Best CAT Tool

Hi all,

I am thinking about investing in a CAT tool and am testing TRADOS on free trial for a month. At the moment I'm really struggling with it and I would say it's slowing me down rather than helping me to work faster. I don't find it at all intuitive or user-friendly.

I'd like to know what other translators think and use and if I just need to persist with TRADOS.

There's a new video just been published: "First steps with Wordfast Pro 4"


As well as CATguru's videos (see previous link), I would also recommend Wordfast's own video tutorials:

Thank you both so much! I did use the wizard but I foolishly assumed it would produce an Excel file with the English next to the French, as Andrew says, and as usual I jumped in without checking. I did eventually manage to get my translation onto an Excel file, but for some reason some of it wasn't translated, even though I'd checked and double checked. However, I did get the file to the client in time, so that's the main thing.

I will take a look at the video and perhaps experiment with a shorter file!

The actual translating process was very quick (lots of keywords and v repetitive) so that was great, I just need to get used to how it works.

Wendy take a look at this video tutorial that explains things quite well;

Sorry, I wasn't around either, Wendy. I've had those moments! I only ever translated word files using wordfast, I had one client for excel files but everything had to be translated in the next column giving a result in both languages. I may be a little out of date too as I stopped translating over three years ago :-(

Sorry, I wasn't around online.

When you say you couldn't get at the finished file I'm not quite sure what you mean? You couldn't find the file itself? Or you couldn't see the translation in that file? When you work on an Excel file Wordfast normally starts with an Excel 'wizard' where it asks you about column headings etc.

Panic over, had to virtually redo it...are there any secrets to translating Excel files with Wordfast?

Andrew...Catharine are you there!! I've just translated an Excel file with Wordfast, but I don't know how to get at the finished file...HELP!!

Yes, only 500 segments but then you open a new memory et ainsi de suite ;-)

I used wordfast for years and translated well over a million words with the free version. When agencies asked for the unclean version of translations (in Trados) I sent them the unclean wordfast version and they couldn't tell the difference ;-)

Andrew: I honestly don't feel limited by Wordfast (note I used quotation marks!), and although I've never used Trados I'm sure Wordfast more than holds its own. Its just that when you're a Mac user Wordfast (and Omega T) are the only CAT tools available to you.

Wendy: There's a trial version of Wordfast in which you're limited to 500 segments I think. Otherwise you have to buy it. The only CAT tool I know which is totally free is Omega T.

Thanks Andrew, I've already had a go this afternoon and it is much easier to use than Trados. So there's a free version of Wordfast, I will have to investigate that.

You're not "limited", Catharine - wordfast is just as good as trados (which is sooo heavy) and doesn't crash all the time, plus it's free! Said it all, Wendy, go for wordfast ;-)

I don't use Trados as I'm a Mac user, so I'm 'limited' to Wordfast (which I like).

I have heard it said however that Trados is market leader not so much because it's the best, but just because it's the most widely used and does the most hard sell. Recently I've heard colleagues speak of Memo Q in good terms. If you don't have clients that insist that you use Trados I would perhaps do a free trial of another CAT tool to see if you get along with it any better.