SDL Trados Studio 2021 meets the needs of an industry under pressure

SDL Trados Studio 2021 – Meeting the needs of an industry under pressure

Learn how the latest iteration of the world's leading CAT tool delivers innovative solutions for an industry under pressure

As product marketing manager for SDL Trados Studio, this will be my fourth major release and, without doubt, it is the most exciting so far. Over the years, Studio has consistently delivered innovative solutions to help our customers manage the growing demands put on them, but with this release, we really do feel Studio 2021 sets a new benchmark. 

Many Studio users will already be familiar with accessing SDL Machine Translation (SDL’s machine translation functionality) through the Language Cloud interface, but behind the scenes, our development team had been busy transitioning from the previous statistical model to the powerful, home-grown NMT model.

Studio 2021 could not come at a more important time. Our industry is under increasing pressure to meet client demands so technology providers need to step up. In our recent Translation Technology Insights report (TTI), pressure was the number one talking point. This will be no surprise to most, but what was really interesting was the number of interrelated challenges... 

  • Increasing number of project files
  • New languages wanted
  • An increasing variety of source content and file types - the list goes on, and all of this with growing pressures on price and faster turnaround times, whilst being able to maintain high quality
The conclusion was that an astonishing 72% of those surveyed said that they were looking to change the way they work to cope with these multiple pressure points. These changes could include better use of existing technology, adoption of new technology, and review of existing processes. Maybe all three!
We feel that Studio 2021 goes a long way in helping to tackle these industry issues, so let’s take a closer look at the details.

Choose how, when and where you work

According to our numerous focus groups and industry surveys, translating on a desktop CAT tool is still the preferred way of working for most professional translators. In that regard, Studio 2021 takes absolutely nothing away – in fact, it continues to strengthen the desktop application. However, over the years cloud solutions have become more popular and the translation industry has been no exception, Studio 2021 brings both together. No need to choose which option you prefer. Users can work online, offline or using a combination in one integrated solution.  

Stat from TTI: 75% of those surveyed expressed a preference for an integrated cloud/desktop way of working.

Up until now, Studio has supported working locally (with file-based translation memories (TMs) and termbases) and on a server (using SDL Trados GroupShare and server-based resources, as well as using the SDL Trados GroupShare Cloud option). With this new Studio release, we are introducing our cloud productivity companion “SDL Trados Live”, adding a third way of working. 

With SDL Trados Live, which is powered by our intelligent cloud platform, SDL Language Cloud, you can upload your TMs and termbases along with cloud based neural machine translation into your own secure cloud space. These resources, together with your files are available at any time wherever you are so you can decide where and when you want to work. 

You can create online projects in your browser and then decide how you want to perform translation and review work. If you prefer you can use Studio of course by simply opening a cloud-based project and starting work in Studio. For added flexibility, you can add your own local TMs or termbases to such projects so that you can leverage both local and cloud resources. We call this “hybrid desktop/cloud” ways of working.

Translate online or offline!

Going beyond this, for some time now it has been possible to use our SDL Online Editor for translation and review with our server-based solution SDL Trados GroupShare. This proven and simple-to-use translation environment has many productivity features that you might already know from Studio desktop, however, it’s really exciting to announce that our online translation editor, (which up to now was reserved only to our server customers) will now also be available for Studio 2021 users. Translation from a web browser and reviewing from a tablet will also be possible. Mac users should also find this particularly good news!

Coming back to an industry under pressure, and the need to be more agile than ever: Trados Live cloud way of working opens up endless possibilities. 

  • You can start and manage projects from wherever you are and on the device of your choice. 
  • Manage projects from the browser on your tablet or even from your smartphone with our dedicated Trados Live mobile app 
  • You can download projects from the cloud and then work with them in Trados Studio if that’s your preferred way to work
  • Store your projects and translation resources (translation memories and termbases) in the cloud
  • And the simple dashboards help you keep track of where your projects are

The cool thing is that you are always in control of where you work, where your files are and what environment to use. We feel this hybrid way of working is a significant step in the evolution of Trados Studio and what it can offer our users, but there is so much more to this release, so let’s explore further.

Personalizing your Studio just got a whole lot easier

Perhaps an unsung hero of the Trados ecosystem is the SDL AppStore. In recent years, the app store has expanded significantly to offer over 250 apps for Trados Studio, allowing users to get so much more from their CAT tool. I say unsung hero though because one of our key challenges was really to get more people to know about it, and this all changes with Studio 2021 as the app store is now fully integrated. 

All your installed apps will be immediately visible directly inside Studio, and with a smart update feature included, you can also see which apps need updating at any point in time. Finding, installing and updating your apps is now a breeze, so there's no more need to remember to visit the app store separately.

Customize number, measurement, currency, date and time formats with Studio 2021

If there is one frequent ask that many users have had for us since Studio 2009, it is the ability to go beyond the somewhat strict formats that we support for common linguistic formats like numbers, measurements or dates. We call these items “placeables” as you are able to “place” them in the target segment using the QuickPlace feature in Studio, but often their format needs to change in this process. 

While we have always supported such ‘default’ formats out of the box, the reality is that real-life documents can have almost ‘any random format’ for such placeables. This is where, previously, Studio was behaving quite strictly and insisted that such number formats were not following the ‘proper’ settings for the source or target language and so you could not customize them. With Studio 2021, this is a thing of the past and you can now change all these formats as you please.

Improved performance where it matters most!

So far, we have talked about things that will be very visible to users in this new release, but there is an area that at first maybe not so visible but is just as important - and that is Studio performance.

Our development team has spent considerable time evaluating performance improvement areas in Studio 2021 and the results are impressive, with faster editor performance and QA checks, faster opening of large projects, and speedier access to project settings to name a few. 

It doesn’t stop there - Multiterm 2021 also benefits from some nice enhancements in the area of default layout usability, and it boasts a revamped advanced display filter which allows more powerful document content searches, and users can now gain access to the SDL Community with the click of a button.

All that’s good about Studio and more

As I said at the beginning of this blog, Studio 2021 represents a big step in our evolution as the world’s leading CAT tool. Often big jumps in product development mean users have to change what they know; yes there are new ways to work in this release, but this is about offering more choice and more flexibility whilst taking nothing away in terms of working locally with file-based projects, or being able to use GroupShare for server-based project flows — we are just giving you more.

Personally, for me what is really exciting is that this is just the beginning. We think it’s a great release, but we want you to help us improve it even more, so I am really looking forward to talking to as many of you as possible and hearing your feedback.

To learn more about the exciting new capabilities of SDL Trados Studio 2021, download our Studio 2021 - what's new brochure from the button below.