SDL Trados Studio 2009 crash no more

I installed SDL Trados Studio 2009 earlier today, in the hope that it would solve a problem I had with pre-translating a large inx-file. However, around the same time as I realised it would not be a solution to my problem, it also turned out that SDL Trados Studio 2009 would not open at all. It crashed as soon as I tried opening it, and gave me this error message:

Sdl.TranslationStudio.Api.ProjectManagement.IprojectMangementService cannot be started

Rather annoying. I googled a bit, and the problem turned out to be that SDL Trados Studio 2009 does not want me to share folders between the Windows and the Mac side of my computer. I run Windows under Parallels, and to solve this, I disabled sharing of most folders:

1. In Parallels 5.0, I chose Virtual Machine > Configure.
2. Under Shared Folders > Options I set Share these Mac folders to None.

3. Just below that, I clicked the +-sign under the window below User-defined Mac OS X folders
and browsed to the folder where I keep everything I use on the Windows-side of my computer.
4. I restarted Windows.

Now, SDL Trados Studio 2009 works as it should, even if I won’t be using it for a while longer – and I can still access the files I need on the Mac-side of my computer from the Windows-side. In Windows I find them on drive Z.

Failed to create Java Virtual Machine

The above is the error message I received when trying to pre-translate a biggish ttx-file in SDL Trados 2007 Freelance. Not surprisingly, the file was not pre-translated. I prefer working in DVX, so generally when I receive Trados ttx-files for translation, I will pre-translate them in Trados, then import them to DVX and translate them there. Without the pre-translation it won’t work. Also, if I am unable to pre-translate the file, chances are I won’t be able to clean it once the translation is done either, whether I do the actual translation in Trados or DVX. So I really needed to find a solution to this.

I tried searching the SDL Knowledge Base, and found what I thought was the solution to my problem in an article about the exact error message I was getting and the information that this occurs when opening large Adobe InDesign CS2/CS3 files (*.inx) in TagEditor or SDL Edit in SDLX. The ttx-file I had been trying to pre-translate was indeed a 3.5 MB inx-file which the agency had prepped as a ttx-file before sending it to me.

All I needed to do to solve the problem, according to this article at least, was to allocate more memory to the Java Virtual Machine, because by default it is set to not use too much memory. And since SDL Trados 2007 Freelance comes with a nice little application for filter settings, where you among other things can change the size of the Java Virtual Machine, allocating memory should be a piece of cake. And yes, so it is – however, even when I set it to max, which is 512 MB, and restarted everything, the problem persisted.

The question now was, what else I could do to solve the problem. I have allocated 4 GB RAM to Windows under Parallels, which should be more than plenty, so there was no point in trying to use a RAM optimizer program, which was another suggestion from the SDL Knowledge Base article. They had one more suggestion, which was to make the inx-file smaller prior to creating a ttx-file. That, however, is not something I can do, since I don’t have InDesign, and I am pretty sure the agency would not want me messing around with their inx-files even if I did.

After I had spent a few hours looking for other solutions (and swearing and pulling out my hair), I thought of something: What if I installed SDL Trados Studio 2009 – which I have postponed doing for a long time – and tried importing the ttx-files there? That might just work. Well, I thought so until I realised that even if I could import the ttx-files to SDL Trados Studio 2009 and get sdlxliff-files instead (which I could then import to DVX) I would still have to clean up the ttx-files in the end – and my client could not use sdlxliff-files either. Oh well … that was when I officially gave up and decided to write my client in the morning and ask them if they would try making that bl**** inx-file smaller and send me a new ttx-file. Unofficially though, I would much prefer to find a solution myself … so I kept looking for a solution although with little hope of actually finding one.

In the end, TW solved the problem for me. He had a look at the various error logs, updated .NET to the newest version, de-installed all older Java Runtime Environment versions, and restored the default settings for the size of the Java Virtual Machine in Trados (by opening the Filter Settings from the Start menu > SDL International > SDL Trados 2007 Freelance > Trados > Filters, and simply clicking Restore default settings under Java Virtual Machine Size). And bingo – pre-translation worked as it should.

Note: Earlier today, after I had tried setting the Jave Virtual Machine Size to max to no avail, I also tried restoring the default settings. It did not work at the time. So why did it work now? Perhaps it was due to the .NET update. Perhaps it was due to the fact that I tried updating the Java Runtime Environment too a little later. At the time, it seemed to have no effect either, but if I had updated the JRE before restoring the size settings myself (and setting them back to max when that didn’t work), who knows – maybe it would have solved my problem two hours earlier.

At least everything finally works again.

Looking for a shortcut

Both Déjà Vu and Trados are Windows-based programs, but since I prefer working on a Mac, I have installed Parallels Desktop for Mac on my MacBook Pro in order to be able to cross over to the dark side (i.e. Windows), and run my Windows-programs.

Mostly, using Windows on a Mac is a delight compared to using Windows on a … eh, Windows-computer (my personal opinion). Some things are different though. For instance, a Mac doesn’t have an INS-key – you know, the key on a Windows-keyboard which turns the overwrite function on or off. On a Mac overwrite is per definition not an option. However, on a couple of occasions when I was working on the dark side, I somehow hit a key combination which turned on overwriting. It happened again yesterday when I was working in Déjà Vu, and all the help the Déjà Vu Help had to offer, was to press the INS-key if I wanted to turn off overwriting (this particular piece of advise obviously wasn’t of much help to me). I tried all the key combinations I thought I might have hit, to no avail. I couldn’t find any way to turn off overwriting. In the end I restarted Déjà Vu, and that solved my problem. This time I didn’t search the Internet, because I’ve spent countless hours doing just that on several occasions, but so far haven’t been able to find the solution to this particular problem.

