ApSIC Xbench is a terminology management and translation quality control tool with 2 versions: 2.9 (free) and 3.0 (paid). Though version 2.9 is a good starting point for you to familiarize yourself with the tool, we recommend investing in Xbench 3.0, since this version is more robust, and compatible with more resources and settings, besides having technical support from ApSIC. Satsuma, as well as the clients we work with, recommends the use of Xbench 3.0 for QA checks.
The QA reports generated in Xbench 3.0 are able to differentiate fuzzy, 100%, and ICE segments, show inconsistencies in links, symbols (such as quotation marks and parentheses), leading and trailing spaces, and several other resources that help refine your quality assessment.
Check the table below for a comparison of the resources found in both versions of ApSIC Xbench.
|Resources||Xbench 2.9||Xbench 3.0||Notes|
|Spellchecking||✓*||✓||In version 2.9 you need to manually download and install spellchecking dictionaries, while in version 3.0 this is done automatically within the tool.|
|Customized checklists||✓*||✓||Some regular expressions (RegEx) don’t work on Xbench 2.9, which limits the checklist’s functionality.|
|Check untranslated segments||✓||✓|
|Check inconsistencies between source and target||✓||✓|
|Check tag inconsistencies||✓||✓|
|Check if target equals source||✓||✓|
|Check numerical inconsistencies||✓||✓|
|Check double spaces||✓||✓|
|Check repeated words||✓||✓|
|Check key terms inconsistencies||✓||✓|
|Check URL inconsistencies||✓|
|Check alphanumerical inconsistencies||✓|
|Check unpaired symbols||✓|
|Check unpaired quotation marks||✓|
|Check leading/trailing spaces||✓|
|Check CamelCase inconsistencies||✓|
|Check all upper case words inconsistencies||✓|
|Option to verify only 100% segments||✓|
|Option to exclude ICE segments from the verification||✓|
|Option to ignore tags in the verification||✓|
|Integration with MemoQ||✓|
|Unicode characters support||✓|
|Plugins and extensions for the most used translation tools||✓|
|ApSIC technical support||✓||Version 2.9 had its development frozen since the launch of version 3.0 and will soon stop receiving technical support.|
When it comes to spending money, only you can decide what’s best for you based on your income and needs. With that said, the resources of Xbench 3.0 outrank those of Xbench 2.9, making it a much more reliable tool to check your translation and correct errors before sending your work back to the client.
Another aspect to consider is that most LSPs use Xbench 3.0 in their translation and review processes and will expect you to provide top-quality translations, regardless of the tool version you use. So if you can’t make the investment in Xbench 3.0 at the moment, consider applying manual checks to your review process so you can spot and correct the errors that version 2.9 doesn’t catch. It’s not going to be as easy and practical as using Xbench 3.0, but it’s a start.
Now that you know the main differences between Xbench 2.9 and 3.0, tell us: what is your preferred version to work with and why? And if you work with Xbench 2.9, how do you manage to work around the tool’s blind spots to deliver top-quality translations?