Translator’s Workplace (TW) is a collection of electronic reference resource for translators, including Bible versions, original language texts, dictionaries, translation helps, commentaries, maps, articles, and books.
It also includes the Biblical Analysis Research Tool (BART) that provides research tools for studying the original Hebrew & Greek language texts.
Translator's Workplace Folio edition 5.1 is recommended for Windows 7, 8 and 10. It costs $50 and includes new and updated resources. You can order it on the sil.org website and download it rather than waiting for a DVD to be mailed.
If you need to install the older version 5, there is a workaround to enable it to run on Windows 7 and 8:
TW 5.0 was supplied on a DVD.
- Insert TW 5.0 DVD and autorun should start the installation. If not, look for the setup file on the DVD.
- Select: Install Translator’s Workplace 5.0
- Be ready to enter the Key code that you were given, either by email or in the box with the DVD.
Windows 64-bit (XP to 8.1)
Any version of TW Folio (whether 5.1, 5.0 or even 4.0) on 64 bit Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 8.1; but not 10) should be set to run in compability mode. If you don't set this, the Folio program will never open TW, but stay forever at the first "logo" or "splash" screen. To check if your computer is 64 bit, go to Control Panel > System and read the info. It should say either 64 bit or 32 bit below the Windows version. Another giveaway if you have 64 bit Windows, your C drive will almost certainly have a "Program Files" folder and a "Program Files (x86)" folder. If you have 32 bit Windows, there will just be one "Program Files" folder. Note: Compatibility is not needed for WIndows 10, whether it is 64 bit or not.
To set to run in compatibility mode:
- After installing the TW program, immediately right-click the "Translator s Workplace" shortcut icon. (In Windows 8, go to the Desktop to right click the icon. There may be a tile for TW, but it won't let you get to the compatibility mode settings).
- Select Properties Compatibility tab and check "Run this program in compatibility mode for:".
- For Windows 8 and 8.1 select Windows 7. For Windows XP through Windows 7 select the version of Windows installed on your computer.
If you have set TW to run in compatibility with Windows XP, Windows will ask every time you open the program if you want to permit this program to make changes to your computer. Also, if you have it set to run in compatibility with Windows XP, you will need to set Paratext and BART to also run in compatibility with XP in order for the programs to scroll together. But if you set compatibility for a later version of Windows, setting compatiblity for BART or Paratext is not necessary.
The correct TW 5.0 program location for 64-bit is "Program files (x86)\SIL\TW5".
The various registry entries for TW will also be found under (x86) divisions.
We have found that the compatibility setting needed in 64 bit versions of earlier Windows is not needed in 64 bit Windows 10. If you upgraded to Windows 10 from an earlier version, and notice that TW Folio is frequently freezing up, go to the Compatibility setting and uncheck "Run this program in compatibility mode for ..."
You may come across people with earlier versions of TW who have not installed it correctly. This is always the case if they must insert the CD in order to access the content. You can solve this problem for them by using the Copy Infobases feature.
- Go the the Advanced menu and choose Organise Infobases
- Insert the CD or DVD
- Copy the files from the CD to the local directory on the opposite side.
Designing an Optimal Workplace
Hide View tabs
View tabs show beneath book windows. You can hide them by pressing Alt + T or clicking the button at the bottom of the window.
Opening resources one at a time is very time consuming. The preferred way to do it is to:
- Go to the file menu and choose Infobases to open...
- Return to the Translator's Workplace Menu Window and click once on every book or resource that you want to open. As you do they are added to the list in the Infobases to open... window.
- Then click the button Open infobases.
The Easy Way
Go to the Window menu and choose Tile horizontally or Tile vertically.
You do have some control over which window gets placed first. Before tiling, click on the window that you want in the top lefthand corner. It will be placed there when tiling. To do more than that it gets tricky. you could click the first 5 windows you want arranged, and it will arrange them horizontally or vertically in the reverse order that you clicked on them in.
Like a more controlled solution? Try this
You can arrange windows with the help of the Arrange TW Windows... dialog box.
- Click on Window | Arrange TW Windows...
- A small guide window pops up containing numeros window configurations.
- Choose one of the lettered windows that has the right size and placement of the way you want to position the active window.
- Now, first click on an open window that you want to be positioned in that way, then click on the lettered window in the Arrange Window guide.
- One by one, process all the open windows till you are satisfied with the arrangement.
Scrolling with other translation Software
With the icons on the top, there is a group that manages scrolling.
- Select Receive scripture refs, Send scripture refs and Immediately scroll to scripture refs.
- Now tell TW to save settings on exit. Go to the File menu and tell it to Save Settings on Exit
- Exit TW and restart it
- As soon as everything is setup the way you like it, uncheck the line: File … Save Settings on Exit
Saving the Desktop
There is a Save Desktop icon on top that allows you to save a combination of infobases and to open it easily the next time you use TW. Choose a name to indicate the type of materials being saved, or name the desktop "Startup", in which case it will open automatically with TW.
This is perhaps the biggest timesaver of all.
You can open and use multiple windows of Translator's Workplace and BART. You can create and save different desktops for different purposes (e.g. "Greek Word Studies" or "Indonesian Bibles") Then you can load these different desktops into the different windows of TW or BART running on your computer. Then you can quickly switch between the different TW window displays.
A more advanced strategy is outlined below.
- Find out where the TW work directory is
- Right click on the TW Icon on your desktop and choose Properties
- Look at the line that says "Start in..." or "Working Directory" and you will see the path.
- Create subdirectories in TW work, such as:
- TW NT Exegesis
- TW OT Exegesis
- TW English Bibles
- Arrange the infobases according to these themes and save the desktop as "Startup" in the appropriate subdirectory.
- Now make two copies of the TW shortcut on the desktop.
- Rename the shortcuts: TW NT Exegesis, TW OT Exegesis, etc. also renaming the original shortcut.
- Edit the shortcuts and change the startup directory for TW to be the corresponding subdirectory under TW work.
Now each of the shortcuts will open a different set of TW materials! And you can even load them all at once with several copies of TW running at the same time.