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memoQ 9: 11 tips for getting the most out of memoQ

At STP, the main tool both in-house and freelance translators use is memoQ. Here are 11 tips directly from STP in-house translators about using memoQ to your advantage.

Some sections are more to do with the way things are done at STP, others are more general features. Hopefully they will all make life a little easier for you!

1) Glue source files together

You know when you open a new project and there are dozens upon dozens of little files? The answer to this mess is Views.

Use Views always when you have more than one file in a job. This way you don’t need to open each file individually, but more importantly, features like Auto-propagation and Ctrl + Shift + F will be much more useful (more on those later).

Press Ctrl + A in the Documents tab of the Translations pane to select all files. Right-click and select “Create View”, give a name to the view and press OK. You can find the view you created in the Views tab in the Translations tab.

You’ll go from this...

...to this


Now that’s more like it.


2) Use different term bases

STP is using term bases more and more. In addition to term bases sent by our clients (we all know how lovely and “varied” those can be), we have client-specific ones we create and add to and our own domain-specific term bases we are adding terms to, bit by bit.

Your PM will add term bases to your project, but you can add them, too! Just search in the Term bases tab in memoQ and tick the one you want to add.

Every project has a project term base: this is your playground. You can add and remove terms to the project term base to your heart’s content. MemoQ will suggest term base terms through Predictive typing, which means that you save yourself the trouble of typing the same term 200 times in one project.

Term base hits are marked with blue in the Translations results pane ­– it’s often worth clicking the term for more information!

Here’s how to recognise who has sent or compiled the term base (or TM): http://kb.stptrans.com/Article.aspx?p=625

Here’s some tips for those who struggle with making memoQ term base settings co-operate with languages that have case endings and other suffixes: http://kb.stptrans.com/Article.aspx?p=694

Here’s how to set up predictive typing: http://kb.stptrans.com/Article.aspx?p=554

And here’s some information about STP’s Terminology strategy: http://kb.stptrans.com/Article.aspx?p=868

3) Look up terms (or What To Do When the Client Doesn’t Know How CAT Tools and Translators Work?)

Sometimes, the PM has attached a term base but you are not getting any hits. This is usually because the original glossary is a mishmash of upper and lower case terms (and sometimes also varied from a grammatical point of view). If you want to check a term, highlight it in the source and use the shortcut Ctrl+P. It might well already be in a term base!


4) Use the concordance search for consistency

Think a term or a phrase might already have been translated in the past? Highlight it and check by using Ctrl + K. The concordance search will check all translation memories attached to the project.

Be sure to use the asterisk (*) if you’re not sure what case or number the term would be in! Try different combinations of “Put selected text in quotes” and “Add wildcards to selected text” in the Concordance window to fine-tune the results.


5) Lower the threshold for TM hits

Are you sure you’ve translated a similar segment, but there’s no hit? The default setting for translation memory hits showing up in the Translation results pane is 75%. Often you can still get very good hits that are below that, so it’s worth dropping the threshold to 50%, basically in every project.

You can do this in the Settings tab for each project (go to TM settings and tick STP Default (50%) (DT 10% penalty)). What’s a DT penalty, you ask? Read the next tip!


6) Declutter your project ­– detach unnecessary TMs

Are your concordance results being overwhelmed by rubbish hits from a domain-specific translation memory (DT)? Are relevant concordance hits from the Project TM (STPXXX), the end-client TM (EC) and the external TM (X) nowhere to be found (or buried at the end of the list)?

You can try to sort the concordance results in different ways by clicking the Meta-information header in the Concordance results window. You can also simply disconnect the DT TM culprit from the project in the Translation memories tab. Harsh, but if it’s getting in the way, it has to go.

7) Manage tags with shortcuts

You can add the next tag simply by pressing F9 and remove all tags from the target with the shortcut Ctrl + F8 (and insert them all by using Alt + F8, if you wish).

While we’re on the subject, here’s a list of memoQ shortcuts: http://kb.stptrans.com/Article.aspx?p=565


8) Only confirm the segments you’ve touched (when revising)

Unless your PM tells you otherwise, only confirm those segments you’ve made changes to when you’re revising.

This way, it’s clear who’s done what and the name of the last person to modify the segment is saved with it in the translation memory.


9) Filter for a harmonious target

Already seen this term but it’s not in the term base? Change your mind about a term? Use the filtering function: highlight the term or phrase in the source and filter by using Ctrl + Shift + F. Use the same shortcut again to deactivate the filter (or click the icon highlighted below).


10) Auto-propagate

Is auto-propagation really worth it? We think so! Here’s why:

  1. It makes spotting (and jumping over) repeated segments much easier, both in one file and in a view that includes several files
  2. The reviser will thank you for it, as they can safely skip all segments with that nifty down arrow (we’d rather have it colour-coded and flashing if we had our way ;))
  3. Any changes you make to identical segments you only have to make once

Sometimes, the same translation will not work for all identical segments. When this happens, just disable auto-propagation temporarily.

Here’s information on auto-propagation settings: http://kb.stptrans.com/Article.aspx?p=552


11) Use the Quick access toolbar for, well, quick access.

Can’t get used to the ribbons user interface in memoQ? You can add the functions you use most to the Quick Access Toolbar. This is an area to the left of the memoQ window title bar, at the very top.

  1. Locate the tiny blue and white help icon (question mark) in the memoQ program window title bar (or any other icon already there)
  2. Right-click the icon to reveal a menu and click “Customize The Ribbon”.
  3. A window opens. In the right-hand pane, click the plus symbol next to “Quick Access Toolbar”.
  4. Move your favourite functions from the categories in the left-hand pane to the right-hand pane using the “Add >>” button in the middle.
  5. From now on, your favourite functions will always be at the top of the memoQ window, just one click away & always in the same place, no matter which ribbon happens to be selected!


That’s it from us! Hope you picked up a thing or two, but please feel free to peruse the Knowledge Base articles and ask your PM if you’re not sure about something.