Project synchronization helps you produce and maintain translated versions of your projects. Producing the initial translation is easy – you just make a "sibling copy" of your original project with Project Synch and give it to the translator, who translates all the text in the project into a different language, using either Help+Manual or an external tool like SDL Trados or Nero Across that can edit the XML project files directly (Professional and Server versions of H+M only).
The real job of Project Synch begins when you need to update your documentation. When the new version of the original project is ready you use Project Synch to compare the new version of the original with the last translated version of the project delivered by the translator.
The old translated version is then updated: New versions of modified topics are inserted for translation, completely new topics are inserted, deleted topics are removed, stylesheets and project properties are updated and so on.
You then send the updated version to the translator, who translates the changes and new content and returns it to you.
Project synchronization compares differences in project structure, not in topic content. This makes it possible to compare two projects written in completely different languages – the original version and the translated version – and to update the structural changes in the translated version.
Project Synch is not a "track changes" or "compare by content" function.
It does not show you where changed text is in individual topics or what specific changes each topic contains. It only tracks which topics have changed and updates the project structure to the latest version.
It just shows you that topics contain changes. These changes can be topic content, keywords, settings in the topic's tab or changes in the topic caption in the TOC.
Project Synch is not suitable for monitoring ongoing changes in two projects.
Project Synch assumes that nothing in the translated version is ever changed independently. It only checks for changes in the original version and updates the structure of the translation version to reflect those changes.
If independent structural changes (new topics, moved topics etc.) are made in the translated version Project Synch will eliminate them!
It is extremely important to understand this. The translator is not permitted to make any structural changes to the project! They must just produce a 1:1 translation of the project structure as you deliver it to them.
Because of this you shouldn't try to use Project Synch to compare and synchronize ongoing changes made in two different versions of the same project in the same language. If you do, all the changes in the target version (equivalent to the translation version) will be eliminated when you synchronize!
The original project and the translated project are linked as a "translation pair" which we refer to as "siblings". When you compare the two Project Synch can then identify all items in the original project that have changed since a specified date. This is achieved with internal ID codes and timestamps that are assigned to the entire project, topics and other elements of your project.
•New topics: These are inserted in the translated version in the correct positions so that they can be translated. They are highlighted in the TOC.
•Changed topics: These are highlighted in the translated version. The complete new version of the content of the changed topic is inserted in the translated version. This can either replace the old translated text or be inserted above the old translated text.
•Deleted topics: These are removed from the TOC of the translated version.
•Moved topics: If their content has not changed they are simply moved to their new positions in the translated project. They are not highlighted in the TOC unless their content is also changed.
•Topics with changed titles or keywords: Project Synch treats these as changed topics and also highlights them in the TOC.