Capturing Visual Context

Manual Upload of Visual Context

Visual Context provides a visual representation of the source content to Translators and Editors as they translate your content. It helps Translators make linguistic, layout, and spacing decisions based on where strings appear in on your website, mobile or desktop application, and is a very effective way to ensure high-quality translations. Visual Context is displayed prominently in the Smartling CAT Tool.

This article explores:

Automatic & Manual Options

Visual Context for any website or web application can be captured automatically by using Smartling’s JavaScript Library, an API integration. Smartling’s Global Delivery Network even automatically captures Visual Context as part of the native integration (see Overview of Visual Context for more information). 

If you have limited developer resources, Visual Context can still be captured manually by using Smartling’s Visual Context Crawler, Context Capture Google Chrome Extension, or by uploading an HTML or image file via the Smartling Dashboard.

HTML Context

HTML resources from the content you are translating; examples include websites and apps, including desktop, mobile, or other form factors, as well as HTML email templates. One of the benefits of HTML context is that it is dynamic, allowing linguists to visualize their translations in real-time, rather than simply referring to an image of the source content.

HTML context is automatically deleted after 48 hours if the context is not mapped to any strings.

Image Context

You can upload any image file format containing a visual representation of the content that you intend to translate in Smartling. This is the most universal method of Visual Context, as you can feasibly provide screenshots from any source content-type. Image Context can either be matched to strings automatically using OCR (optical character recognition), or by manually mapping the strings to the image within the Smartling Dashboard. Image Context is commonly used for native mobile apps because HTML is not available for them.

Smartling also supports video as a convenient way to provide screenshots for translators. For more information, see the Video Upload for Image Context Extraction.

Optical Character Recognition

Smartling uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to automatically match the text in images to your content. You can choose to match the text in the image with strings in your entire project, or in a specific file in the project. Matching can be reviewed and modified manually, after the automatic recognition has taken place.

For OCR to work, make sure your source content (strings) have been uploaded to Smartling before you upload your screenshot.

The Image Context API can be used to automate the upload of context images. Unfortunately, image context is not dynamic, and will not display the translated text the same way as HTML context. In other words, if the length of your translated text is longer or shorter than the original text on the site, your translated text won't automatically scale/adjust to the allotted space on the site.

See Review and Troubleshooting OCR for more information.

Upload Visual Context to Smartling

  1. Go to your Smartling project
  2. Upload content for translation
    • Once the content file has been uploaded, you can choose to authorize the Job and then upload context, or leave it in Awaiting Authorization and proceed to upload context
  3. Next, click the Context tab in your project
  4. Click Upload ContextScreenshot_2021-09-08_at_19.47.46.png
  5. Drag and drop the HTML or image file directly to the wizard, or click Select File to open and select a file to upload from your local drive
  6. Click Upload
  7. Next, choose to match text in the context file with all strings in the project, or select a specific file from the dropdown list of all files in the projectScreenshot_2021-09-08_at_19.49.07.png
  8. Click Upload
  9. A success message will appear at the bottom of the screen, confirming the number of strings that have been match to the context fileScreenshot_2021-09-08_at_19.51.25.png


Bulk-Upload Images Context

  1. Do one of the following:
    • In the New Experience, from a project, click the Context tab and then click Image Context
    • In the Classic Experience, go to Projects > Content > Image Context
  2. Click Upload Files
  3. Drag and drop images directly onto the page, or browse for files to upload. You can add a single file or multiple files at once. 
    • You can select up to 100 files, with a size limit of 10 MB per file.
    • Context files are processed one at a time for any string matches within the project.
  4. Once each file has finished processing, you can click the context file and review the strings that were automatically mapped to the context by OCR.
    • You can remove any strings mapping by clicking the X on the string match
  5. To manually map strings with context, click and drag your pointer on the image. 
  6. Type the string in the text box and select the corresponding source string from your content list.

The context will be applied to that string(s) in the CAT Tool (not the entire job).

Upload Image Context via the Job Details

  • Go to a project
  • Click a Job name to enter the Job Details
  • In the Context Coverage panel (left), click Add Context
  • From the upload wizard, click Browse to open your locale drive a select a single image file to upload
  • Multi-select is not supported here
  • Click Add Context

OCR is automatically performed on the image file. If the text on the images match the strings in the Job, they will automatically be applied to the strings in the CAT Tool


Upload Images via the Strings View

To add context to your strings with images: 

  1. Click the Strings tab. 
  2. Select the checkbox next to the strings(s) you want to add context to. 
  3. Click Actions and select Add Context.
  4. In the dialog that appears, click Browse and select the .png or .jpeg image to add. 
  5. Click Add Context. The updated context will be visible in the CAT tool. 

Add Screenshots to Your Strings (Classic)

 You can add context to your string(s) by doing the following:

  1. Go to Jobs > select a job > View all strings.
  2. Select your string(s) and click Actions > Add Context, then upload your context (.jpg or .png files).
    • If you had previous context for those strings, it will be overwritten with the new context.
    • If some strings are not recognized, it's also possible to add context manually on the context page.

When you launch the CAT tool, you'll see your uploaded context for your string(s).

For steps to review strings automatically match by OCR, manually match alternative strings, and troubleshooting OCR, read Review & Troubleshoot OCR

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