How to change the way Trados Studio auto-propagates segments in your translation

May 30, 2013 by

How to change auto propagation in Trados StudioHave you ever wanted to turn off auto-propagation in Trados Studio? Or check segments before they’re auto-propagated? Or do you find that auto-propagation of numbers is slow?

Thankfully, it’s easy to change the auto-propagation settings to handle these and other situations. Here’s how:

On the Tools menu, click Options. The Options window displays.

In the window on the left, click the plus sign nexto Editor to expand the options. Click Auto-propagation. The General screen displays on the right.

Auto-propagation in Trados Studio

Now you can change the auto-propagation options.

Switching auto-propagation on and off

If auto-propagation is slow for number-only segments, you could switch it off and deal with these segments in another way (e.g. using Ctrl+Ins to copy the source to the target segment.)

To switch off auto-propagation: remove the check/tick from Enable Auto-propagation and click OK.

Once you’ve done this you can go back to the Editor. You may be able to use the Display filter to display the segments you want to translate without auto-propagation, e.g. number-only segments. Depending on what you need to do, steps may include copying the source to the target, editing the segments as required, selecting all segments and setting the status to translated. (Which sounds like it could be another post!)

After dealing with these segments, don’t forget to go back and replace the check/tick in the Enable Auto-propagation field, so that you can use auto-propagation for the rest of your translation.

Checking segments before auto-propagation

To ensure you can check segments before auto-propagation: under Prompt User, select Always. This will ensure that segments are not propagated with an incorrect translation without you noticing.

Other useful settings

Confirm segment after auto-propagating an exact match is especially useful when combined with Prompt UserAlways.

You may also want to select Auto-propagate from: First segment in the document, and/or change the Minimum match value so that fuzzy matches are auto-propagated (without being confirmed).

Some translators prefer to check/tick Auto-propagate exact matches to confirmed segments, while others don’t like it because it may result in unwanted changes.

As you can see, there are lots of options and it’s worth trying out the various settings. Do you have any more auto-propagation tips? Let me know in the comments below!

By Jayne Fox BSc MITI, German-English translator.
For German-English medical translation – and translation of corporate communications.

About the author: Jayne Fox is a German-English translator specialising in corporate communications for sci-tech and health care. She works with German and Swiss organisations to help them communicate effectively with international audiences.

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  1. Emma Goldsmith

    Thanks for this clear post about autopropagation, Jayne. In addition to dealing with numbers first (using regex to process them if needed) and then switching AP back on as you recommend, I also lock these segments to avoid autopropagating them by accident later on.
    Autopropagation is one of the key features of Studio, and I wouldn't be able to live without it!

  2. Ricarda Colditz

    Thanks for this post, Jayne. I have been using Studio 2011 for over a year now and I find that I still don't know all the options. The part about checking segments before auto-propagation was new to me. Well, I am ready to learn more 🙂

  3. Vertimai

    Thanks for information. I wouldn't have understood it without your help.

  4. Ici Clair

    Thanks for this ... I remembered reading it the other week, then came back to it this morning as I had a file full of numbers, so it was really useful. Thanks a lot!

  5. Termexplore

    Thanks for all this.
    I wonder if it would be technically possible to have a mere key combo not to auto-propagate one single segment when confirming, e.g. Ctrl + Cap + Alt + Enter (which would be somehow logic with existing Ctrl + Enter vs. Ctrl + Alt + Enter).

  6. Termexplore

    (Forgot to click "Notify to follow-up..." 😉 )

    Thanks for all this.
    I wonder if it would be technically possible to have a mere key combo not to auto-propagate one single segment when confirming, e.g. Ctrl + Cap + Alt + Enter (which would be somehow logic with existing Ctrl + Enter vs. Ctrl + Alt + Enter).

  7. Jayne Fox

    That's a great idea - you could suggest it to SDL via their ideas page:

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German-to-English translator specialising in medical and technical translation and corporate communications
Welcome to my blog, Between Translations! I'm Jayne Fox, German-English translator specialising in sci-tech, health care & corporate communications.
I work with clients from around the world. From my location in New Zealand, I translate overnight for European customers.
See my websites for more information.
Sci-tech translation and corporate comms:
Medical translation:
Email: jayne(at)