String ordering refers to the sequence in which the strings of your content are displayed in Smartling. You'll find the strings in two main areas in the platform, the Strings View (account and project) and the CAT Tool, and depending on how your source file was ingested into Smarting, the two areas can display the same content in different sequences.
Default String Order
When a file is uploaded into Smartling (ingested), the default string order in the Strings View and in the CAT Tool is the same order as in the source file.
An exception to this rule is in PowerPoint files, where the default string order is the order of the text boxes containing the strings, which may not be the same sequence as how they are displayed in the file.
Let's explore the factors of string ordering with the example file below.
Example Source File
The Strings View displays strings in the order of strings in the source file.
Strings View CSV Export
The export of the Strings View is ordered by string hashcodes.
The CAT Tool displays and numbers strings in the same order as strings in the source file. However, in the CAT Tool, Visual Context takes precedence over the source file order as this is what linguists need to work with to visualize their translations. Therefore, when Visual Context is included in the Job, the matched strings display in the same sequence as seen in the context panel. This results in the string numbering being "out of order" as well.
The string order in the CAT Tool can always be adjusted to that of the String Number, which is the order of strings in the source file.
Out of Order
In addition to Visual Context, other causes of discrepancies in ordering includes when the content is modified or added to the source file.
For example, uploading a resource file that has no key nesting, will result in the strings being displayed in Smartling in the same sequence as the file, as expected. However, if that file is modified by adding strings to the beginning or middle of the file (not just the end), the string order in Smartling will not mirror the new order of the source file; the string that is added to the file last will be the last string to be displayed in Smartling, regardless of where is it positioned in the source file.
The order of the strings depends on many technical variables including parsing, context, updates to source content etc. Smartling cannot guarantee the order of the strings will always match that of the content within the file.