However, I really would like to know how I managed to turn on overwriting, especially since the answer to this most likely also would be the shortcut to turning it off again (which would be somewhat easier and quicker than restarting a program). Do you know how to do the seemingly undoable? I’d be delighted if you’d share your knowledge.

Error when using plug-in file filters (Trados)

I had just installed the new SDL Trados Studio 2009, and had updated my licenses for SDL Trados Studio 2007, when I encountered an error. I was trying to open a txt-file in TagEditor, but TagEditor simply refused to open the file, and instead gave me the (to me) following rather incomprehensible message:

Error when using plug-in file filters:

Unexpected failure in Codepage property for COM plug-in component
RegExFileFilter. TextFileFilterScanner

Would you like to try to open this file anyway?

I tried clicking “Yes”, and I tried clicking “No” – Trados didn’t care what I chose, but gave me the same reply no matter what:

80003: TagEditor is unable to open this document because the file type is
not recognized.

So off I went on my search for a solution. The Internet usually holds the answer to the technical problems I encounter, but at times it’s a long search. In this case I found several people asking for help with the exact same problem at both and the Yahoo Group TW_users, but no one had offered any solution. In the end I did some pretty far-fetched searches in the SDL Knowledge Base, and found the reason for the error as well as the solution.

The solution

The error message means that a dll called EncodingTools.dll wasn’t properly updated during installation. To fix it you need to delete this dll, and then install it again (or rather, the version of the dll that actually works).

Deleting the EncodingTools.dll:

  1. If you’re running Windows XP, go to the Start menu and select Run. (On Vista, press the Windows key + R).
  2. Type Assembly in the dialog box, and click OK. The Assembly list is displayed.
  3. Right-click EncodingTools.dll and select Uninstall.
  4. Go to C:\Program Files\SDL International\T2007\TT (or …\T2007FL\TT) and delete the file EncodingTools.dll.

Reinstalling the correct version of EncodingTools.dll:

  1. On Windows XP, go to the Start menu and select Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs. (On Vista, go to Program Files and Features).
  2. Select SDL Trados 2007 and click Change, then follow the wizard to repair your installation of TagEditor. (On Vista, simply click Repair).

You should now have the correct version of the EncodingTools.dll, and can work on your txt-files in TagEditor.

Someone (who knows way more about these things than I do) told me that the fact that the dll-file wasn’t properly installed, basically tells you a good deal about the program as a whole. Mind you, he didn’t say what it tells you, but judging from my experience with Trados, I think he may just have a point …

CAT-tools – love them or loathe them …

… as a translator you can’t ignore them, not entirely at least.

Trados is a CAT-tool that it is very hard to ignore (provided you’re a free-lance translator). Not because it is better than all the other CAT-tools out there (well, I don’t think so, certainly not after I laid my busy little hands on Déjà Vu – others might disagree), but Trados is the industry leader, and a lot of agencies will not even consider collaborating with free-lancers who do not have Trados. On the other hand, once you have Trados grumpily sitting on your harddrive, your chances of landing a job from an agency are greatly improved.

Prospective clients who set it as a requirement before they would even consider sending me a test translation, was also the main reason I first invested a (to me) small fortune in this huge, clumsy and intimidating piece of software. But it’s earned its keep; with Trados on my harddrive, I got more agencies on my list of clients, and I was able to start translating full-time.

However, Trados might be a source of income in its own right, but it has also had me pulling my hair out in desperation multiple times when I’ve encountered technical problems, and a deadline was breathing down my neck. I don’t know how many hours I’ve spent searching the Internet for solutions to Trados problems, hours I could’ve spent translating (or sleeping for that matter, because business is business, and when you have a deadline to meet, you make sure you can meet it, before you allow yourself the luxury of some old-fashioned sleep), but they are not few, nor are they far between.

Recently, I added Déjà Vu, another CAT-tool, but one the agencies rarely ask for, to the contents of my harddrive. So it doesn’t give me any new clients, but … compared to Trados, I find it a breeze to work with, and I even have a feeling it’s actually speeding up the entire translation process more than Trados ever did. I never timed myself, so yes, I might be wrong, but I feel pretty certain that that’s how it is. Technical errors? Admittedly, I’ve encountered some, but, compared to what I’ve encountered with Trados, they have been few and far between (so far at least). I never really liked working in Trados much. With Déjà Vu I felt something like love at first sight – and keystroke. I guess you have to try both to understand the difference.

As mentioned though, I have encountered problems with both Trados and Déjà Vu, and the solutions to those problems have at times been so well hidden (in the deep layers of some knowledge base where the search function is out of order, or in the dusty and long-forgotten archives of a mailing list) that it seems a miracle anyone would ever come across them again. So I thought I’d make life a little easier for whoever finds themselves facing the same kind of problems I’ve been facing, by publishing the solutions to problems I come across here. Maybe it’ll save someone else a sleepless night when a deadline is looming.

Watch this space …