - Translation Memories, select your TM and click Import.

Here you can drag and drop your files or find them on your computer by browsing.

These are the file types you can import into your TM, so you have a wide array of choices, including the ability to directly select an *.sdltm file for import.

Importing data into termbases

You may also want to import existing data into your cloud-based termbases. To do that, go Resources -Terminology and select your cloud-based termbase.

The next step is selecting the file you want to import. These are the options:

As you can see, there is no direct import for *.sdltb files, so you will need to convert your local termbase to one of the acceptable file formats. You can do this easily with the Glossary Converter app, downloadable from the SDL App Store, which is now integrated into SDL Trados Studio 2021, making it easier than ever to download and install apps. Just go the Welcome view in Trados Studio and follow the steps below.

The Glossary Converter opens as a standalone app, so you'll need to open it from outside Trados Studio. It will automatically convert your *.sdltb files to *.xlsx by default when you drag and drop an *.sdltb file on top of the app, but there are other file formats available. 

I would suggest going to Settings and selecting "Multiterm xdt + xml" for this conversion, as this will import seamlessly into your cloud-based termbase.