Tomorrow I’m leaving for Budapest to attend memoQfest conference, where new memoQ2015 will be officially presented. I was lucky enough to receive beta version for testing. I’ve been using it for a bit over a week and I’m ready to share my impressions. In short: solid, steady improvement, but no revolution. And that’s a good thing.
Well, actually not revolution in functionality for freelancers. There is a big improvement for PMs and quite solid visual makeover. So what actually changed?
- New icons! And this time they actually look consistently. At least those available in beta – some ribbons are completely new, some old, some are a mix of old and new icons. I guess release version will look consistently. And while I could argue the symbols chosen for some icons (e.g. “Project”), they definitely look better than previous set (I wasn’t a fan). When it comes to visual side of the software, all I need now is a black skin instead of the grey one. And consistent look of dialogs.
- Ability to customize ribbons and quick access toolbar. Personally I think Kilgray cheated here a bit, since this functionality could have easy been included in 2014 R2 and was sorely missing. Finally I can add the buttons I need to quick access toolbar and I don’t have to switch between ribbons to access them. On the other hand I admit, that having to hunt for relevant buttons on the fixed ribbons forced me to familiarize with them, so after several months I pretty much now where to look for what. That’s much better than MS Word ribbon I still have to click through several times for some features.
- Templates introduced with v 2014 are seriously promoted by Kilgray, and rightfully so. You can now put your favorite templates directly on a Project ribbon, reducing number of clicks needed to create a project even more. Oh, and you can execute your own scripts as actions. I haven’t had time to fiddle with it, but it looks promising.
- And talking about reducing number of clicks: need to quickly translate a couple of files without bothering with project management? Just drag them and drop to a dedicated dashboard area and memoQ will create a project for you in super-express way. Just remember to add a TM (select existing or create a new one).
- Customizability one more time: a whole lot of new keyboard shortcuts. The list of features one can bind to a keyboard combination is really impressive and the additional bonus is the ability to generate HTML cheat sheet. Handy.
Now, some more technical features:
- Match patch. The name is nice, functionality even better. When encountering fuzzy match memoQ can “fix” (patch) it, substituting difference with correct words taken from TBs, non-translatables, auto-translatables and LSC. It’s not going to work with every kind of text and requires extensive TBs and TMs to work well, but when it works, it can save you a lot of time. For me it’s one of the two most important new features of 2015.
- And the second one… You do know about “Populate numbers-only” feature, right? It’s right next to “Pre-translate” on Preparation ribbon. It’s a very nifty feature which become even better now thanks to the ability to use auto-translatables as a basis for populating segments. That gives you quite powerful control over certain kind of texts, e.g. catalogue numbers or numbers formatted in a non-standard way. Since you need to know your way around regular expressions to fully benefit from this it’s obviously not for everyone, but I’m really happy about it. On the down side, there is still no sign of regex-based filtering and search and replace Kilgray promised some time ago.
- And for PMs: ability to perform some project management task without opening the project, directly from dashboard. Unfortunately I was not able to test it, since I haven’t had access to 2015 server. But it should be fun.
- On the final note: SDLXLIFF compatibility has been improved. You can finally transfer comments from memoQ to Studio and the issue with some lost status information of SDLXLIFF files has been resolved too (actually it’s been resolved in the last 2014 R2 update, but it’s no problem in 2015 too).
All in all, memoQ 2015 is a solid improvement, or evolution of a mature translation environment tool. I really like the direction the software is taking and I can’t wait to lay may hands on a finished product in Budapest. (Oh, did I mention there is a finally a 64-bit version too?)