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Working with Word and Excel files in Globalsight

Globalsight does offer converters for Microsoft Office suite applications such as Word and Excel. This, however, requires the respective application to be installed on the server in order to perform the conversion. If you are running Globalsight on a Linux server you will need a second machine (Windows) to host the converter applications. This all works well but wouldn’t it be nice if you were able to translate without Microsoft Office?

As you expected (otherwise the post would be useless) you can! With the help of converters that are available in Translate Toolkit, you can handle the translation without having the Office suite. I will describe the steps involved and let you decide if it is worth the effort or not. I am doing this on a Linux system but steps for Windows should be the same (if not, please leave a comment and I will add the differences).

We will need to do a two way conversion, first to import the file into Globalsight and then back to the original format once the translated file is exported. This is how our conversion route looks for a spreadsheet (.ods is .xls in Open Office lingo):

Source .xls > .ods > .xliff > .ods > Target .xls

This does not require any specific technical knowledge and anyone with command line familiarity can perform the job. Before we can do the actual conversion, you need the toolkit:

Download and install Translate Toolkit per the instructions

Lets assume I am working with a spreadsheet named strings.xls

Importing to Globalsight

    1. Open the .xls or .xlsx (both Microsoft Office and Open Office can be used for this step)
    2. Save the file in Open Document Format (File > Save As and select Open Document in the format selection box). Our file is now strings.ods
    3. Open a terminal window (or a command prompt in Windows) and browse to the location where you have the file. Run the following command:

odf2xliff strings.ods strings.xlf

  1. This converter, which is part of Translate Toolkit, will export the contents of the spreadsheet to a xliff document. The command has other options such as segmentation but we won’t worry about that as Globalsight will handle that portion. Our file is now strings.xliff and ready for translation!
  2. Upload the file to Globalsight for translation (you may need to create a file profile for handling xliff documents but that’s beyond the coverage of this post)

Exporting from Globalsight

    1. Download the translated file from Globalsight to the folder where you have the source .ods file (step 3 from importing). Our file is now strings_FR.xliff – in the target language.
    2. Open a terminal window (or a command prompt in Windows) and browse to the location where you have the file. Run the following command:

xliff2odf -t strings.ods strings_FR.xliff strings_FR.ods

  1. This converter uses the original strings.ods as a template (-t flag in the command) and using strings_FR.xliff creates a strings_FR.ods (you can find the usage details and other available flags on Translate Toolkit website). Our file is now strings_FR.ods
  2. Open the .ods file (both MS or Open Office will do) and save it as an .xls for delivery

That is all it takes to translate .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx documents with Globalsight without having Word and Excel converters installed. After a few runs, this really feels very simple. Give it a try and let me know if you run into any problems.

UPDATE: There is now a much easier way to work with Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents in GlobalSight. Check this post – working with Office 2010 files in GlobalSight.



Categories: Localization Tools.

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