Troubleshooting CAT Angelika Zerfass ?· memoQ will NOT keep the original text. Settings…

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What you can do to find the source of the problem

Angelika Zerfa,


Oh, no!

Sh.., what was that?!

PANIC, what do I do now?

My [insert name of tool] doesnt work

All my text is goneThe system crashes

all the time

I get an error and can't work any more!

Messages to PM, colleague, support hotline

TroubleshootingDoes that somehow sound familiar?

Time to get the detective work started

How to find out what the issue REALLY is

Strategies to find solutions

As a user


When trying to open a Word file in Trados Studio Studio can deal with regular Word files and bilingual

Word files from older Trados versions or Wordfast The style tw4winMark is used for the Workbench

markers {0>xxxxxyyyyy

As a user


The names of worksheets in Excel may not be longer than 31 characters.

The worksheet name is marked in Studio in the structure column

If the error message is unhelpful

Object reference not set to an instance of an objectMake a screenshot of the error messageIf there is a save button or an expand button, use

them to get the full error messageTry to reproduce the error message and

document the steps

What does it mean?The system is trying to access something

that is not there any more This could be anything, from a TM file that

has been moved to the user profile file that has not been saved correctly last time

Object reference not set to an instance of an object

Trados StudioRestore the layout of the windows in the editor (View

menu -> Reset Windows Layout

Object reference not set to an instance of an object

Trados StudioDelete the projects.xml file

(C:\Users\username\Documents\Studio 2014\Projects) Open the projects again via

File -> Open -> Open project

The error could occur because the folder of a project was deleted, but not from within Studio, but in Windows Explorer. This means the projects.xml lists a project that is not there any more.

Object reference not set to an instance of an object

Trados StudioDelete the profile filesClose Studio and go to

C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\SDL\SDL Trados Studio\XX.X.0.0\BaseSettings.xmlPlugincache.xmlUserSettings.xml

Object reference not set to an instance of an object

memoQmemoQ does not startGo to

C:\Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\memoQ, and delete the Preferences.xml file.

If the error message is unhelpfulLook up the error message in the support

databases of the tools providers, mailing lists, translator portalshttp://kb.sdl.com (Forums on Trados, memoQ, Worfast)Tools groups on yahoogroups (tw_users, dj vu)Google the error messageIf you have a support agreement, send the

full error message text and the steps to reproduce to the tools provider (send them the file or a part of the file as well, they will ask for it anyhow)

If you try to solve an issue for someone else

Try to reproduce the issueAsk for all files and settings involvedAsk what the user was doing (exactly)Ask for the configuration of the system

(OS, Office, translation tool version)Ask for a screenshot of the error message

and when exactly it showed up

If you can reproduce the error, it often rules out simple user errors

Be systematic

Try to rule out as many areas as possibleCould it be that the user is trying to do

something that the tool cannot doTrying to open a translation from within a zip

file without unzipping it first

Could it have to do with the input fileA file with the extension DOC which is actually

a DOCX or RTF file (because it was not re-saved but only the extension was changed)

Could it have to do with settingsCould it be the version of the tool

Error CategoriesUser error

Trying to open a file for translation from the TMs file menu instead from the editors file menu

Feature not supported in the applicationTrying to open a file format that is not directly

supported like INDD, FM, IDML for older tool versions

Bug in the application

Error CategoriesInput file

Invalid XML file, corrupt Word fileFile sizePassword protectedScanned PDFTrack changes still activated

File handlingUnexpected file corruption through

unintentional processing-> zip all files that are to be sent by e-mail,

especially XML files and text-based filesOpening a file from within an e-mail, instead

of saving the file to a folder first

Error CategoriesIncompatibilities between installed versions

of the tool and/or other toolsCertain add-ins in Word were problematic with the Trados toolbarMultiple MultiTerm versions dont work togetherWorking with Workbench and Studio in parallel might stop term

recognition from working

Incompatibility with Frameworks like Java Runtime Environment, .Net framework or a new Windows updateMultiTerm needs a specific Java version and the

