Dr. Tom's Independent Software Reviews


Short Reviews - Update

TRADOS was founded in 1984 by Jochen Hummel and Iko Knyphausen in Stuttgart, Germany to provide translation services for IBM. In 1990, the first version of one of TRADOS's main components, MultiTerm, was created as a memory-resident multilingual terminology manager for DOS. By the end of 1992, TRADOS developed the first MultiTerm for Windows. At the same time, the second main component of TRADOS, the Translator's Workbench, introducing linguistic fuzzy-matching on translation memories, was established for DOS and 1994 for Windows. In March 2001, TRADOS announces the launch of TRADOS 6.5 in November 2003. As a multinational corporation, TRADOS has offices in Germany, France, Belgium, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, China, Japan, Switzerland and the United States.

TRADOS specializes in terminology management and translation memory (TM) software. TRADOS consists of several seamlessly integrated editors and tools for Translators, Localization Engineers and Project Managers. TRADOS 6.5 Freelance contains:

  • The Translator’s Workbench is TRADOS' professional translation memory (TM) system. It can be fully integrated into Microsoft Word using a toolbar and several macros. The TM shows an advanced, customizable fuzzy-match functionality with color-coded highlighting of all deviations to identify similar entries in the translation memory. In addition, it can be run cross-linked to the terminology base MultiTerm.
  • TRADOS TagEditor enables you to directly open Web and SGML based formats such as HTML/ASP/JSP, XML and XSL and DTP formats such as FrameMaker, PageMaker, QuarkXPress and Interleaf/Quicksilver. Replacing your word processor by the TagEditor, these files can be translated in conjunction with the Translator's Workbench as easy as untagged file formats.
  • Filters: The software supports a variety of file formats such as: ASCII- and ANSI-Text (TXT), Word documents (DOC and RTF), help files (RTF), resource files (RC), Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint, as well as tagged text file formats, including XML, SGML, HTML, FrameMaker, Indesign, Interleaf, QuickSilver, QuarkXPress, PageMaker and Ventura.
  • T-Window Collection is a suite of enhancements originally made to TRADOS 5.5. It adds support to Windows Software files in resource (RC) and binary (EXE, DLL and OCX) format. Furthermore, you can translate text from any application using T-Window for Clipboard.
  • WinAlign: The visual alignment system WinAlign allows users to create a translation memory from previously translated documents. The program examines text from the source- and target-language and helps you to determine which pairs belong together. After an automated procedure, the results can be viewed and, if necessary, post-edited in an easy-to-use graphical alignment editor. The output can be imported into the Translator's Workbench.
  • MultiTerm is a concept-oriented terminology database and management system. As with the TM, a powerful and robust fuzzy-index engine ensures that identical and similar phrases are found. Translations using the Translator’s Workbench in combination with MultiTerm allows a high terminological consistency and quality. MultiTerm can be accessed from within the word processing environment.


Fig. 1: Auto Concordance Search:
Translator's Workbench now searches for text fragments automatically when no sentence match is found.

Please click on the image for a closer look!


What's new in TRADOS 6.5?:

  • Auto Concordance Search: Translator's Workbench now searches for text fragments automatically when no sentence match is found.
  • Support for Word 2003: Translator's Workbench is now also integrated for easy work with Word 2003.
  • PowerPoint & Excel Support in TagEditor, Workbench and WinAlign: New filters for PowerPoint and Excel in TRADOS 6.5 Freelance for the first time allow you to work directly in Translator's Workbench and TagEditor to process these file formats. You can now quote jobs for these formats, batch-process them in Translator's Workbench and much more. WinAlign now supports the alignment of PowerPoint and Excel files.
  • Get Connected: Access TRADOS translation memories stored on Internet TM Servers.
  • TRADOStag Viewer, a new TagEditor plug-in, lets you preview and print TRADOStag (.ttx) documents from within Internet Explorer.
  • Simplified Editing, Splitting and Joining in WinAlign: "Quick Edit" command allows you to carry out small corrections much faster and more user-friendly. You can now freely split & join segments to fine-tune the alignment result and quickly change it as needed. It is also possible to add empty segments and add any text manually as required.
  • New and updated DTP Filters: Support of Adobe InDesign 2.0, Adobe FrameMaker 7.0 and QuarkXPress 5. Reintroduction of the stand-alone S-Tagger applications for quick and efficient conversion of FrameMaker and Interleaf/Quicksilver to TRADOStag.
  • The MultiTerm 2003 Release Term Workstation is an update for MultiTerm iX. It features significant improvements including tutorials and MultiTerm Convert, an improved conversion tool. As a start, MultiTerm Convert supports MultiTerm 5.5 (*.mtw), Microsoft Excel (2000, 2002, and 2003) and Text Tabular Formats (*.csv). All conversions are done via MultiTerm's XML format.
    Another fine feature, which was already introduced in MultiTerm iX, is the QuickEntry Feature which allows on-the-fly additions to a term base right from within Microsoft Word at the click of a button


