The latest version of SDL Trados Studio is a great tool for every busy technical translator, but the management of numbers is far from ideal. You certainly noticed that numbers and units won’t get propagated with the right decimal and spacing most of the times, especially if you get packages from agencies. The clue here is that SDL Trados Studio 2017 has a very interesting option which is almost unknown or skipped by project managers, as far as I can see from the projects I usually receive for the combination English into Italian. Translators face some typical situations with numbers, let’s see the following snapshots taken from a couple of recent projects.

  • Numbers which weren’t localized previously and appear untouched into the translation memory (TM) provided by the agency/client:

1- Not localized numbers from start

  • Translators end up having to modify 100% and context matches:

2- Multiple numbers to change in 100% matches

  • Resulting in errors when running the Verify function:

3- Extra number in target segment

A possible workaround for this situation is using a smart option found in Project Settings (Home tab > Project Settings on the ribbon):

 4- Project settings

This option is found under the local language combination (in this case, English into Italian), while I noticed that I regularly receive packages with one or more TM loaded under All language pairs, where this option is not available.

5- Auto-substitution in local TM

Auto-substitution function in local TM

6- No option in all language pair

Auto-substitution function is not present in All language pairs

When I create a personal project, I can decide to use a local TM and enable the option “Use the same spacing between the number and the unit that is used in the translation memory target segment” or other options underneath, but Project Managers seem to prefer using a common TM. I understand their point, as having to create a local TM for any language combination in a project including many language pairs (and multiply this for every client!) is quite time and space consuming. The result is that translators will have to spend extra time fixing pre-translated files with wrong time, date, number and unit localization. Another trick I use in order to get around this annoying problem is to disable the recognition of times, dates, numbers, units etc. paying extra care to them while translating. Errors from QA Checker  won’t disappear, though.

7- Disable Recognize function

Path is Project Settings > Language Pairs > All Language Pairs > Translation Memory and Automated Translation > Select a TM and click its Settings, then in Fields and Settings, disable Dates, Times, Numbers, Measurements, and other desired check boxes under Recognize section.

To stop receiving error messages from this QA function I simply disable any warning type for numbers, times, dates and measurements.

8- Disable Verify function

Path is Project Settings > Verification > QA Checker 3.0 > Numbers entry > Numbers section.

Always remember to restore the settings you received from your Project Manager before creating the Return Package 😉

I really hope you liked my tricks! Let’s work easier and quicker with SDL Trados Studio 2017 without worrying too much about small technical inefficiencies!


To apply the same settings to a memory from All Language Pairs to your specific language pair, just click Project Settings > Your local TM, for example English (United States) -> Italian (Italy) > Translation Memory and Automated Translation > select the checkbox Use different translation providers for this language pair.

SDL Trados local TM

Then click Yes into the following dialog.

TM from all lang pairs to local - click yes

You now have the same options for Auto-Substitution and Fields and Settings as for the memory uploaded under All Language Pairs. Don’t forget to deselect the checkbox Use different translation providers for this language pair. to restore the original settings provided by your agency/client before delivery.

I also sent a feedback to SDL (twice, honestly) regarding this issue with number and unit management, I really hope that it will be taken into consideration by their developers for future updates.

Have a nice working day!



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