TRADOS and footnotes


Senior Member
English/Spanish (I don't know where I'm from anymore)

I am not sure if it is OK to ask for help about TRADOS here, but I figured maybe many of you used it to work.

I am having a very unpleasant problem. I am done with a 200 page translation that is a thesis, filled with footnotes. Since the author did not want me to translate those, I erased them from a copy and translated just the text. Now I need to process the original (so that the translations fall in place and the footnotes appear again) but there is no way. TRADOS insists in having me translate those, opening them separately, won't let me ignore them, and even ignores the regular segmentation rules, so that most of my translation is not even recognized (now I am getting three and four sentences all stuffed into a single segment).

I know it sounds confusing, but maybe someone has been through this.
Please help me.
Thank you


Dicho brevemente, TRADOS no me permite ignorar las notas al pie, insiste en abrirlas por separado para que sean traducidas, y yo no quiero traducirlas. Como consecuencia TRADOS no me deja procesar la mayor parte del texto porque comienza a fastidiar toda la segmentación. Alguien sabe como hacer que TRADOS me permita ignorar las notas al pie?

Un saludo y muchas gracias
  • ulrika

    Senior Member
    English/Spanish (I don't know where I'm from anymore)

    Ok. I solved it.
    If you have this same problem, do the following:

    (this is valid for TRADOS 7 Freelance. Maybe for all the rest too, but this is the copy I use)

    1. Erase your footnotes from a copy of the original document. [An easy way to do this is to select one little number, right-click on it and select "Choose all text with this same formatting", then press DELETE.] Translate your document fully in Trados Workbench with Word, as you would normally do.

    2. When you are finished, open your original untranslated document, the one that still has the footnotes in it.

    3. Begin processing this original document using Trados Workbench... It will recognize all segments and change your document as expected with 100% fuzzy matches until you reach the first footnote, when it will stop and you will see the note inside the segment, looking something like <1> <1>.

    4. Press ALT+1. This will open a separate window on Word itself for you to translate the note. This is the way that TRADOS arranges for you to translate notes. DO NOT CLOSE THIS WINDOW. Instead, write whatever as your translation, or just copy the source and accept all changes as you would normally do. DO NOT CLOSE THE WINDOW, LET TRADOS DO IT ON ITS OWN. Simply translate this one footnote and when you accept it it will close itself up. IF YOU CLOSE IT, TRADOS CAN GET ALL SCREWED UP. So don't.

    5. The reason you just "translated" this one note is to get TRADOS to generate a style that we will be using in a minute, and which holds the key to this trick.

    6. Close any open segments in the document and close the document.

    7. Go to TRADOS Workbench.

    8. Go to File > Set up...

    9. Open the tab named "Non-translatable text"

    10. Below you will see two choices: "External" and "Internal". Choose "External". Then click on "Open File"

    11. Choose the original file that you just closed, the one in which you just processed one footnote.

    12. You will see that a list of styles will appear. Choose the one called "tw4winExternal" and press the button "<<Copy" to add it to the list of non-translatable styles.

    13. Also choose the "endnote reference" and "footnote reference" styles by also pressing the Copy button.

    14. Press OK to save your changes.

    15. Open your original untranslated document, the one with all your footnotes.

    16. Process your document as you normally would. You will see that Workbench will nicely translate your stuff with its 100% fuzzy match and will blissfully ignore all your footnotes.

    17. Clean up your document and enjoy.

    This took me a full day of online searches and aggravation to figure out. I hope it is useful to someone out there in the future.



    English USA
    Wow! You're incredible, ulrika! Fantastically clear writing style! And, who else would go through so much trouble for a fellow human being? With someone like you on the planet, maybe there is a glimmer of hope for us, afterall!!


    Senior Member
    English/Spanish (I don't know where I'm from anymore)
    aw, be quiet... :p
    it was such a pain in the neck to make that thing work, i needed to share it...


    New Member
    Español, Venezuela
    Thank you for sharing it, Ulrika. I'm going to save this useful information on my computer.
    And I agree with Bil.