Localization, Localisation

Practical and concise answers to common questions in G11N, I18N and L10N

SDL Trados Studio 2009: Preview

Posted by Nick Peris on April 22, 2009

Start ViewHave you, like me, been slow to adopt Synergy? Do you maybe find it a little cumbersome or incomplete? Would you rather just open Workbench and TagEditor and get on with it? Or perhaps do you (or your clients) still find it easier to use Trados in conjunction with Microsoft Words?

Well, this may be about to change!

Earlier today, SDL conducted one of their very informative Webex meetings to announce a new version of Trados: SDL Trados Studio 2009. The release is due in June 2009, although “Trados 2009” is still in the last stages of development, so some of the features might yet change slightly.

The 1-hour short webinar comprised of 2 parts: a features highlight and a rapid but enlightening desktop-sharing software demo. Here is what I thought was worth bringing up to your attention: 

Feature highlights


This is actually quiet attractive and the reason why I brought up Synergy above. SDL seem to have come up with a truly integrated environment for editing, reviewing, terminology management, project management and all the aspects of Trados related work. No need to open a TM in Workbench, load a TermBase, open a TTX in TagEditor, a document in Word, or turn the coffee machine on.


  • New TM engine: the xml-based RevleX™. Among other things, it revives contextual match by liberating it from comparing old and new TTX files. Context Match works live, within any new document, and between files within a project.
  • AutoPropagation™ immediately translates repeated strings within a document once you have translated the first occurrence.
  • AutoPropagate

  • Searches can easily be run on both source and target segments.
  • Multiple TMs lookup is available.
  • AutoSuggest™: predictive text which leverages phrases rather than only segments from your TM as you type.
  • AutoSuggest

  • Real-Time Preview: check final look as you translate, without navigating to a different tab. This seems very good news for those translators who find Trados tends to disconnect sentences from the whole document and lead translated documents to become a collection of sentences rather than a wholesome piece of work.
  • QuickPlace™: improves text formatting, tags, placeables, variables management by providing it in-line.
  • DTP application support has been updated and PDF can now be edited directly.

Open platform

  • New XLIFF-based default format for bilingual files (.sdlxliff). Yes, this does mean the end of TTX files!
  • Improved TMX and TBX support.
  • Easy access to API for 3rd party applications.
  • Customisable User Interface (UI).


Software Demo

As I mentioned before, SDL Trados Studio 2009 builds on Synergy. The interface has the now familiar Visual Studio .net feel which we’ve seen in Synergy as well as other CAT tools.

From the point of view of a Trados user, as in a Workbench + TagEditor user, the integrated aspect really becomes more prominent and inevitable, but in a good way!

Tab views

Task History
As expected in a Visual Studio.net application, a number of tabs are available at the bottom left of the UI. Some are familiar, some not:

Project Status

  • Start: provides the general overview.
  • Projects: has new project status and Task History panels.
  • Files: navigation pane has My Tasks and Sent Tasks folders to promote standardised filing.
  • Reports: segment status.
  • Editor: contains the entire interactive translation environment (more in the dedicated section below).
  • TMs: preview, maintenance, update string, search from within the Trados Studio UI.



  • A document can be opened from the main UI by simply clicking Open Document. But there is also a Windows Explorer context menu shortcut, which seems very efficient compared to opening Workbench, then TagEditor like you would most likely do with your current version of Trados.
  • The Editor panel now has TM + Bilingual file+ TermBase + Previews all open at once.
  • Source and target segments appear in a very clear and tag-free left-right panel view. This immediately seemed much more welcoming than TagEditor.
  • Context Matches are flagged with a CM icon – not dependant on having a matching old ttx, also works live within new documents.
  • Formatting can still be copied from source to target.
  • Placeable and terms are offered in context (drop down like predictive text). No need to use arrow icons at the top of the UI (keyboard shortcuts still work).
  • AutoPropagate seamlessly pre-translates further occurrences of strings you have just translated. They are marked as Unconfirmed 100% (orange instead of green).
  • Term detected amd added

  • Full terminology functionality is also integrated, including adding to termbase.
  • A Review mode allows to filter by match type (e.g. display only Unconfirmed 100% matches within a document for batch review and sign off).
  • Editor can edit PDFs (but deliverable output isn’t PDF).

