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 »  Articles Overview  »  Technology  »  Software and the Internet  »  Internet & Applications for Translators

Internet & Applications for Translators

By Claudia Alvis | Published  04/15/2008 | Software and the Internet | Recommendation:
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Claudia Alvis
hiszpański translator

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Internet & Applications for Translators Internet & Applications for Translators Firefox’s Add-ons

This is one of my favorite extensions and definitely one of the most useful ones. As freelancers, we often work with people from all over the world, and keeping track of what time is it around the world is not an easy task. FoxClocks adds a set of clocks directly onto any Firefox bar, and it’s very easy to customize. For instance, my clocks go blue during office hours and gray during non-office hours.

Also very useful for translators that work with web pages. It does what its name says, it splits the browser in different ways (up, down, left, right) and in multiple windows.


This extension is great not only for translators. It has several different features, but one of my favorite ones is that it can save whole sessions. For instance, I’m working in two different projects at the same time, with each project I need to have certain web sites always open. So I can easily save each session as Project # 1 and Project #2. That way, I don’t have to open each web site one by one, TMP will pull them all up at the same time. TMP can also keeps a list of all the Closed Tabs, just in case.

But that's just one of the features. This add-on has many more.

Sometimes clients prefer to upload the files on their servers and we're given a link to them. If there are too many files to download this might not be practical for us if we don't have an FTP client. That’s when DownloadThemAll come in very handy. DownloadThemAll can download all the links from a website; it uses filters so we can choose which files to download and which not. It also doubles as a download manager and a download accelerator. It also serves to batch-download several kinds of files (media, images, html, etc.) at the same time.

Particularly when translating technical documentation, having a visual reference of the items on the text can be extremely useful. Save Image in Folder allows any online picture to be saved on any custom folder, without having to specify the location every time.

"This is a great tool for web developers, since you can easily see how your web page displayed in IE with just one click and then switch back to Firefox."
The IE button can be placed either on the Toolbar or the Status bar, which I like better because it takes up less space.

It's like Word Macros, but for Firefox. It comes with several configured macros but creating new ones is very easy.

"iMacros was designed to automate the most repetitious tasks on the web. If there’s an activity you have to do repeatedly, just record it in iMacros. The next time you need to do it, the entire macro will run at the click of a button! With iMacros, you can quickly and easily fill out web forms, remember passwords, download information from other sites, scrape the Web (get data from multiple sites), and more. You can keep the macros on your computer for your own use, or share them with others by embedding them on your homepage, blog, company Intranet or any social bookmarking service. The uses are limited only by your imagination!"

Another must-have add-on. Instead of moving the mouse to a particular button or using a shortcut, the mouse can be used to control several Firefox's options: Draw a line to the left to go back one page, draw a U to go to the bottom, draw a C to close a tab, draw an H to go to the home page, etc. It works with Bookmarks too! Creating and Editing gestures is a breeze.

"Bulk/Batch/Mass Image Uploader! ImageBot allows lets you upload your images to a free image hosting service (ImageShack or Photobucket).  ImageBot lets you sort, filter, and create image galleries out of your images in a snap. It is especially good for your eBay auctions by way of the Thumbnail Gallery template included by default."
It also has a right-click option to upload any image from any website in just one click.

It fixes one of the few IE features that Firefox is missing. Instead of downloading a program in order to run it, OpenDownload lets you run the program directly.
"Allows you to open any file from the Internet into the OS assigned program. This is similar to IE's 'Open' or 'Run' file download functionality."

Sometimes we need to enter our email addresses in order to access certain pages. Or we need an email address just to receive one file and we don't want to disclose our email addresses. Temporary Inbox creates a temporary email automatically and deletes them after a few hours. Great antispam trick! (Note: I think the default behavior installs a toolbar, but it can be skipped and it works as a right-click option, which is much better ... at least to me).

Another favorite of mine. Stylish doesn't do anything by itself, it is a script manager that let's you modify the apperance of Firefox. The great thing about Firefox is that it's easy to customize. Some users use the userChrome.css file in order to change the way Firefox looks, but that can be a little intimidating for some users. With Stylish, modifying Firefox's apperance is as easy as downloading a link, the scripts are automatically installed.

Some of my favorite Scripts:

  • Multiple row Bookmarks Toolbar

The name is self explanatory. It allows the Bookmarks Toolbar to have multiple rows. There are certain pages I know I visit very often, one single row is not enough anymore.

User guide:
Bug reports and feature requests:

Tip: The Bookmar Toolbar is not useful just to save bookmarks, it can also hold Folders, which is extremely useful. For instance, if I see a ProZ's thread I find interesting, I just drag the tab to a folder named ProzFav:

  • Autohide Bookmarks Toolbar

Having multiple bookmark rows is extremely helpful, but I have 4 rows of bookmarks, which is not a major problem on my 19" monitor, but on my laptop's 15" monitor those four rows take up a lot of valuable space. That's when this script comes in extremely handy. It hides the Bookmarks Toolbar but when the mouse is hovered over the hidden toolbar, it reappears.

