Tom's Independent Software Reviews
PASS Engineering GmbH was founded as a medical analysis system provider
in 1990. Providing localized medical software proofed to be crucial for
the young company. Because of the lack of appropriate tools they began
to develop their own localization tool which they called PASSOLO. After
first being used internally within PASS Engineering, PASSOLO finally became
available as an independent localization tool in 1998.
1: Tree view of a PASSOLO project containing EXE, DLL and OCX
sources and their targets in various languages.
Please click on the image for a closer look!
is a specialized translation environment for the localization of Windows-based
software. It focusses on the translation process itself providing professional
translators with all necessary tools to ensure an easy compilation, exchange
and processing of translation data. PASSOLO was designed to allow an open
workflow architecture thus fitting into almost all localization scenarios.
The software supports applications (EXE, DLL or OCX) programmed in Visual
C++, Visual Basic, Borland Delphi and Borland C++Builder as well as Pocket Windows. Using free downloadable macros, PASSOLO also supports Java .PROPERTIES and text files such as Windows INI files. Optional Support of 16bit Windows executables and databases available at additional cost. In addition, the VBA compatible Sax Basic engine allows to include support of other file formats.
In order to extracting only the strings that can be translated while protecting the application from unintended modifications, PASSOLO intentionally does not support the translation of resource files (RC).
editors for dialogs, menus, bitmaps, icons and cursors.
feature: PASSOLO allows an easy updating if sources were changed. New
or changed text is marked and can be filtered in order to make sure
that only changes and additions are translated. Attributes like the
size of controls in dialogs are automatically adjusted. As the update
process uses resource IDs to identify the corresponding resource entries,
texts with more than one translation will always be assigned correctly.
Alignment tool: By visual alignment PASSOLO can reuse translations which
were previously processed using another localization tool.
Matching: PASSOLO can simultaneously use several general or project-oriented
glossaries which can be individually created by the user. It is also
possible to look up translations in a current translation list or in
translation lists of other programs. Fuzzy Match displays all concordances
between a translatable text string and the selected glossaries within
a customizable fuzzy match percentage.
2: PASSOLO's WYSIWYG Dialog Editor. The layout can be adapted
to the translated resource text without changing existing elements or
structures. Layout can be adjusted using build-in functions such as align,
space evenly, make same size or center. Truncated resource texts can be
resized automatically and dialogs can be flipped to conform right-to-left
scripts like Hebrew or Arabic.
Please click on the image for a closer look!
PASSOLO's test features detect typical localization errors like missing
translations, missing or duplicate access keys and short cuts respectively,
truncated texts in dialog controls and overlapping controls. Using the
test feature and the functions to resolve some of the errors automatically
dramatically reduces the time needed for quality assurance. Hard-coded
text, insufficiently sized text buffers, wrong font settings and similar
programming errors can be identified easily by Pseudo Translation. The
Translation Simulator can also be used to check if all texts that must
not be translated are marked as read-only.
- Add-In technology for customer specific Export/Import filters and nonstandard resources in the Professional Edition. The Professional Edition of PASSOLO allows for data exchange between PASSOLO and other tools through Add-Ins. Presently, Add-Ins for the translation memories (TM) TRADOS and STAR Transit are available. Additional interconnectivity can be programmed by the user or on individual request by the PASSOLO development team.
- PASSOLO supports OLE-Automation, allowing most of its functions to be controlled from external applications like workflow management systems.
3: PASSOLO Add-Ins. PASSOLO enables the exchange of translations
with the two leading Translation Memories and Terminology solutions TRADOS
and STAR by means of optional Add-Ins. Please use the mouse to roll over
the Add-Ins and use a left mouse click to view the options (partially
The Statistics feature of PASSOLO helps both freelance translators as
well as localization managers by calculating translation volume and
project progress. Translated text, non-translated text and repetitions
are counted separately. Statistics can be performed per file, per language
or per project.
macros functions, PASSOLO is completely customizable: new functions
can be added, and PASSOLO can be integrated with other tools. The creation
and editing of macros is even for non-programmers an easy task thanks
to the Sax Base Engine (www.sax.net)
which is fully integrated into PASSOLO's Professional version. Macros
can also be used for developing parser to support additional file formats.
On Passware's web site, a couple of such macros e.g. to support the
translation of databases are available.
4: The Statistics feature of PASSOLO.
Please click on the image for a closer look!
Windows 95, 98, ME, NT 4.0, 2000, XP; 16 MB of RAM; double speed CD-ROM
drive; 256-color monitor; 486 PC or higher.
5: PASSOLO's powerful macro features. Included are macros to
localize Java Property Resources, databases, INI files and a combined
lookup for translations in PASSOLO and TRADOS TM.
Please use the mouse to roll over the pre-made macros and use a left
mouse click to view the integrated editor (script engine)
is available in four editions:
Translator Edition is a free editor containing all features needed an
for efficient translation of bundles created with the Team Edition.
Free of charge - requires no dongle or hardware key.
Standard Edition (formerly Programmers Edition) contains the basic functionality
to handle many localization scenarios as a stand alone tool. €
700.00 (606 $).
Professional Edition can be extended and customized by Add-Ins offering
productivity gains in complex and highly automated workflows with OLE
automation and its VBA compatible development environment. € 1100.00
Team Edition for the creation of translation bundles, which can be opened
using the free Translator Edition. This enables decentralized projects
with external translators using a single software license. Starting
at € 2500 ($ 2241.5). Call for details.
STAR Add-In and TRADOS Add-In makes it easy to reuse translations and
terminology created during software localization for the translation
of manuals, online-help and other documentation. These Add-Ins can be
used with the Professional Edition and the Team Edition. € 750.00
(650 $) each.
PASS Engineering GmbH; Remigiusstr. 1, 53111 Bonn, Germany; Phone: +49
(228) 697242, Fax: +49 (228) 697104; e-mail: email@example.com;
Usage & Evaluation:
is an extremely easy to use translation solution for applications in
form of executables and link libraries (EXE DLL and OCX) programmed
in Visual C++, Visual Basic, Borland Delphi and Borland C++ Builder.
Also supported is software developed for Pocket Windows. PASSOLO intentionally
does not support the translation of resource files (RC) in order to
minimize source file interference.
A nice feature for users on a Windows 9x Kernel (Windows 95, 98 and
ME) is PASSOLO's unique ability to save back localized EXE files. This
is achieved by an internal handling avoiding the limitations of the
Windows 9x API.
does not support other file formats present in software localization
projects (especially Help files and web formats). Besides basic statistic
functions, the tool also lacks project management features. However,
this is partially covered by providing convenient interactivity to external
TM applications (TRADOS and STAR) as well as PASSOLO's powerful macro
not expect the exchange of data between PASSOLO and TRANSIT or TRADOS
to be completely painless once you purchased the STAR and TRADOS Add-Ins
at € 750.00 (650 $) each. Both filters allow for a customizable
export of terminology and/or TM but still involve a lot of hand work
to ensure that all data are included.
nice feature of PASSOLO is a very simple one which is surprisingly neglected
by many competitors: the localizer provides a conveniently large, resizable
window for the actual translation which is equipped with a character
map for a quick access to any extended character.
not least, after STAR Group's Transit Satellite PE and Alchemy CATALYST's
Environment, PASS Engineering GmbH is now the third company to follow
the most welcome business strategy of providing freelance translators
with a free translation environment.
Software Localization Tools:
Memory or Computer Aided Translation (CAT) Applications: