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Introduction:
schaudin.com was founded in 1993 as a software designer company developing custom-made applications running on Microsoft Windows. Since 1995 they have focused on translation software for the multilingual localization of MS Windows software. Besides their flagship RC-WinTrans, they also offer custom development for special needs that cannot be met with standard products (usually the translating of nonstandard file types or special translation requests). With their central office located in the Frankfurt Rhein/Main high-tech area in Germany, schaudin.com is also supported by employees in Londonderry ( NH, USA), Seattle (WA, USA) and Berlin (Germany).


Fig. 1: Translation of a RC-File using RC-WinTrans. Upper panel: Main Project Window - left: resources tree view - right: text table view with source and target languages (please note that recheck markers have been placed next to some translations). Lower left: Translation edit bar - lower right: Multi-View bar - here showing a list of glossaries used in the project.

Please click on the image for a closer look!

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Features:
RC-WinTrans supports the localization of the Graphic User Interface (GUI) of Microsoft Windows software consisting of dialog boxes, menus, stringtables, accelerator tables and bitmaps. RC-WinTrans conveniently translates Windows resource script files (.RC, .DLG, .RC2), Program files (.EXE, .DLL and .OCX) as well as Java .PROPERTIES files, simple C/C++ text definition files (.H), Windows INI files (:INI) and InstallShield stringtable files (.SHL). The application presents the source text and additional columns for each target language in a clear table view. It is also equipped with a built-in dialog box layout editor to adjust dialog boxes and dialog box items according to the requirements of the target text.
One specialty of RC-WinTrans is the support of ActiveX controls used in dialogs. After extracting all text out of the ActiveX controls, there is no need to distribute and install the ActiveX controls in a distributed translation.
Another advantage of using RC-WinTrans is the Change Control which tracks changes in the source file and points out where they affect existing translation(s). Changes are made visible to the translator and only the modified or new text elements need to be translated.



Fig. 2: Menu translation in a RC-File using RC-WinTrans. Upper panel: Table view of the menu resources with icons for double mnemonic keys (hotkeys) and color-coded translation status (white: not translated - green: finished). Lower left: Translation edit bar - lower right: Multi-View bar - here showing the results of a string search.

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For a decentralized translation process, RC-WinTrans has export and import capabilities to distribute and merge translation data. Direct import and export capabilities are supported for text files, RC-WinTrans translation databases, resource files and program files. During the translation process (translating a source text, finding a translation), the translator can use integrated RC-WinTrans resource text glossaries as well as existing translation projects. The Auto-Translate function of RC-WinTrans allows an automatic translation based on the data of one or more glossaries and/or one or more already existing translation projects. An existing translation project can be used like a glossary, meaning that you do not have to translate a text twice, and with an increasing number of translated projects the data available to translate a current project increases as well.

  • Binary resource files (.RES) cannot be translated with RC-WinTrans.
  • RC-WinTrans supports localization of 32bit program files (.EXE, .DLL and .OCX). 16-bit program files are not supported.
  • Borland Delphi programs cannot be translated with RC-WinTrans.
  • Windows 95/89/ME has a technical restriction on writing (creating) translated program/executable files. RC-WinTrans uses Windows API functions to write localized resources to an EXE, DLL or OCX target file. API functions are only supported for Windows NT and Windows 2000 operating systems. Since the required function is unavailable for Windows 95/98/ME, the "Write Target Files" function can only be performed on a Windows NT or Windows 2000 operating system. The "Write Target File" function for program files is the only restriction for Windows 95/98/ME.
  • Program/executable files must be based on (created with) Windows resource script files in order to be localized with RC-WinTrans. These are, for example, programs developed with the C/C++ programming language. Strings in Visual Basic programs can be translated if a resource script file has been used to separate the text from the program code.

Fig. 3: Dialog Box translation in a RC-File using RC-WinTrans. Upper panel: Dialog box view of the dialog box resources with the size & position bar for the marked (yellow rectangle) resource. The blue icon indicates resized dialog elements - the green dots display the translation status (green: finished). Lower left: Translation edit bar - lower right: Multi-View bar - here showing the results of a string search.

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System Requirements:
Windows 9x, ME or NT, 2000; 400 MHz x86 CPU or above; 25 MB HD. Optional Microsoft Excel (import/export), Microsoft Visual SourceSafe (version control), TRADOS Translator's Workbench (translation memory), Microsoft Access 97 (data storage.

Editions & Prices:

  • RC-WinTrans 6.0 Standard Edition. 840 US $ (930 €).
  • RC-WinTrans 6.0 External Translators' Group License. The external translators’ group license is intended for companies that use a number of internal or external translators in their business. A translator is provided with the RC-WinTrans Translator’s Edition which can be used to translate a file’s translation database. The Translator’s Edition is for translation/localization purposes only, and cannot write (create) translated target files. This task can only be performed with RC-WinTrans’ Unlimited Standard Edition, located at the company’s home office. The external translators' group license includes: 1 RC-WinTrans 6.0 single-user license (full functionality); designated number of copies of the Translator's Edition; 1 copy of the RC-WinTrans 6.0 -- CD-ROM + General Guide; 2 copies of RC-WinTrans 6.0 Translators CD-ROM + General Guide with additional translator's CDs and General Guides available upon request. 2410 US$ (2720 €).
  • RC-WinTrans Lite Edition: Full featured version of RC-WinTrans with a limitation in the maximum size of a translation project. Mainly thought as a free trial version to see how RC-WinTrans works.



Fig. 4: The RC-WinTrans Translation Statistics Property Page displays information about the source file and the translation database

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Company Information: schaudin.com; Ritterseestrasse 29, D-64846 Gross-Zimmern, Germany; Phone: +49 (6071) 951706, Fax: +49 (6071) 951707; email: info@schaudin.com; URL: http://www.schaudin.com.

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Usage & Evaluation:

  • RC-WinTrans is a powerful and well organized tool for the localization of RC-files, executables (EXE), link libraries (DLL and OCX) as well as Java .PROPERTIES files, simple C/C++ text definition files (.H), Windows INI files (:INI) and InstallShield stringtable files (.SHL). As the name indicates, RC-WinTrans' specialty lies within the translation of RC-files for which it offers the most powerful parser in this test. Another nice feature is the ability to extract text components from ActiveX controls.
  • RC-WinTrans does not support Help files and web formats. It can therefore afford to lack an own translation memory. However, by providing a thoroughly developed interactivity with the TRADOS Translator's Workbench, extended features of the TM such as concordance search can be used within RC-WinTrans.
  • The tool only covers some basic statistic functions. Much better developed is the validation and inconsistency checking and the extended import/export features (e.g. CSV and TMX) whose value is however limited due to only marginal project management abilities. RC-WinTrans satisfies by automatically updating translated files whenever the source file is changed.
  • Together with STAR Group's Transit Satellite PE, Alchemy CATALYST's QuickShip Environment and PASSOLO's Translator Edition, RC-WinTrans is now also offered in a free version for freelance translators working for a company that uses the Standard Edition.
  • RC-WinTrans is the only product in this comparative review which does not use a hardware key (dongle) for licensing protection. As dongles often create inconveniences for the user, this is a minor advantage of RC-WinTrans.

Alternatives:

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© Dr. Thomas Wassmer, e-mail: tom at softreviews.org

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