Next Generation Java plugin deactivated

Error CategoriesOther, recently installed software

Especially anti-virus software like Kaspersky or McAfee

Windows relatedPath to file too long (up to 260 are allowed)This does not have to be the path to the translation

file but could be the path to a file created by the translation tool, such as a preview file in memoQ)

Tool not installed with administrator rightsRandom phenomenonFirst time the error occurs, the next time it doesnt

User errors

Sometimes users make incorrect assumptions on what the function will do, so they do not provide the input in a meaningful way for the machineRenaming files that must not be renamed (for

example in HTML projects)Leaving text untranslatedTrados will keep the original textmemoQ will NOT keep the original text

Settings in the tool

Try changing the parametersActivate / deactivate other options of the

function you are trying to useTry an alternative waySave a DOC file to RTF or DOCXSave an XLS to XLSX

Try the same file with a different translation tool

File / File Name / File FormatOfficeOpen and RepairSave in different format (DOC DOCX/RTF)Copy content to new file InDesign / FrameMakerSave file again to interchange format from original file (INX

or IDML for InDesign, MIF for FrameMaker)To save to INX, IDML or MIF, the original application is

needed in the correct version and with the customer fontsFile is too large -> split fileShorten file name/pathFile name is invalid (demo.docx_trans)Note: make sure that you can see the file extensions on

your computer, a demo.docx file might just be a demo.docx.sdlxliff file if the file extensions are not shown

Tools / Tool VersionsCheck if the version of the tool you use

supports the feature you are trying to useSupport for new file formats like IDML, MIF10,

Office 2007/2010Ex: Trados 2007 supports DOCX, Trados 5.5 does not,

but 5.5 can read TTX -> when saved in 5.5, TTX header will be corrupted, file will not open any more in Trados 2007

Different tools (sometimes even different versions of one tool) create different word counts and statistics which are NOT comparable

Backup projects with memoQ 4.5 cannot be opened in version 5.0

ComputerMemory issues might be resolved by

Closing memory hungry applications (Word, Outlook)

Closing some of the 20 applications open at the same time

Clearing the memory by restarting the machine

Deleting the content of the waste basket and temporary files from your browser as well as not saving everything on the desktop

ComputerCheck if the version of Windows makes a

differenceTrados 2007 works fine on XP, but needs to

be installed explicitly with admin rights on Win7 and does not work at all on Win8

MultiTerm 2011 does not work well on Windows 8, MultiTerm 2014 does

Be systematic in testing, too

Whenever you try out something, make a note of what you triedin what sequencewith what settingswith which file

And note the resultswhat you expectedwhat actually happened

Test Protocol

For the future

To avoid having to troubleshoot the same things over and over again, considerdocumenting the errors, their causes and their

solutions in a WIKI, databasecreating instructions for your customerscreating processing instructions for users of a

certain tool/version/OS combinationcreating checking utilities for pre-processing

and post-processing filesusing existing QA checking tools to the fullest

Support Database

Sammlung von Supportfllen und weiteren Beschreibungen in einer Lexican Datenbank (netzwerkfhig)

Visualization / mind maps

Checklists WIKI

Example of checklist for file formats


Some of my favoritesWord file does not exportError while writing breaksThe original file has page or section breaks where

there is no paragraph mark before the break

Word file does not importFile type not foundWhen DOC file is to be imported into Studio, MS Word

has to be installed (DOCX works without a Word installation)

InDesign file imports only partiallyTracked changes were not accepted -> all text

that contained tracked changes was not imported and therefore not translated

What are our first steps?

Import/Export issuesImport the file, copy source to target and

export again. If this works, the file is OK. If not, the file might be the problem.

Resaving to a different formatDOC/PPT/XLS to RTF or DOCX/PPTX/XLSXCopy content to a new fileOpen and repair

Split the file to see which part works

What are our first steps?

Import/Export issuesTake the bilingual file to another toolSDLXLIFF from Studio 2011 saves to target in

Studio 2014, but not in Studio 2011SDLXLIFF creates a TM in memoQ, original file

pre-translated in memoQ

What is your most-hated

error message?

Angelika Zerfa,