General approach to translating Across projects out of Across

If you read my articles regularly, you are already know that I dislike Across. Across is difficult to use, does not offer feature that are readily available in other CAT tools, and rather slows me down during my work instead of helping me. Thus, whenever I can, I export projects from Across and translate in Trados Studio or memoQ. 

This article is not a detailed description of each step of the procedure, but rather presents a general outline of actions that need to be done to translate Across projects in your favorite CAT tool.

The procedure assumes you have a working experience with Across and other CAT tool(s). If you are a beginner, you will probably not benefit from this article.

  1. First, we need to back up the Across database.
    1. Open Windows Explorer. Navigate to Program Files\across\crossGoodies. Open Backup+Restore_PE folder and run PEBackupRestoreTool.exe. crossBackup Offline opens. Backup tab is selected by default. Click Browse button at the Backup file field, select location and enter name of the backup file. Select checkbox for all database elements you want to copy. I usually select all items to transfer a complete database content, but you may copy only the part relating to the CAP file provided by your client. Click the Backup! button.
    2. Keep the backup up file on a safe place, as you will need it as the end of the process.
  2. As the next step, we should export the current project TM to use in the external CAT tool.
    1. Click Tools, CrossTank and select crossTank Manager to open the crossTank Manager.
    2. Select Export Translations.
    3. Select TMX Export option and click Next.
    4. On the next screen, select appropriate filters. I usually select “Project” checkbox, and in the selection box shown, I choose the project we are working with. Be careful not to select any other project, as it would be included into your exported text.
    5. Follow the instruction on screen to export the TMX.
  3. Next step, we need to get the text for translation out of Across.
    1. Since there is not direct way to get the text out of Across, we need a small trick here.
      1. Open Across and log-in to the remote or local client as needed. Open the document for translation.
      2. Select Tools, Change paragraph states, select All paragraphs with a special state and check Touched only. In To new paragraph style drop-down select Translated. Click OK.
      3. Select Tools and select Copy Source Text to Untouched Target Paragraphs. This copies the source text to untranslated segments and saves them into crossTank.
      4. Save and close the file.
    2. Now, we need to export these segments from crossTank into TMX.
      1. Click Tools, CrossTank and select crossTank Manager to open the crossTank Manager.
      2. Select Export Translations.
      3. Select TMX Export option and click Next.
      4. On the next screen, select appropriate filters. I usually select “Project” checkbox, and in the selection box shown, I choose the project we are working with. Be careful not to select any other project, as it would be included into your exported text.
      5. Follow the instruction on screen to export the TMX.
    3. If everything goes fine, we have a TMX with the source text for translation. We are almost done!
  4. To be able to translate the text in other CAT tool, we need to get the text out from the TMX. For conversion, you may use Heartsome TMX editor, which is now a free tool (use Convert TMX to Specified Format option), or you may go through SDLX (create a new TM, import TMX, export as delimited TXT, open in Excel and use the first column as a source for translation). If you use Heartsome TMX editor, you will lose the tags. If you use SDLX, tags will be preserved.
  5. Create a new TM from the TMX generated in point 2 and then create a new translation project. Translate the document.
  6. When you complete translation, export the updated TM into TMX (this file will be imported into the crossTank.
  7. As the targets contain texts copied from the sources, we need to “clear” those segments. For this purpose, we will restore the original Across database. To do so, Open Windows Explorer. Navigate to Program Files\across\crossGoodies. Open Backup+Restore_PE folder and run PEBackupRestoreTool.exe. crossBackup Offline opens. Click the Restore tab. Click Browse button at the Backup file field and select the backup file you have transferred from the other computer. Click the Restore! button. Database is restored.
  8. Now, we have to import the translations from TMX into the crossTank.
    1. Open the Across project and open the crossTank Manager (see previous text for instructions).
    2. Select Import Translations.
    3. Select TMX Import and follow instructions on the screen.
    4. Pay particular attention to the Map TMX attribute values to Across value step. Here you will need to map the attributes. Important: For the Projects item, make sure to select the project you are working on. Finish the procedure by clicking the Start import button.
    5. If everything went fine, crossTank now contains out translations created in external CAT tool.
  9. The last step is filling the target Across segments with out translations. This is similar to Translate to Fuzzy feature in Trados Studio. Or, you may go line by line and confirm the segments including correction of broken tags.

Note: The weak point of this procedure are tags. Despite tags are imported well, it will be necessary to go through a complete Across file and update/change the tags to get a “clean file”.

Despite this procedure looks complicated, after practicing, it represents a good way to work out of Across.

Warning: There is no guarantee this procedure will work for your particular project. I assume no responsibility for any damage caused to your system in connection with using these instruction.

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3 Responses to General approach to translating Across projects out of Across

  1. These instructions explain why I don’t use any CAT tools. I am a translator, not a computer wizard. And I don’t want to become one either to be able to do my work.

    • admin says:

      CAT tools are a must, they speed up work and make you more efficient. This is a fact. I had a similar approach to CAT a long time ago, but once I got used to it, I would never go back to text editor only method. Most of CAT tools are user friendly and do not require a computer geek. Unfortunately, Across is not one of them and with this article I try to help other translators having similar issues with this particular software.

  2. User1 says:

    Thank you very much for this tip! I was trying to find a solution but did not succeed. Now I finally can ditch Across and do my projects in something what I prefer.

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