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 A computer journal for translation professionals

Issue 19-10-305
(the three hundred fifth edition)  
1. Taking Screenshots on a Windows System
2. Valerij Tomarenko
3. Comparing DeepL's App and GT4T
4. This 'n' That
5. Tips and Tricks: Hidden Features...
6. New Password for the Tool Box Archive
The Last Word on the Tool Box
Who's bitter?

I felt both cleansed and very happy during this week of International Translation Day! Cleansed of the illusion that companies like Google will ever consider honoring translators who, mind you, have delivered and continue to deliver the raw material for one of their major services, Google Translate. There was, of course, once again no Doodle for ITD. (Unlike in previous years, there also wasn't much of a campaign to "encourage" the Google Doodle team, but I thought to myself on the eve of September 30: Maybe that's the trick, maybe no pressure is going to do it this year. Oh, well....)

But who's bitter, right?

The truth is that what many translators did individually and through our associations was likely more powerful and certainly more meaningful than anything Google could ever have done. I saw countless congratulatory and jubilatory messages on Twitter and elsewhere, including a beautifully produced video by the ATA on the occasion of International Translation Day.

Even more pride-evoking was the awarding of the "Genius Award" by the MacArthur Foundation to Emily Wilson. You can find a remarkable video that portrays her and her work right here on the MacArthurwebsite.

Let me just repeat this again in case it has not sunk in completely: Another translator is now officially a Genius! (The last one before her was Khaled Mattawa in 2014.)

This brings us to TranslationTalk, the rotation curation Twitter account of and for translators and interpreters. Why, might you ask, is this connected? Well, first of all because I've twice offered Emily Wilson the honor to curate it, which she both times politely declined, and also because there is no better account that connects International Translation Day with the pride in our profession that it represents. This week we have taken a break from our regular program to do a nomination drive. The result has provided curators all the way into next year, but I hope you will keep your nominations coming.

And lastly, before we go into the more serious topics below, here is a quote that made me both laugh and cry the other day. It is by a woman of a dying Amerindian language to linguist Joshua Fishman (who quotes her):

"The only person I have left to talk to is a linguist and talking to a linguist is no fun."


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1. Taking Screenshots on a Windows System

Screenshots are pictures of the complete or partial computer screen, and taking screenshots is often part of a translator's job description. For instance, you might have to replace the source language graphics in a software manual with those in the target language (assuming the software is already translated and functional).

Windows offers a number of "traditional ways" to take screenshots with the following key combinations:

  • PrintScreen for the complete screen
  • Alt+PrintScreen for the active dialog

This process saves the screenshot to your clipboard, and from there you can paste it into a document or a graphics program to further modify it.

Pressing WinKey+PrintScreen automatically saves the complete screen as a graphic files under Pictures> Screenshots. If your keyboard doesn't have a PrintScreen key, open the On-Screen Keyboard app by typing On-Screen in the Windows search field, click on the link that is displayed, and use the virtual key from there.

Back to screenshots: In the latest updates to Windows 10, you can also press WinKey+Shift+S. This activates a screenshot app in the upper part of your window:


Your choices (from left to right) include a rectangular and a funky free-style form, the active dialog or window, and the complete screen. Choosing one places the screenshot on your clipboard and enables you to open the screenshot in the newly available Snip and Sketch app with basic editing and annotating features.

In case you've been looking for the old Snipping Tool, it's still there and it still works, but its days are numbered. You will eventually see this message:

Snipping Tool

And the truth is, it's a bit superfluous with all the new options.

Even with this new wealth of features, though, there is still some functionality that would be nice to have, like having the option to include the active cursor in the screenshot, to take complex screenshots of several overlapping dialogs, or to take screenshots that go beyond the screen you're displaying. For these features you'll have to have a tool like SnagIt or Greenshot. These programs are the Swiss Army knives of screenshots, especially SnagIt. I often use SnagIt to take screenshots while I listen to a presentation that includes visual elements. The program saves them in chronological order for me to easily refer to or review later on.

If you're interested in copying text from your screen that might otherwise be difficult or impossible to access (think of an image-based PDF or graphics), you can accomplish this with screenshots by using the ABBYY Screenshot Reader. This tool actually uses internal optical character recognition processing to convert "fake" text (there's a loaded word right now!) into actual text that can be pasted into any other program. I love love love this little tool. In Latin and Cyrillic alphabets the results are amazingly accurate (I haven't tested other writing systems), and it can save an extraordinary amount of time.

Speaking of copying and pasting, here's a bonus rundown of those new Windows features.

Microsoft Office has included a more advanced way of managing clipboard items for quite some time now. You can activate this under Home> (the little pointer next to) Clipboard. This allows you to collect up to 24 different clipboard items from anywhere on your computer and paste them individually or all at once into any Office document. The problem: if you don't work exclusively in Microsoft Office programs, this isn't very helpful and has very limited functionality.

In response, this summer Microsoft introduced a Windows Clipboard that can be used across any program or app. It's activated for the first time by pressing WinKey+V, and that's how to access it from then on out as well. It will store 25 items at a time (up to 4 MB per item), whether graphics, text, or HTML, and it's possible to sync the clipboard across devices and pin items so they don't get deleted (everything else will disappear once you restart your computer or reach the 25-item limit).

Win Clipboard

It really is quite helpful -- no more temper tantrums in your office when you once again overwrite your clipboard by copying something on top of it!