Project view (for PMs)

  • Project templates can be saved with a high level of customisation.
  • QA Checker is now in version 3.0.
  • TM options can be edited from here.
  • Dictionaries for AutoSuggest can be added.
  • Tasks can be assigned to users during project creation. This information is then included when packages (i.e. translation kits) are created.
  • Files can be merged, which creates a single .sdlxliff file out of potentially several file types.
  • Merged Files

  • Batch processing: TM tasks are processed simultaneously (analysis, pre-translate etc.)
  • Project package contents:
    Create Project Package

    • Can include Main (or Master) TM.
    • Can include an existing Project TM in a main package or create separate Project TMs if multiple packages (.sdlppx) are distributed.
    • Can link-up with Outlook to send automatically populated Handoffs emails.
    • Email Handoff

  • TMs view:
    • Can search through source and target.
    • Can upgrade existing TM.
  • Requires all participant to be using Studio 2009

15 Responses to “SDL Trados Studio 2009: Preview”

  1. Uta said

    Great summary. The Suite looks promising, but my biggest concern is in regards to your very last bullet: “Requires all participant to be using Studio 2009”. As an agency that wants to work with the best translators out there, this would immediately cut down our pool of translators significantly, and we would face making decisions of forgoing our favorite translator who has enough work to be choosy in favor of someone with the right tool & version, or applying different workflows based on the precise team for each project and language. I’d be interested in hearing other thoughts.

  2. Nick Peris said

    That’s a good point, thanks Uta!

    I found that tricky when we moved from Trados 6.5 to Trados 2007, because we were using an ini file feature which wasn’t supported in previous versions. We needed our vendors and translators to use Trados 7. It’s not always easy to demand up-to-date software.
    Even with separate workflows as you mentioned I don’t expect a translator with Trados 2007 will be able to deal with .sdlxliff files.

    I’ll try to bring this up at the SDL launch event in Dublin May, 14 and get back to you.

    In the meantime, does anyone else have info or questions on this point or others?

  3. José said

    Thank you for your very useful summary. Although I find it very appealing, it surprises me, though, that I haven’t been able to find anything about System Requirements for this new upgrade. I’ve researched the SDL Trados web page, asked through their Contact link, asked their LIVE advisor, but no one has answered a very simple, straightforward question (which I’m starting to find suspicious)– Does SDL Trados Freelance Suite 2009 run fine on Windows XP? Maybe I just haven’t researched well enough. Could you, please, help me with this? Thank you!!!

  4. Nick Peris said

    Thanks José, this is most likely because the software is still in beta and only due for release in June.
    I’ll try to get some info from SDL on it and let you know.

  5. José said

    Thank you for your speediest reply and interest in helping me, Nick. I’ll be waiting for your advice.

  6. Tom Imhof said

    Hello José and Nick – as a beta tester of Trados 2009 I can confirm that Trados 2009 and MultiTerm 2009 both run fine on Windows XP SP3.

    After playing around with the new software for a few weeks now, I can say that technologically and from a usability point of view, it is a great step forward – especially the built-in context TM matching is quite appealling!

    However, Trados 2009 just like any other integrated translation studio such as Across and MemoQ lacks the major advantage of the older “one tool per purpose” approach – the flexibility to freely design documentation and translation workflows. Also, working within Microsoft Word is not possible anymore and Trados users will finally need to get used to the table editing environment that most other tools provide.

  7. Hi Nick, José!
    As far as I can see and if SDL does not change the new version project, SDL Trados Studio will run on both Windows operating systems.
    * Windows XP SP2 or later
    * Windows Vista SP1 or later
    Thanks a lot for your article, Nick!

  8. Nick Peris said

    Hi José & Tom,

    Here’s what SDL Marketing are saying on the subject of System Requirements:

    “SDL Trados Studio supports Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista. As minimum requirements, we recommend a Pentium IV-based computer with 1 GB RAM and a screen resolution of 1280×1024. For optimum performance, we recommend 2 GB RAM and a more recent Pentium or compatible processor with a higher screen resolution.”

    Please note that this is still subject to change until closer to the launch in June.

  9. José Rubio said

    Hello, Nick and Tom,

    Thank you very much for your help and useful information.


  10. […] follows below is more directly related to SDL Trados Studio 2009, and what is new or adds to my Preview article. I’m presenting it in a Q&A structure which I hope will be practical to anyone […]

  11. selenato said

    Interesting Read! Very detailed blog.
    Thanks for sharing

  12. […] https://localizationlocalisation.wordpress.com/2009/04/22/sdl-trados-studio-2009-preview/ (en inglés) […]

  13. […] información | SDL Otras opiniones | Tecnologías y Traducción ; Localisation, Localisation; Translator’s Shack; Bulgarian Translator; Translation […]

  14. […] of all, I would like to thank Paul for this input. Since the ramp up of Trados Studio over a year ago, SDL have made a sustained effort to listen to their user base. The TMS section […]

  15. […] But it is also because SDL Trados Studio 2009 was such an exciting breakthrough: the idea of fully integrating SDLX, Trados and Synergy was a major shift. The technology behind the new Studio file formats (.sdlxliff bilingual files, […]

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