Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Windows Live Translator Comes to Office 2003 & 2007

The Office 2007 System is evolving, and so is Office 2003. As a direct result of end user feedback, Microsoft has worked to bridge Windows Live Translator with its Office productivity suites. For the time being, Windows Live Translator will have to be manually integrated into Office, but the Redmond company also plans to offer the additional feature as an update. At this point in time, there is no telling when users will no longer be required to go through a setup stage in order to enjoy the benefits of Machine Translation right with their copy of Windows.

"We have officially handed over our code to the Microsoft Office team for the integration of the translation tool directly in the Research Task Pane. Once they have finished their own testing and ‘flipped the switch’ on their side, the feature will auto-update in existing versions of Office," revealed a member of the Machine Translation Team at Microsoft.

However, at the same time, manually configuring the service is nothing short of an easy task. The setup process has to start with navigating to the Review Tab, the "Proofing" ribbon, and then to the Research Options dialog. Via the "Research options" hyperlink located at the very bottom of the panel, users will be able to navigate and select a wide variety of extra services, but Windows Live Translator can be accessed by entering the following URL into the Add Services dialog box: "http://www.windowslivetranslator.com/officetrans/register.asmx".

Up next, the Windows Live Translator service will have to be installed. The feature will be offered as one of the options in the Research Pane, although the users might be required to perform an additional installation, if Office Word will prompt them to do so. Extra steps are designed to select the machine translation engine, the languages of Windows Live Translator and the bilingual dictionaries.

"The feature is really easy to use, and you can translate a block of text or an entire document, from within Office," the Microsoft Machine Translation Team member added. And, indeed, all that end users will have to do is select a piece of text or a single word and hit Translate, point Windows Live Translator to a language pair and insert the translated text into the document.

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