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Today we released the beta version for WPML 4.4.0. This release includes major updates to String Translation to make finding, registering, and translating strings easier than ever.

Our String Translation improvements for this beta focus on three main areas:

  • The main String Translation interface
  • The screen to register admin strings
  • Integration between String Translation and the Advanced Translation Editor

Check out the short video below for a walkthrough of these improvements:

String Translation Interface

It’s now easier to see the translation statuses of your strings at a glance. String Translation uses the familiar icons seen in other parts of WPML to let you know which strings need to be updated, which need translations, and which are in progress.

Simply click the + icon to translate a string into each of your secondary languages. You can use the Tab key on your keyboard to save your translations and move between languages.

Translating a string
Translating a string in the String Translation table

Faster translation with fewer clicks

One of the major improvements to the interface is that there are fewer clicks between you and your translated strings.

Before, it took 7 clicks to translate a string into two languages:

  1. Click Translations.
  2. Click the text box and enter the translation for the first language.
  3. Click Translation is complete.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Click the text box and enter the translation for the next language.
  6. Click Translation is complete.
  7. Click Save.

All of this can now be done with just one click:

  1. Click the + icon.

You can then immediately type your translation and use the Tab key on your keyboard to move between languages. Your translations are automatically saved when you hit Tab or Enter.

BEFORE
NOW
Multiple clicks to translate strings
Multiple clicks to translate strings

BEFORE
Translate your strings with only one click
Translate your strings with only one click

NOW

Admin Strings

If you can’t find a string you’re looking to translate in String Translation, chances are you’ll find them in the Admin Strings screen. This is now more intuitive to get to by expanding the Can’t find the strings you’re looking to translate? dropdown. Click Choose texts for translation to get to the list of strings.

Choosing texts for translation
Accessing the list of admin strings

This list is also much easier to load and search thanks to pagination and a text search box.

Adding admin strings to the String Translation page
Adding admin strings to the String Translation table

Developers will appreciate that you can now also generate code snippets to use directly in your custom XML configuration.

Exporting as a WPML configuration file
Exporting a string as a WPML configuration file

Integration with WPML’s Advanced Translation Editor

String Translation is now integrated with the Advanced Translation Editor. This means you and your translators can now enjoy translation memory, automatic translation, and more when translating strings.

Select the strings you would like to translate and add them to the Translation Basket. Then assign the translation job to your local translator.

Adding strings to the translation basket
Selecting strings to add to the translation basket

Your local translators can find the jobs in WPML → Translations.

Translating a job in a local translator’s queue

Translation jobs open in the Advanced Translation Editor where you can translate strings manually or use automatic translation to speed up the process.

Translating strings in the Advanced Translation Editor

Installing the Beta Version

There are two ways of downloading this beta: manually or through the beta channel.

Please note: This software is still in development. We do not recommend installing this version on a production site.

Installing manually

Go to your WPML Downloads page. In the Choose Channel dropdown, select Beta. Download the ZIP file and add it to your site.

Choosing the Beta channel on the Downloads page

Installing through the beta channel

Go to the Plugins page, click the Add New button and then click the Commercial tab.

Switching to the Beta channel

Under the Updates channel option, use the dropdown menu to switch to the Beta channel. Finally, click the Switch button in the dialog that appears. See our documentation for more details.

Let us know what you think!

Give the WPML 4.4.0 Beta release a try, and leave your feedback in the comments below. We look forward to hearing from you!

47 Responses to “WPML 4.4 Beta – Big Usability Improvements for String Translation”

    • Hi Andrea,

      While we always solve some minor performance issue, most of the old ones, if not all of them, have been resolved a few versions ago.

      Are you referring to some specific performance issue?

      We handle performance issues with a high priority, but at the moment, we are not aware of anything specific that can be replicated or that wasn’t already handled.

      Please, if you are facing any performance issue, report it in the support forum, so we can address it as soon as possible.

  1. Perfect! Very good new features and much more streamlined workflow for string translation! Bravo!

  2. Just from the video, as I didnt test it yet, it looks like the changes on the UI of main string translations page is rather a throwback to the past than an upgrade. It takes currently just 1 click and i can edit all languages immediately. Why should i now need countless extra clicks, no immediate overview, and a screen resolution that looks like from 1995?

