by seo bhartirohila


Not a single project involving the creation of a product or a more complex object can do without the creation of drawings. The most widely used drawing program is AutoCAD©, produced by Autodesk. Drawings created in AutoCAD have a DWG or (more rarely) DXF extension. Like any documentation, drawings contain textual information that needs to be translated.

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However, compared to the more familiar document formats, AutoCAD drawings have a number of fundamental differences, which complicates their translation. In addition, fans of modern CAT programs are in for an unpleasant surprise: the AutoCAD format is not supported by most CAT programs, so you will need to use middleware that allows you to extract the translated text from the drawing and then substitute the translation in its place.

There are two main options for designing translated drawings:

  1. A monolingual drawing that replaces the original text with a translation.
  2. A multilingual drawing containing text in both the source language and the target language.

In this article, we will look at the first option – translating a monolingual AutoCAD drawing into the target language. You will learn:

  • how to locate the text to be translated in the drawing and how to prepare the drawing for translation;
  • how to translate a drawing using special tools to extract text from a drawing and insert the translation into the drawing;
  • how, using AutoCAD tools, to correct the design of a drawing after translation in order to send the translation to the customer.

For example, we will use the Blocks and Tables DWG document from the official website of Autodesk. It is in the archive attached to this article (file called blocks_and_tables.dwg ).

Installing AutoCAD and preparing the workspace for translation

If you don’t already have AutoCAD installed on your computer , you need to install it. You can download AutoCAD from the following link on the official website. Older versions of AutoCAD will also work, preferably AutoCAD 2008 or higher. Please note that you need a standard version of AutoCAD for Windows (32-bit if you have a 32-bit version of Windows, or 64-bit if you have a 64-bit version of Windows). The light version of AutoCAD LT or the version for Mac OS will not work, because. they do not support loading special add-ons required to extract and paste text.

During the installation process, you will be prompted to select additional components. One of these components is the Express Tools add-on . This add-on contains a couple of useful commands that will be very useful to us when preparing drawings for translation. To install, check this component.

After downloading the TransTools for AutoCAD (free).zip file, extract it to any directory (remember it). The archive contains 2 files – the TransTools for Autocad (free) application itself and the accompanying instruction in PDF format in English.

Finally, to use the TransTools for AutoCAD add-on, we need an additional component AutoCAD VBA Enabler , which allows you to use external add-ons created based on the Visual Basic programming language inside AutoCAD. You can download it from the link (although the link itself is not on the official website, this page contains all versions of AutoCAD VBA Enabler in a convenient format with links to files hosted on the official Autodesk website). Depending on the version of AutoCAD you have installed and its bitness – 32 or 64 bits – download the appropriate version of AutoCAD VBA Enabler, then install it.

Note: If your version of AutoCAD is lower than version 2010, then to install the VBA Enabler, you must select the appropriate component during the installation of the AutoCAD program.

So, when you have downloaded and installed all the necessary applications, you can finally launch the AutoCAD program to complete the initial setup of the working environment. By default, AutoCAD prompts you to use the ribbon interface. For the convenience of finding commands and tools, I strongly recommend that you use the classic interface.

Determining the location of the text to be translated

Any drawing in AutoCAD format consists of a model and sheets.

Model (Model) is a special unlimited space for creating drawing objects (geometric shapes, text blocks, etc.).  As a rule, the Model is not printed.

Preparing a drawing for translation

So, we found out where the text to be translated is located. Now you need to prepare the drawing for translation . To do this, you need to check if there are sentences in the drawing that are divided into several single-line text blocks, and merge such single-line blocks into multi-line ones. This can be done in two different ways:

  • Move the mouse over all sheets and translated sections of the model. Single-line blocks will be highlighted individually and the tooltip will be labeled “Text”.

So, we have found two single-line text blocks that need to be combined. Before combining them, these blocks need to be selected. To do this, move the cursor to the first block, click on it with the left mouse button (it will be “highlighted”), then click on the second block (it will also be highlighted). Note that, unlike other programs, you do not need to hold down the Ctrl or Shift key to select multiple disparate objects in AutoCAD, but use the Escape key to cancel the selection.

Extracting text from a drawing with TransTools for AutoCAD

To extract text from a drawing, you must run the text extraction macro included with TransTools for AutoCAD. To do this, select the menu Tools – Macros – Macros… and select the first macro “Trans_CollectUniqueValues” from the list, and then click the “Run” button.

Read more translation of documents.

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