It might not be a surprise for frequent visitors of my blog: I’m an avid user of Trados Studio 2014 – not because it’s the best but because it works so easy. Especially the option to open a document without creating a whole project is great. I’m using that feature a couple of times a day and it really speeds up my work. But last week I had to open a large document in Trados Studio 2014 and that resulted in an annoying error. Here’s a workaround.
The problem: a large Word document in Trados Studio
Last week a client sent a large file for translation. The file contained 99 pages with images and there were about 8000 words to be translated. Total file size: 24,5 MB. I tried to open the file (Ctrl + Shift + O) in Trados, but got an error. To avoid that error I created a new project and imported the file. However, while converting the file to a translatable format, the error was shown again.
Because those 8000 words were far too much to translate without a CAT tool I tried to circumvent the problem by importing it in MemoQ. However, MemoQ took about 2 days to import it and finally went stuck. What a problem!
The symptoms: Trados error message
The error message shown in Trados was the same for both solutions I tried – opening the file and creating a new project. The message: This Microsoft Word document cannot be opened because it contains tracked changes that have not yet been accepted or rejected. That however was untrue: the file did not contain tracked changes. And because Trados got stuck on this error a few times while there were no tracked changes anymore I decided the solution should be looked for elsewhere.
The solution: compressing a large Word document
The file size of almost 25 Megabytes was problematic to both Trados Studio and MemoQ. I therefore went out for a search on file compression. Because the file contained many images I thought that could have some effect. And indeed: I selected an image, went to the tab “Format”. In the group “Adjust” there was an option “Compress Pictures”. I chose the best compression (lowest quality and file size) and selected the box to apply this setting to all images in the file. Afterwards I saved the file. The file size was now reduced to 19,7 MB. The first hurdle was token.
I also noticed the file was in .doc format, an legacy file format from Microsoft. I saved the file to a .docx file and – whoppa – I saved another 3 MB. Finally the file was about 16 MB.
That was enough to import the file without any problems in Trados Studio 2014. I now was able to translate the file. Afterwards, while exporting the file, nothing went wrong anymore.
The side effect of file compression
The picture compression saved me a valuable 5 MB. However, the image quality was reduced from 220 dots per inch to 96 dots per inch. That returned no visible errors or quality problems, but in the end image compression can have harmful effects, especially when a file should be printed. Saving the file in another format on the other hand could have caused troubles as the client could have been unable to open the file. In this case there were no problems reported, but the message is: be careful because you cannot revert any changes back after translation – with valuable rework as a result.