  • Until December 15, 2003: $695 / €695 / ¥92,000 - instead of $ 895 / € 895. Upgrade from 6 FL: $39 / €39 / ¥5,000; Upgrade from 5 and 5.5: $215 / €215 / ¥28,000
  • MultiTerm Term Workstation 2003 Release. New License: $275 / €275 / ¥35,000
  • TRADOS 6.5 for Language Service Providers (LSPs): Until Dec 15, 2003: Starting at $1,595 instead of $1,995, savings on all upgrades -
  • TRADOS 6.5 TM for Corporations: 25% off until December 19, 2003 – contact TRADOS for details.

Usage & Evaluation:

TRADOS 6.5 offers a bunch of great new features (see above) at only US$/€ 39 for the downloadable upgrade from 6.0. In this very brief "first look" review, I only found a few minor shortcomings and missing features.
A first irritation was the dramatically delayed retrieval of matches within the new Workbench after being connected to the new MultiTerm Workstation. This occurred because the matches of a TM retrieval were only displayed after MultiTerm was searched for any terminology matches. As this was already a known (and solved) problem, it only required the download and installation of a patch, which, however, should have been already included into the new MultiTerm release I just downloaded days before.
My second observation was the lack of a great new search feature for the maintenance of local Workbenches: It is now possible to limit your search in server-based Workbenches on possible duplicate translation units only. Although it is true that the need of cleaning out a TM and freeing it from unnecessary ballast is most crucial for central server-based TMs, it would also have been a nifty tool for any local Workbench as well.
The default settings of MultiTerm's integration into the Workbench continuously popped a search results window containing terminology matches above the Editor-Workbench interface and had to be clicked away before I was able to continue working. I was told that this can easily be deactivated but I could not find the settings dialog to do so. Finally, a last inconvenience is the change of the Workbench format from TRADOS 6.0 to 6.5. If you want to share your TM with somebody below version 6.5, you first have to export your Workbench to TXT-format. Here it would be more convenient, if you would be able to save the Workbench itself into version 5/6.0 format or even earlier.

In conclusion, TRADOS 6.5 adds many long-awaited functions and improvements that make it much more important than just a minor update.

System Requirements:
TRADOS 6.5 Freelance runs under Windows 98SE and ME, as well as Windows NT, 2000 and XP. Windows NT, 2000 or XP are recommended for optimum performance. It requires a PC with Pentium processor (at least Pentium II - II and above recommended) with 128 MB RAM (256 recommended) on Win ME, and 256 (512) on NT, 2000 or XP. TRADOS 6.5 Freelance is designed to work in a single user environment. TRADOS 6.5 LSP is required in order to share translation memories on internal networks (LAN). Supported versions of MS Office: Office 97, 2000, XP and 2003.

Company Information: TRADOS Incorporated (HQ); 1292 Hammerwood Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94089,
United States; Phone: +1-408-7433500, Fax: +1-408-7433600; E-mail: info-us-ca@trados.com; URL: http://www.trados.com (for enterprises) and http://www.translationzone.com (for Freelancers and Language Service Providers).

Dr. Thomas Wassmer, fax: +49 (6204) 9868263, e-mail: tom at infotom.com

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