    • Hi Filip – thanks so much for your comment. To prevent excessive clicks, you can use the Tab key on your keyboard to toggle between languages. If you try it out, let us know if that works for you.

      • Hi there, no that’s not a solution. It’s the same extra needlessly clicking, just that you click another button instead.
        For someone who translated it all by himself, it just got a lot worse. On the opposite, it probably got better for those using translators.

  3. WPML string translation still seems like the slowest plugin for sql queries to the db in all setups I’ve seen. It still seems to run on page load.

    With slow I mean out of 50 plugins and competitors WPML string translation is by far the slowest plugin querying to the db. And for no reason there is to query to the db on page load?

    Most might us memcached or redis but still would fix and improve this and not run sql queries from WPML string translation on page load. No one translate dynamically on page load, the strings are registered static files which doesn’t require string translations from WPML to run and query on page load.

    This still happens once you disable the auto register. Seeing more comments if there is performance improvements and it’s not as far as I can see from testing or reported in the changelog. WPML team please consider improving the performance and code of the plugin 🙂

    • Hi again – Have you reported the slow performance in a support ticket yet? Would you please provide a link to your ticket so we can look into this further? Thanks!

      • I have already reported it to feature improvement department a several of times without any reply or actions.

  4. Finally integrating the new translation editor and having a quick overlook of translations done are really nice.

    – I don’t remember exactly what I wrote but I did precise improvement for string search and probably more. If you can find my tickets you could find golden ideas to make a really good UX.

    – Now let’s talk about some topics here since we talk about workflow :
    1/ A major improvement would be to avoid using the translation tasks management screen by allowing to send translations directly to a selected translator. And last but not least, allow to “Go to translations page” if you are the selected user.
    This will let us gain so much time instead of click, click, click, click… I guess that you get the point.

    2/ While you added the AI translation feature it sounded so good, but in the end, the translation process is still fat to slow as :
    > Why is there still no button to “set all translations as finished” since everything is done (click, click, click, click…) ?
    > The foremost missing feature here is for sure to “Allow auto-translation on post publishing” (and in fact I need this ASAP!!!!!). when a post is updated, it should a) re-translate every new content OR b) a popup could open to ask what to do.

    Waiting to see such updates slightly quicker please. For ecommerce & marketplace websites, auto-translation is a must have and I have a project about it for coming month. Please give it a super boost and thousands of users will thank you by paying your AI services.

    Regards.

    • Thanks again for your help.

      I couldn’t find the old threads that you’re mentioning. Would you like to have a session with our UI designer and show the improvements that you’re talking about? If you’re interested, I’ll send an introduction and you can arrange it between yourselves.

    • Hello Thibault,

      Thank you very much for your feedback!

      > A major improvement would be to avoid using the translation tasks management screen by allowing to send translations directly to a selected translator

      I’ve filed your request and I’ll discuss it with the team.

      > Why is there still no button to “set all translations as finished” since everything is done

      I’m not sure I understand this one.
      Translations are marked as completed when someone (a translator) completes them.

      > The foremost missing feature here is for sure to “Allow auto-translation on post publishing”

      I can’t give you an estimation or any specifics, but keep an eye to the next major version or two!
      I’m afraid it won’t happen in time for your next project, tough.

      • > Why is there still no button to “set all translations as finished” since everything is done.
        This is related to the translation editor where we have to click each checkbox per text-zone after its translation to confirm it. And while that kind of approach doesn’t make much sense to me.., we should at least have the option to “set all translations as finished”, which would check all check-boxes at once, avoiding us to click, click, click, click…

        > The foremost missing feature here is for sure to “Allow auto-translation on post publishing”

        I can’t give you an estimation or any specifics, but keep an eye to the next major version or two!
        I’m afraid it won’t happen in time for your next project, tough.
        >> Why guys are you always so slow and non specific on improvement delays ? You say that you can’t give an estimate but in the meantime it’s in the pipeline since you tell to look to the next 1-2 major updates. I guess that you have at least some idea of what a “major update” delay is here. For what I understand you prefer being slow, losing opportunities while the competition is just around the corner, and this feature could take two more years to come right ? So you have 95% of the needed setup (AI translation), but just automating it seems too much work for quick and high adoption and bring revenue ?
        (NB : I’m curious to know how many equivalent full-time developers you have at WPML to 1/ fix and 2/ update the plugin(s)).

        • Hi Thibault – With this new beta, we’ve gotten rid of the “Translation is complete” checkbox completely. Translations are automatically saved and implemented when press the Enter/Return key, use the Tab key to move between languages, or just click out of the text box. No need to check the “Translation is complete” box anymore. Hope that helps!

          • This is good news, sadly I was unable to test it as :

            After installing the Beta from the channel inside WP, I was able to use the String translations new interface and add it to the translation queue, but I didn’t see it in my translation jobs.

  5. This is awesome! I have a lot of customers using WPML and it’s my goto recommendation for translations. It’s always nice to see improvements to an already great product. Keep up the great work.

  6. Auto-draft not working

    When i start to add new post, i am writing the content and title etc. i dont click on “Publish” and return to “Posts” page. I have “Drafts (1)” but when i click nothing showing, when i deactivate the “WPML Multilingual CMS” its working, and when i re-activate this plugin all old drafts working but not the new ones

    Its the same issue of this post : https://wpml.org/forums/topic/draft-page-not-appearing-in-admin/

    https://wpml.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/1209724-issue2.jpg

    • Hi Celine – thanks for your message. Is this something you only started experiencing after updating the WPML 4.4.0 beta release? Please open a ticket so a member of our support team can look into this further for you.

  7. I did a basic review of the new functionality and noted the following:

    You have changed the layout of the Admin Texts Translation page to be more like the String Translation page rather than the tabular list that it used to be. What would be good would be to have the same paging functionality including the ability to display all strings on a single page (as you can do on the String Translation page).

    This would maintain UX over the various pages and is very useful if you want to show all strings and then navigate using the built in browser search functionality – stepping through stings etc.

    Thanks.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Mark! We introduced the pagination of the Admin Text Translation page in order to avoid long load times and resolve issues with MaxInputVars values. You should be able to search for strings using the text search function at the top of the screen. Have you found that to be insufficient, and can you provide an example? Thanks!

      • I would agree that you can use the search function to filter down to a single or list of strings that you may want to include.

        An example of where the Display All part of the pagination would be useful:

        When searching for strings in relation to the child theme I input the Option value of “theme_mods_theme_name-child” for example. This returns 11 pages of strings which I want to browse through to see which I want to include.

        Of course I can go page to page, but on some pages the Option column (which cannot be widened) is not wide enough for the full option name so the depth of the row increases. So now I have to scroll down to see all values and then click at the bottom for next page, this now jumps (back to normal depth rows) and I have to now find the next page chevron again either below or at the top of the list. Not the end of the world, but not the smoothest experience….

        If I could have just clicked “Display All” and then scroll down selecting any strings that I want to include from this filtered list, this would be much better. All the while keeping my mouse pointer in line with the little check boxes making the selection very quick to do!

        I appreciate that the load times could be problematic, but on the String Translation page, it is only slow when you try to load all values (but you still have the option available). Not sure why this would be any different for the Admin Text Translation page?

        And….in addition to this, it would be very helpful to be able to order the lists by the String column on the String Translation page and the Value column on the Admin Texts Translation page. Again making it easier to scroll through and find specific strings that you either want to translate or include for string translation.

        Just my thoughts and hope that helps. 🙂

        • Thank you so much for your thorough response! This is really helpful. I’ll pass your feedback along to our developers.

        • Hi Mark,

          Thank you for your feedback: it helps a lot!

          Displaying is something we can’t enable without risking to affect some sites.

          However, we will add an option to select how many items to display per page.
          The highest number will be in the region of 1000 items per page.

          We will also look at the sorting options, as well as finding a solution for the cell’s layouts changing between pages when the text overflows.

          Thanks again for your review.

  8. It’s been a while since I updated WPML to beta. And it works! Finally, I was able to send menu items to translator and he managed to translate them in the same way that he translated pages. Very good streamlined workflow, guys! This is what I need!

    One more critical thing to fix – is the ability to filter by language in meny sync page. Now I have to manually choose more than 100 items each time. Your guy from dev team gave me the walkaround. But the workflow is is quite confusing)))

    • Thanks for your comment, Andrey! For your suggestion, are you referring to screen where you select which changes to apply (as seen in the second image in the section about Automatic Menus Sync)?

