Translation Workflow

The Idle String Rule

Idle strings are strings that have remained in a workflow step for longer than intended and are blocking the translation process. For example, a string that has been idle for two days has remained in a workflow step for two days longer than specified by the customer. 

Idle string rules are a component of dynamic workflows that prevent idle strings (and workflow steps) from becoming a bottleneck.

They do this by:

  • Sending a reminder email to users that strings are idle.
  • Submitting strings to the next workflow step after a specified number of days.
  • Sending a confirmation email after submitting the strings.

The idle string notifications listed above are sent to users regardless if their Global Notification Preferences are disabled.

Working with idle strings

Since moving strings back to a previous workflow step can be labor-intensive, Smartling recommends setting up procedures to ensure that only idle strings that should be moved forward are affected. Consider configuring your rules to send email reminders to Account Owners and Project Managers before strings are submitted.

The timeframe in which the string is idle is known as the idle duration. The idle duration typically commences when the string transitions to a workflow step, however, this can be overwritten if the string is pre-published in the meantime. This means that the idle duration commences from either when the string moves into a workflow step or from when the string is pre-published, whichever comes last.

Smartling will check for idle strings once a day. If, for example, you have set the configuration to move strings after 2 days, it could be up to a further 24 hours before the string moves.

Create an Idle String Rule

  1. On a supported workflow step (Edit, Review, or Post-Machine Revision), click the down arrow and select Manage Step.
  2. In the dialog that appears, turn on Idle Strings.


  3. (Optional) Select Only count weekdays.
  4. Click Add New Rule.
  5. In the menu, select the Language(s) for which you want to create the rule. 
  6. In the menus, specify when to Send Reminder Email before the string is moved and when to Move String to the next step. 
  7. Under Reminder Recipients, add the email addresses of the users you want to remind. Optionally, select Send emails to Linguists assigned to step. 
  8. Click Save.

Delete an Idle String Rule

  1. On a workflow step with an idle string rule, click the down arrow and select Manage Step
  2. In the dialog that appears, under Idle Strings, do one of the following: 
    • To delete all idle string rules, turn off Idle Strings.
    • To delete a single rule, click the trash can icon. 
  3. Click Save.


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