The ATA Chronicle - May/June 2020 - 37

menu, and these menus can change depending on where your
cursor may be or what you've selected. Try right-clicking to access
the context menu when you're in different screens other than
the default, or when you have other function windows open. If
the context menu offers options with which you're unfamiliar,
try them out or google what they do. Just be sure you save your
document before doing so, and remember Ctrl / CMD + z in case
you unintentionally change something.
If you're like most translators and generally work with
Microsoft documents, become familiar with Microsoft's task
panes, such as the Navigation or the Reviewing Panes in MS Word
or the Animation or Selection Panes in PowerPoint. Sometimes
the key to navigating through a long document or formatting your
translation in the exact same way as its source lies in a function
buried somewhere in a task pane, and learning how to use them
more effectively can be as simple as googling a tutorial video. (See
Figure 3 on page 36.)
Update, Update, Update: Keeping your software updated may
seem like a cumbersome task, and also possibly a frustrating one,
especially if you've become very comfortable with the layout and
functionality of your current version. The danger in holding onto
older versions of software and not updating is that older versions
can run slower or may not be compatible with the documents a
client may send you.
Several companies such as Microsoft and Adobe have moved
to subscription-based platforms for their software so that users
can continuously have access to the most updated versions (and
also charge a monthly subscription price). If you're hesitant about
updating, check out online forums to see what others are saying
about updating to the latest version of your software.
As translators, the computer hardware and software we use
are the main tools of our trade, and investing the funds to keep
them updated and the time and effort to learn how to use them
effectively will certainly pay off in the long run. You don't have
to be an IT geek to use your software effectively. Whether it
be by way of online tutorials or discovering for yourself new
functionalities through submenus, fly-out panes, and help
categories of your most often used software, improving your techsavviness only ups your game as a translator and makes you more
attractive to potential clients.
Remember, if you have any ideas and/or suggestions regarding helpful
resources or tools you would like to see featured, please e-mail Jost
Zetzsche at jzetzsche@internationalwriters.com.

Ray Valido is a translation project manager at the
Office of Language Services at the U.S. Department of
State, where he is in charge of the office's multilingual
desktop publishing program. He has an MA in translation
and localization management (Spanish) from the
Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
Contact: ray.valido@gmail.com.
www.atanet.org

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The ATA Chronicle - May/June 2020

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