Windows 7 File Management Self-Test


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Language professionals such as translators, who are constantly exchanging electronic files of various types with clients and colleagues, need to be completely at ease with file management tasks such as downloading, saving, converting, organizing, searching, comparing and sending files. Are you? This self-test will help you to determine if you have the Windows 7, Word and Adobe Reader knowledge and skills to manage some common tasks in a typical translation workflow.

I. Introduction


Here we go! Imagine you are a translator (we know, it's a stretch) and you are about to start a job for a new client in a completely new field: language technologies. Your client has sent you a Word file with the document to translate, but you need to find more supporting documentation, manage this collection of documents and find the information you need in it, send your translated document for revision by your colleague, and then finally return the translated document to your client.


To do all this, you'll need to know how to accomplish a variety of tasks. The workflow process is described below. See how many of these tasks you're comfortable with already. If you aren't sure how to do something (or think there might be an easier way to do it than the one you know), click on the corresponding link to see some basic instructions.


II. Getting started


  1. Since this is a new client and a new field, you will probably want to keep the files you will be working with together, and separate from files for other clients and fields. One easy way to do this is to create a sub-directory of Documents in which you can store the files. Do this now, naming your sub-directory LanguageTech.

  1. The client has sent you a Word file containing the text to translate. Download it and save it in the LanguageTech sub-directory you created.


III. Getting informed


  1. Since you'll need to find out more about this new field, your next step may be to look at some key resources. You know that LinguisTech has a variety of different resources, so you check it out and find a collection of readings about language technologies. Download this file, named Translation_Technology_Articles.zip, and save it to the LanguageTech sub-directory.

  1. You can view the contents of the compressed folder by finding it in your sub-directory and double-clicking on it. However, in order to use the PDF files contained in the compressed folder in many programs, you'll need to extract them first. Extract the files from the compressed folder and save them in a new sub-directory inside the LanguageTech sub-directory, which by default will be called Translation_Technology_Articles.

  1. Windows 7 can allow you to search the files in the sub-directory to find out which ones contain a word or phrase.
    1. To do this, enter the string you want to find into the Search field near the top right-hand corner of the window. Then click on the magnifying glass icon that appears next to the field.
    2. Since all of the articles are in PDF format, you can also search the whole collection at once using Adobe Reader.
    3. Try both strategies to find occurrences of the string technologies. Which approach do you find most effective, and why?


IV. Getting organized


  1. Depending on the results of your searching and/or other criteria, you may want to organize the files you downloaded into different groups that you can consult for help in different areas. Move the files into appropriately named sub-directories.

  1. You may also want to include additional information in the filenames, so that it is easier for you to find files that may be useful for you for various tasks. Rename the files to add additional information that may help you to find the files again when they can be useful.


V. Getting to work 


  1. You have a huge number of language technologies at your disposal as you work on translating the file your client sent quickly, efficiently and, most importantly, effectively. More information about these is as close as the LinguisTech portal and the CERTT Glossary, among a number of other resources.


VI. Getting a second opinion 


  1. You're done your draft! But it never hurts to get a second opinion. One strategy may be to send the original and translation to a colleague for revision. Since your colleague will also have lots of files to manage, you can help her to keep the files together by sending them in a compressed folder. Create a compressed folder that contains the original and translated files, and any other files you want to include for reference.

  1. Wow, that was quick! Your colleague has already sent the file back with her revisions. You've saved it to your sub-directory as a revised version and are ready to take a look at the changes. The only problem is that your colleague didn't track them in Word. Oops! But no matter: you can easily compare your version and hers using Word's Compare Documents option.

  1. You can now take a look at the changes that were made, and decide whether you want to accept or decline them, and then produce the final version of your translation.


VII. Getting the job done


  1. Phew, done! Now you just have to send off your translation and your invoice to your client. (It might not be a bad idea to send them both in a compressed folder — that way, you can be certain that the client received both the work and the invoice.)

  1. Were you able to complete all of these tasks? Then congratulations! You have managed a job from start to finish using some of the file management functions of Windows 7, Word and Adobe Reader. Now on to the next one!