Translation with across and lectora rtf BIG difficulties

esandelis3326 Community Member Posts: 8
I am producing a lot of elearning modules in differents languages.We have a new translation agency and they are working with the software across .

We havent any possibity to change the translators and the software.The translation agency want that we pay the red code in the rft. I am trying to find a solution to reactivate/activate the code without damage our file.

They suggest to make a macro in word. I have seen that you write that we shouldnt open the rtf with word.

I had the idea the make the macro in word and before I reimport the file in lectora to save it with word pad. I have seen this idea on the forum: to should clean up the rtf file. What do you think about it?

If this idea is not support on your side, I need examples why we shouldnt open the rtf with word. I need to know the consequences...the people are really obstinate that is the reason I need your help to prove if it is working or not.

Is somebody working with across?

How do you proceed ?



  • ssneg
    ssneg Community Member Posts: 1,456 ♪ Opening Act ♪
    Hello from Europe!

    I can really relate to what you're saying. Lectora's RTFs and translation agencies are a constant source of e-learning manager's headache. Mainly because translation agencies tend to outsource everything and really want to streamline their workflow. Hence the utter disregard for any technical requirements like "DO NOT DELETE THESE BLOODY LINES!" or "DO NOT OPEN IN WORD". Or their inability to ignore the red lines when calculating the cost of translation, in your case.

    Regarding the macro, this can be done. It should replace all "Do not edit this line 12345" with simply "12345" (which won't be translated since it's just a number) and then once you get the document back, you'll run a reverse macro that replaces "12345" with the full phrase.

    Opening a Lectora file in Word is dangerous because Word can change the RTF formatting and e.g. lose hyperlink formatting or change ordered lists from numbers to bullets etc. Or just add weird characters in some random places. To prevent that, I recommend two-step clean-up:
    Step 1, open the RTF in Wordpad, and save it. Typically you will see the file size decrease as it loses a lot of Word-induced formatting.
    Step 2, select "Safe import" option in Lectora when importing. It should further remove any "suspicious" characters from the document.

    And of course, QA before publish.

    This whole setup can be tested easily and I highly recommend you run a few courses through the procedure before committing to anything.

    Hope this helps.
  • ssneg
    ssneg Community Member Posts: 1,456 ♪ Opening Act ♪
    On a separate note, I saw you're looking into Lectora Online. LO doesn't use RTF for translation, instead it uses HTML. It still includes the "Do not translate" lines so your agency will probably want to charge you extra unless you mass-remove the lines before submitting the HTML file to them. And then you'll have to re-import the lines back, just like before. This can be done easily, let me know if you need help.

    The good news about HTML is that Word/Wordpad aren't involved and there's less chance that the agency will break formatting.
  • timk
    timk Community Member Posts: 1,236 ✭ Legend ✭
    Hm, a translation agency charging the client for lines that must not be translated... I should change my pricing model "I haven't created any complex animations, but I could have, so you have to pay for the animations I could have done as well". "Do not open in MS Word" is a phrase I've said many times to the agencies. The best result was an agency that said they didn't, and sent back the file as .docx to prove ;-)

    Editing the file in MS Word may lead to line indents that can't be removed in Lectora. But as far as I know it's not as problematic as it was before. Follow Sergeys advice and you'll be fine.

  • ssneg
    ssneg Community Member Posts: 1,456 ♪ Opening Act ♪
    .docx ha ha :)))

    I guess the agency just imports the whole document into a translation system and the system provides a price quote. Discounting some "special" lines is either impossible or inefficient, hence they want to either charge for it or not see it.
  • jvalley4735
    jvalley4735 Community Member Posts: 1,310 ♪ Opening Act ♪
    I became very good friends with my third party translation head at a previous job and she told me that standard practice throughout the industry is to open the document in Word and use the word count feature.  This number then becomes the rate at which your being charged.  Which explains why they want to open it in Word so badly and charge for the extra lines.  Hopefully you'll find a better middle ground.

    We played around with the idea of changing the lines to white so the translator doesn't have to see them.  Then explaining to leave the lines that look blank alone. It worked out pretty well.  But this doesn't solve the problem of charging for the extra lines.
  • ssneg
    ssneg Community Member Posts: 1,456 ♪ Opening Act ♪
    I guess Lectora could remove the "Do not edit this line" text (or make adding it optional under export translation settings). Having just number-based id like ~~##12345##~~ would suffice for parsing purposes. And any instructions could be placed on top of the RTF if need be (and ignored by Lectora during import since it is not preceded with an object id).
  • esandelis3326
    esandelis3326 Community Member Posts: 8
    Thank your help.  I will check what is  the best solution?  I heard that we could use an hotfolder to skip the red lines? Could  be quikier than a macro?Any feedback about it?
  • ssneg
    ssneg Community Member Posts: 1,456 ♪ Opening Act ♪
    I have not tried hotfolder, do you have a link to it?
  • esandelis3326
    esandelis3326 Community Member Posts: 8
    No I havent any link. We will try the method with a macro and text formatting. Hope that will be ok.

  • mnotermans5114
    mnotermans5114 Community Member Posts: 916 ☆ Roadie ☆
    Concerning localisation, the comments from Tim and Sergey for sure are your best choices in dealing with your translators.

    As for using a hotfolder setup for localisation. Its great. I used to work for a gaming company where we localised the (flash)-games into 32 different languages including Chinese and Japonese. At start it was all manual work, changing assets when we got our translation documents back... for 1 game the time needed to produce ready-2-go localised games  was about 32 hours work. Then at some point i introduced javascripts for Photoshop and Flash ( jsfl ) to generate assets based upon the localisation documents we got with a hotfolder setup. After that the time needed for 1 game to localize was 4 hours!!!

    I managed to get a lot of this functionality ( at least for graphical assets ) working in Lectora in combination with jsx for Photoshop. So im sure there are great win-win-options for you on that part.

    Kind regards,


    PS. i will be presenting on this subject ( Photoshop, Lectora and Javascript ) on LUC2016