WinAlign is a very useful tool from the Trados package. It’s very easy to use and once you get used to it, your projects will be aligned in a blink of an eye.
When you buy Trados for the first time, you can take advantage of what you have already translated in the past without Trados to create Translation Memories so you don’t have to start from scratch. This tool is also useful when your clients send you reference materials from previous jobs they have.
What you need is the source document in the source language and the translated file in the target language. The files have to be identical or almost identical so that your alignment can be carried out successfully. Once you have both files, original and translation, you can follow these simple steps to create your new TM or populate an old one.
1. Open the WinAlign tool. For this, go to Start, All Programas, SDL International, Trados [your version] and click on WinAlign.
2. Once the WinAlign window opens, click on File, New Project.
or click on the icon
in the Toolbar.
3. A new window will open.
4. In the “General” tab, give the project a name where it says “Project Name”. Change the Source and Target languages from the “Source Settings” and “Target Settings” to set the languages you are going to be working with. And finally set the file type from the drop-down menu in File Preferences.
Note: when working with Word documents, take into account if the format is .doc or .rtf, since you need to select the correct option.
5. Go to the “Files” tab, click “Add” to add the source file, and browse until you find it. Do the same with the target file.
Now that you have both files you need to link them. Click on the blue sheet
and drag the sheet to the yellow one to connect them
7. Click “Ok” and you will see the following window.
8. Double click on the source file which is highlighted in black and the program will align both texts.
9. Once the alignment has finished, a new window will appear, showing the source text on the left and the target text on the right. As you can see in the screenshot below, sentences are joined by a dotted line. This is what the software recognizes as possible matching between both texts. You can accept this connection or not. To accept or refuse the proposed connection, right-click on the sheet on the left and click “Commit” or “Disconnect”.
If you click on “Disconnect”, the dotted line will disappear and the left sheet will turn blue again and the right one will turn yellow. Now you can connect the sentences as you want. To make a new connection between sentences, click on the left sheet and drag it up to the sheet on the right that matches your sentence.
If you click on “Commit”, the dotted line will turn into a full line and this means you accept the alignment proposed by the software.
10. Once you have finished reviewing the whole text, and you have committed all the units in the correct way, you can choose saving the project or exporting to afterwards importing into you existing Workbench TM.
11. To save the project, go to File, Save Project or Save Project As… and save it in your desired location.
12. To export the project, go to File, Export Project and save it in your desired location. Once you have exported the project you will have a .txt file that you can import into your Workbench TM.
Good luck with your alignment project!!!!!!!!!