Monday, July 21, 2008

Two utilities to make your life easier

I give you two freeware utilities this week - both small, unobtrusive and useful.

Rainbow Folders helps you to identify and classify folders on your desktop, directory, or other work spaces by using distinct colors. You can hue and saturation values to make distinct shades and color folders easily.

Here's how I have colored some of my folders to distinguish them as PDF documents in English and Japanese.

Explorer part view

The above screenshot is a part of the Explorer window.

The program is for Windows only; OS: Win 98/ME/2K/NT/XP, and weighs in at 783 kB.

The second one is also a freeware utility called AutoUnbreak that  removes line breaks from text copied from PDF files. You copy the text from the PDF file and paste it into AutoUnbreak, then process it and copy the results to Word or any other editor. Here are screenshots of the program and results of a small test I did on an English PDF file.

AutoUnbreak utility

The procedure is as shown in the screen shot above. Paste text into the window, click Unbreak and copy the results to clipboard.

I copied part of a PDF file to a text editor first (you can see the line breaks) in the screenshot below, and then pasted it to AutoUnbreak.

Text copied from PDF file

After processing with AutoUnbreak and copying the results to the same text editor, this is what I got:

 

Processed text

AutoUnbreak did remove line breaks in all but one location. Maybe not perfect, but useful nonetheless if you have a huge PDF document to be translated in Word.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 4, 2008

More on proofreading by text to speech

In a previous post, I wrote about a proofreading solution using a commercial software (Dragon Naturally Speaking) to read out the text you  translated. Although the voice is not as natural as in Naturally Speaking, here is a free solution, SayzMe, thanks to a reader of this blog who pointed it out to me. The voice bundled with this free application is passable, and certainly better than some of the voices I had tried out a year ago. Download this freeware utility and try it out yourself.

I have recorded two simple Word macros that hide and un-hide hidden text when you use a CAT tool such as Wordfast. These macros may be used to conveniently hide the hidden text and proofread paragraphs or the entire document during the translation process. I have put them on Word's toolbar as you see here:

  Jules-01 To proofread a paragraph, you can run HidOff that hides the Japanese source text and displays only the translated English text, select the paragraph and hit Ctrl +C to copy the text to clipboard. If SayzMe is already running, it will read out the clipboard text.

You can record these two convenient macros yourself using the macro recorder in Word or copy them from here (Note: I have run these on Word 2003, and they work fine. If they don't work for you, try recording them yourself.)

CAUTION: When you proofread and wish to make corrections by deleting or writing over text at the beginning or end of sentences, make sure you turn the hidden text ON and then do the corrections. There is a good chance you may delete the hidden bookmarks inserted by the CAT tool when you delete/overwrite text.

I wanted to write about CAT tools, such as Wordfast and Felix the Cat.  unfortunately, looming deadlines have prevented me trying out Felix - hopefully in the near future. Here are the two macros:

Sub HidOff()
'
' HidOff Macro
' Macro recorded 2008/04/03 by Gururaj Rao
'
    Application.DisplayStatusBar = True
    Application.ShowWindowsInTaskbar = True
    Application.ShowStartupDialog = True
    With ActiveWindow
        .DisplayHorizontalScrollBar = True
        .DisplayVerticalScrollBar = True
        .DisplayLeftScrollBar = False
        .StyleAreaWidth = MillimetersToPoints(0)
        .DisplayVerticalRuler = True
        .DisplayRightRuler = False
        .DisplayScreenTips = True
        With .View
            .ShowAnimation = True
            .Draft = False
            .WrapToWindow = True
            .ShowPicturePlaceHolders = False
            .ShowFieldCodes = False
            .ShowBookmarks = False
            .FieldShading = wdFieldShadingWhenSelected
            .ShowTabs = False
            .ShowSpaces = False
            .ShowParagraphs = False
            .ShowHyphens = False
            .ShowHiddenText = False
            .ShowAll = False
            .ShowDrawings = True
            .ShowObjectAnchors = True
            .ShowTextBoundaries = False
            .ShowHighlight = True
            .ShowOptionalBreaks = False
            .DisplayPageBoundaries = True
            .DisplaySmartTags = False
        End With
    End With
End Sub
Sub HidON()
'
' HidON Macro
' Macro recorded 2008/04/03 by Gururaj Rao
'
    Application.DisplayStatusBar = True
    Application.ShowWindowsInTaskbar = True
    Application.ShowStartupDialog = True
    With ActiveWindow
        .DisplayHorizontalScrollBar = True
        .DisplayVerticalScrollBar = True
        .DisplayLeftScrollBar = False
        .StyleAreaWidth = MillimetersToPoints(0)
        .DisplayVerticalRuler = True
        .DisplayRightRuler = False
        .DisplayScreenTips = True
        With .View
            .ShowAnimation = True
            .Draft = False
            .WrapToWindow = True
            .ShowPicturePlaceHolders = False
            .ShowFieldCodes = False
            .ShowBookmarks = False
            .FieldShading = wdFieldShadingWhenSelected
            .ShowTabs = False
            .ShowSpaces = False
            .ShowParagraphs = False
            .ShowHyphens = False
            .ShowHiddenText = True
            .ShowAll = False
            .ShowDrawings = True
            .ShowObjectAnchors = True
            .ShowTextBoundaries = False
            .ShowHighlight = True
            .ShowOptionalBreaks = False
            .DisplayPageBoundaries = True
            .DisplaySmartTags = False
        End With
    End With
End Sub