      • Exactly. Here how this page looks in my case: https://yadi.sk/d/nE6A2SGcX0WrTQ

        If I want to choose only French there, than it’s quite confusing)))

        And a couple of words why I need to choose one language there. The reason is incompatibility between WPML and Avada mega menu. After first menu sync the translated menu gets broken (all mega menu options get skipped) and I have set all mega menu options manually.

        I have 14 languages and do not want to break all menus at once, so I need to make it one by one. This is the reason why I need language filtering on this page.

  9. String translations :
    – Search fields should include the option to filter by translation status, to display “Not translated” “partial” translations (= with at least one existing translation, meaning that it is of some interest to finalise it), and “completed” translations to reduce translations that have to be revised.

    – And yes, as read before, allowing to sort by String alphabetically would make much sense !

    – No that you added the quick popup, when scrolling down we lose the focus on which language is on which column. this should be fixed by locking the columns titles section on top of the screen to see it until moving out of the bottom of the columns container.

    – Allow to export .po files in english. I don’t see the reason to restrict this.

    New translation editor :
    – should open as popup and allow “Switch to next”. This would make a huge time gain improvement.

    NB: After installing the Beta from the channel inside WP, I was able to use the String translations new interface and add it to the translation queue, but I didn’t see it in my translation jobs.

    • Hi Thibault – Thanks for your additional comments. I’ll pass these along to our developers.

      Some of these features we already have:

      • The search options on the String Translation page include a “Display” dropdown. This allows you to search for partially translated strings, completed string translations, strings that still need translations, and strings that are waiting for a translator.
      • You can also export PO files in any of your languages in the “Import/export .po” section on the String Translation page. This always includes your default language, and you can also choose to include the translations in one of your secondary languages.

      To be sure I’m understanding your comment about the new translation editor – is this asking to move between translation jobs within the Advanced Translation Editor without returning to the translation queue?

      Regarding seeing the string translation jobs in your queue, can you share the steps you’re following? If you’re not seeing them in your personal translation queue (WPML → Translations), it could be that you may not have your account set up for those language pairs (this is adjustable in the Translation Roles tab). If you send multiple strings for translation at once, there won’t be individual jobs for each string. The strings are bundled into one job per language.

  10. All right thanks I missed those points indeed.
    I would eventually suggest then to allow to select as many languages as wanted for the .po files.

    About my string translations not appearing in my translation “queue”, but neither in “Jobs” I don’t have much time to investigate here but if it might help, I dont see a “strings” Type in the Translation queue filter, which I expected to see near to the Posts & Pages types.

    • Thank you, Thibault. If you go to WPML → Translations, there is a dropdown to filter by type: pages, posts, and strings (if you have this type of job in your queue). Our team is investigating a possible issue with the filtering not working correctly in the beta, but we’re working on it for the development release.

  11. Hi, just mentioning that I start looking for an alternative to WPML after all those years, as you went ahead with those degraded UI changes (mainly: can’t see all translations anymore in one view) , while the performance issues are only partly solved over that long time.
    You’re trying to sell in your best Trumpish that instead of 7 clicks now there is just one (which is a lie, and besides having to click tabs is far worse than a mouseclick). Not that Amir will care as I’m on a lifetime and we saw earlier in Toolset that those on lifetime are the rats of society and should be forever banished from the internet.
    Forgive me my little rant of frustration, I did like WPML, and who knows perhaps I don’t find anything ‘better’ (mainly in performance and db queries vs usability), but it’s my believe that it’s never a bad thing to shake the tree.

    • Hi Filip – Thanks for your feedback. It’s helpful to know that you prefer to see all the translations in one view. Since this interface is still new to many clients, we’re still collecting feedback to see how to build on it and improve it in the future. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  12. Hi Allison, I wrote here the same two months ago and apparently it was deemed not important enough since nothing was done with the feedback 😉

    • Hi Filip – I remember! 🙂 We only released the production version of WPML 4.4 in the last month, so we’re still gathering feedback from clients. If we start to receive similar feedback from more clients about this, we’ll revisit the design of the page and make some improvements with this in mind. Thanks again for your comments!