Of course, as with screenshots there are also more advanced solutions, tools that allow you to print directly from your clipboard, store clipboard entries between different computer sessions (i.e., after switching the computer on and off), or "glue" as many entries as you want into one item to paste everything together. For all of that ClipMate does a fine job.

To summarize: Windows is doing an increasingly good job in handling "minor" things like taking screenshots and copying and pasting, but if you are looking for something that is better than just good, you might have to look elsewhere.


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2. Valerij Tomarenko

Immediately after I sent out last month's newsletter, I was heartbroken to hear that Valerij Tomarenko, the author of a book I had reviewed and highly praised, had died. My heart goes out to his family and his friends.

3. Comparing DeepL's App and GT4T

The German machine translation engine DeepL (/diːp-ɛl/) has not only added a few language combinations (it now supports English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Polish, and Russian), but it's now also offering an app for both Windows and Mac that allows you to access translation data directly from any program you might be working in. My favorite thing about the app might be its help system. It consists of this:  

DeepL Help

That's it. It really couldn't be more simple. To wake up the app, you highlight a word, phrase, or sentence and press Ctrl (Cmd)+C twice. This will open up a window containing the original and translated data, ready to be pasted into your document.  


As you can see in the image, you can then click on any part of the translated segment and choose a different translation option. The app is free, and you can either use it with the free translation from DeepL (which will in turn also use your data for its own purposes) or with its professional API-based option that will keep your data private and for which you have to pay.

Either way, it's not my preferred way of using machine translation, but it's an interesting option to look at either for translation or other purposes.

Dallas Cao, the maker of GT4T, contacted me the other day asking me to write a comparison of his tool with DeepL (he also did one himself and didn't hold back his opinion). Awhile back I did a larger piece on GT4T, which -- if you like this kind of access to machine translation data -- is an amazingly versatile tool that connects you to various machine translation engines and dictionaries, allows real-time replacement of terms via glossaries, and contains many other features. Here is an image showing the same search with the varying results found in a number of tools:  

If a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, this might very well be the most helpful of comparisons.

GT4T is a very complex and well-rounded tool that offers all the processes I mentioned above plus more, though it no longer offers various translation options coming from DeepL. On the other hand, it does offer access to the Pro edition of DeepL from outside the European Union, which is difficult to obtain directly from DeepL, and it offers a much more flexible plan to assess data from DeepL in a secure manner that doesn't make you pay a set monthly fee.

Just to throw a little shade at Dallas and his tool (hey, that's part of my job!), it would be lovely to have a more usable website and a tool that is better adjusted to all kinds of screen resolutions.


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4. This 'n' That

Google's Translator Toolkit is dead. Long live the Translator Toolkit!

I wish I could say that, but it may no longer make sense. It's now been a few years since I decided to rename this publication to "The Tool Box Journal" from its original "Translator Toolkit" due to the perceived much larger presence of a product that had just taken the name from us. Maybe I was wrong on more than one count. Because while they are (about to be) dead, this journal is alive and kicking!

The fact is that Google has finally announced that Translator Toolkit, its translation environment tool, will be shut down. I think we are all better for it. I imagine it might have been useful for some users who needed to translate Google-specific .aea and .aes files -- at least in theory -- but in practice this tool wasn't even close in matching the functionality of today's browser-based (or non-browser-based) translation environment tools. Particularly antiquated was the fact that any data, including any translation memory data you uploaded, was immediately used by Google itself. This does not correspond well with today's concepts of data ownership and usage rights.  


I will be seeing many of you at this year's ATA conference in Palm Springs, and I have to say that although I've been to many ATA conferences, I'm particularly looking forward to this one. It might be because of the talk I'm giving about the Translation Insights & Perspectives tool, but it might also be because of the second annual dictionary exchange. (Or maybe I'm just excited because I miss many of you!) As mentioned before, if you are planning to go to Palm Springs, PLEASE be sure to bring dictionaries that you don't use anymore to share with your colleagues. If you are NOT going to Palm Springs and would like to lighten the load on your bookshelves, please let me know and I will give you an address where you can send the dictionaries to be distributed.  


You should be aware of a different kind of event that will take place two weeks before the ATA conference. ConVTI is a virtual translation and interpreting conference that is being held for the third time (I gave a presentation at the first installment of the conference a couple of years ago). It's taking place on November 14 and 15, and all you need to attend (aside from a conference fee) is some kind of device that connects to the Internet. This enables you to listen to top speakers in one of three languages (Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, or English) because the conference is simultaneously interpreted through the KUDO interpreting platform that Barry Slaughter Olsen has talked about before in his interpreter column. You can find more information about the conference right here.


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5. Tips and Tricks: Hidden Features...

We have recently featured really interesting articles about tips to access hidden features and tricks to enhance the features of several translation environment tools, including Across, memoQ, and Trados Studio, all written by expert users (you can look at those articles in the archives in case you missed them). I would welcome your contribution if you are an expert user of another tool. Just send me an email and we can arrange for an article. (Please note: Despite some earlier queries, I am not accepting articles by tool vendors themselves.)  

6. New Password for the Tool Box Archive
As a subscriber to the Premium version of this journal you have access to an archive of Premium journals going back to 2007.
You can access the archive right here. This month the user name is toolbox and the password is ata60DictionaryExchange.
New user names and passwords will be announced in future journals.

The best celebration of translation? A discount!

In honor of International Translation Day, memoQ offers 30% off on all new translator pro licenses! Just apply code CAM_0930_SD in our webshop. Offer expires at midnight October 14 in any time zone.  

The Last Word on the Tool Box Journal
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