Tip: Autohide Bookmark Toolbar and Google Toolbar don't like each other very much. Google Toolbar usually is the last toolbar displayed, and when the Bookmark Toolbar is displayed again, it creates a cat-and-mouse situation with the Google Toolbar search field and the pointer. DragNDrop Toolbars overrides the default order of the toolbars and solves this problem by allowing the user to place the toolbars in any order. The Bookmarks Toolbar should always be the last toolbar from the top.

From DragNDrop Toolbars website:

To access the drag and drop functionnality, use the context menu on a toolbar (except the Personnal Links toolbar) and check the 'unlock toolbars' option:

unlocking toolbar positions

The toolbars will then appear with some extra space between themn and they have a handle at the begining (release > only).

aspect of unlocked toolbars

You can drag a toolbar and a blue line will show where the toolbar you are dragging will be inserted if you drop it :

a Blue line shows drop position

  • WellRounded 2

Go back to Stylish's scripts, WellRounded 2 makes the serch boxes rounded. It's not particularly useful, but I like how it looks.

Two complementary add-ons to manage cookies.

Tip: CookieSafe deletes all my cookies every time Firefox is shut down. But there are certain cookies that I want to keep, ProZ's cookie or Google's Preferences (PREF) cookie for instance, so CookieCuller protects them so they won't get deleted. (Note: CookieSafe's 'Clear Cookies' overrides CookieCuller, use Firefox's 'Clear Cookies' option instead). CookieSafe has many more features and it can be used directly from the Status Bar.

Other Firefox tricks

But Add-ons are not the only reason Firefox is extremely useful for translators, Firefox has plenty of features that can make our daily job so much easier. Some of the features I like and use A LOT.

By far one of the best Firefox features. Quicksearches allows the user to assign keywords shortcuts in order to perform searches, so instead of opening a web site, type the term and click on Search, Go, etc, the query can be done directly from the address Toolbar. For instance, instead of going to the KudoZ page, entering the term I'm looking for and hit search, I just type 'kz [whatever term I'm looking for]' and the page is automatically directed to the results. It saves a lot of time. In order to create a Quick Search entry, place the cursor on the search field, right-click and select 'Add keyword for this search', the keyword is bookmarked. Tip: By default, the Quicksearch Bookmark is stored with the rest of the Bookmark, but I prefer to store it in a folder named Quicksearches to keep them organized.

Some of my Quicksearches are: the Blue Board - bb, KudoZ - kz, Word Reference English to Spanish - ws, WordReference Spanish to English - wd, Acronym Finder - a, DRAE - e, hesaurus - t, etc. The key is to use a keyword that is going to be easier to remember.

Tip: (For DRAE users only). Try creating a new bookmark and in the location field enter the following:
javascript:Qr='';if(!Qr){void(Qr=prompt('Diccionario de la Real Academia Española. Vigésima segunda edición. Teclee la palabra que desea consultar:',''))}if(Qr)location.href=''+escape(Qr)+'%20'
  • Spellchecker
Firefox comes with a Spellcheker feature, but it only works in area fields not in text boxes; i.e. when posting a new thread or a reply in a forum, Firefox will check the spelling of the message but not its title. To modify this behavior, enter about:config in the address field, type layout.spellcheckDefault in the filter field and change the value to 2. Re-start Firefox.

More dictionaries: here


ObjectDock creates a Mac-like dock that can be placed anywhere on the desktop (i.e. top, bottom, left, right). The dock can organize not only programs but also folders, menus, documents, bookmarks, docklets, links, etc. It won't clutter the screen because it's 100% collapsible. It's a really great program, and it's free!!

#1       #2        

ObjectDock Plus is the paid version of ObjectDock, and it's absolutely worth the price ($20). It has all the features in ObjectDock plus many more. For instance, it features "Fly-out" menus to hold multiple items. The following image shows my Dictionaries: I just click on the Dictionaries icon and all the Dictionaries (that includes electronic, online and file-based dictionaries) I have in my computer are displayed in a carousel-style. Very practical.

But probably the best feature of ObjectDock Plus is its tabbed-docks. Some screen shots:

More details about ObjectDock and ObjectDock Plus:  Free vs. Plus

reSizer is a system utility that enables keyboard shortcuts to focus, move, resize and change other window properties in a fast and intuitive way without even touching the mouse.
Tip: I find this utility particularly useful with the Workbench Concordance window, which sometimes likes to hide ;-)

Those are some of the tips, tricks, Firefox's add-ons and applications I find very useful, I hope other might find them useful as well.

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