Disaster prevention in Trados Studio – making sure you can save the target file

March 4, 2013 by

Disaster prevention in Trados StudioIf you use Trados Studio, the last thing you want is an error when you’re trying to create your target files. Being unable to generate the text that you’re supposed to deliver in 45 minutes’ time can really make you tear your hair out. Here are some tips to help prevent file-generating disaster.

1. Before you start translating: Save Target As…

When you set up your project in Trados Studio, before you start translating, click File and then click Save Target As… (or use Shift+F12).

Trados Studio can't save target file

All going well, you’ll be able to save the target file at this stage.

If you get errors and can’t save the target document, the original file may be corrupt. Have a look at it and see if you can remove any formatting or save it in a different format (e.g. open the file in OpenOffice and then save in Word format). Then set up the project again.

If you still can’t save the target file, see if your customer can supply the file in a different format.

I also use Save Target As… at the end of each day to generate the latest version of the target file. Sometimes I do this more often, for example, if the file has complex formatting that could possibly cause problems.

2. Display tags

If you can save the target file before you start translating, any further problems are likely to be caused by missing tags. To see all the tags in the document, on the Tools menu, click Options. On the Options dialogue box, click Editor in the window on the left. From the Formatting display style: dropdown list, select Show all formatting and tags and click OK.

Can't generate target file in Trados Studio







Back in the Editor view, have a look at these buttons, which you can use to view the tag text.

Display tag text in Trados Studio

Being able to see the tag text can be handy for some projects.

3. Verify

Before generating the target files, always verify to check that there are no missing tags. To do this, click the Tools menu and click Verify, or press F8.

Trados Studio verify can't save target file

Verification will identify any tags that have been added, moved or deleted.

If you still can’t generate the target file

If you’ve followed all these steps, you should be able to create the target file at the end of the project, either using Save Target As… or the Finalize batch task.

However, if disaster strikes and you can’t generate the file, there are a few things you can try:

  • Close Trados Studio, shut down and restart your PC. If this doesn’t work:
  • Use Open Document… to open the original document in Trados Studio again, using the translation memory from the project. The translation should propagate automatically. Try to Save Target As… again. Or:
  • If you didn’t follow the original three steps above, set up the project again and run through them now.

I hope these steps help you keep your hair and your deadlines. Please add a comment below if you have any more disaster-prevention tips!

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

Owl photo: skitterphoto.com via pexels.com

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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. paulfilkin

    Lot's of good advice in here Jayne... nice article.

    • Jayne Fox

      Thanks Paul - I learnt most of it from you! 🙂

  2. Martin Purdy

    Makes me quite pleased I don't use Trados! WordFast has its own quirks but doesn't seem quite as complicated.

    • Jayne Fox

      Trados is great when everything goes smoothly, but frustrating if something goes wrong. That's why I wrote this post - to explain how to keep everything on track. The main thing is to check that you'll be able to create the target file right at the beginning - not just right at the end!

  3. mariana

    Thank you Jayne, I am a brand new user of Trados and finding it all quite complicated. You are saving my life for the second time already. Thank you for the hard work!

    • Jayne Fox

      Thanks for the feedback Mariana!

  4. Mats Dannewitz Linder

    Very useful! I'd just like to add a warning: if one uses Open Document to start a translation of just one document, one should be careful to change the name of the target file when Saving As, otherwise the original source file will be overwritten.

    • Jayne Fox

      That's a good tip, thanks Mats.

  5. huong nguyen

    Tks very much. Your tip helps me a lot.

  6. Anil Mayhew

    Thank you very much, Jayne. Very helpful. Saved me so much time and stress.

  7. Paulo R. Koronfli

    Hi Jayne!, nice tips! Thank you vey much!
    I was experiencing the same problems above... the only thing that really worked, and that made sense to me was the Verify command. It listed a few tag errors which I corrected, but the problem persisted. Actually I had more than one problem: I could get started in opening my original PDF file. Nice. There it was, the bilingual file in which I would work. But when I used the Analyze command, there was an error message, and I when I tried to open the file again to translate it, the program displayed another error and wouldn´t let me do so. And so it happened with the pre-translate command. The thing that saved my life was using the save source as command (or save target as, since the there wasn´t any translations so far, the result would be the same), and starting all over again with that Word document Trados itself generated, instead of using the original PDF file. It went on smoothly, then. One point to notice is the file size. It was a 120-page PDF file. So I imagine it has affected Trados. I Hope I could help =]

    • Jayne Fox

      Yes, if I use Studio to convert a PDF, I usually check and adjust the Word source document that it creates, to remove any unnecessary tags or spacing. Then I set up a new project with this document.

  8. lanna2013

    Great tips, however, in my case, the document when it opened (having first warned that it might be dangerous) said that it had repaired a lot of errors with text boxes. I tried the workarounds suggested here, without success, then deleted all the text boxes from the original, re-translated ( mostly directly from memory), and all was well. Hope that helps someone!

  9. lanna2013

    I should also add that I was pretty desperate, as the document with the errors would not save - I had put in corrections, and when I tried to save it couldn't, and shut word down!

    Also, great blog, thanks, Jane!

  10. Maite

    You made my day 🙂 Thanks!!!

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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: www.foxdocs.biz
Medical translation: www.jfmedicaltranslation.com
Email: jayne(at)foxdocs.biz