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SDL OpenExchange vs OmegaT: a real challenge?

Published on 22 January 2016 Published in: Articles and tutorials Hits: 3073
SDL OpenExchange vs OmegaT: a real challenge?

A few days ago, I was checking my inbox when I saw an email from one of the most important translation companies: SDL Trados. As you all know, SDL Trados Studio is a good option when you have to pick a CAT tool, thanks to its large set of features.

In the email there was a list of the SDL Trados Studio apps considered most useful or interesting during 2015 by the users of SDL OpenExchange, the portal where users can find plugins or addons for SDL Trados. After taking a look at them I realized that there are other tools with features quite similar to those of those preferred apps, such as OmegaT, which is free and sometimes can perform the same functions in an easier way.

Let’s compare these apps in detail:

  • The most valued new app by SDL users was Web Lookup! This app, allows you to search any term on the Internet directly from Studio 2015. This action can also be performed within OmegaT, if you first install the external plugin called “External finder”. Then, you’ll just have to add your favourite search engines to an XML file. This feature is quite useful because you can add those search engines to the Tools Menu and assign them keyboard shortcuts.
  • The second app that users found more useful in Studio 2015 was one that allows you to use MS Word grammar checker in Studio. OmegaT has a similar feature: it allows you to check grammar and style through LanguageTool. This open-source software supports 20 languages and detects errors that a spell checker can miss.
  • SDL Number Verifier was the third app most valued in the 2015 list. With it, you can set up a few QA criteria for numbers. Although OmegaT doesn’t have a real equivalent out-of-the-box, you can use “Check Rules”, a QA script, that looks for numbers that don’t match.
  • Another quite valued new app was Word Count Copy. This app allows you to copy and paste word count analysis made with Studio 2015 to different files. This function is not new in OmegaT: you can copy all data to your clipboard right from the word count (called “Statistics” in OmegaT).
  • The last app in the list was Glossary Converter, an app that converts termbases into MultiTerm and other popular formats. An app like this would be quite useless to OmegaT users, because OmegaT supports TBX (Term Base eXchange) and TXT files (tab separated plain text files), but also term bases in .tab format exported from MultiTerm.

Therefore, I would like our readers to fully try all the features offered by free and/or open-source CAT tools, because they can satisfy our professional and financial needs without a significative investment of money.

Here there are some links that you may find interesting:

OmegaT provides a link to download the software and test this functions. There is also a site where you can ask any question about how OmegaT works that the developers will be glad to answer and a OmegaT support forum on ProZ. Last but not least, Qabiria just released a very complete online course on OmegaT for those who want to take advantage of this powerful software.