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Opening Wordfast

Basic set-up

Basic set up is now completed.

Close the dialog. You will be prompted to save changes to wordfast.ini . Save the changes and the dialog box will close itself - It might take up to a few seconds to save wordfast.ini

Wordfast is now set up. I have saved the first page of this tutorial in Word format. You can download it HERE (29 Kb) and use it to test Worfast. You can use any document of course, but I recommand you start with a document containing little or no formating. Use a new TM to avoid creating unneeded TM entries. Ready ? Well, Get to work !

Setting up a glossary

Every once in a while, a client will ask you to work with a terminology glossary. A typical glossary simply consist of entries in the Source language, followed by their equivalent in the Target language, and in some cases, of diverses informations, such as the definition of the term. Wordfast glossaries are in tab delimited text format, and support three columns : source, target, and optionnally a comment (such as a definition,...)

If your glossary is not in that format already, you can easily change it in most cases by a simple conversion. There are too many possible formats to cover them all here. I will cover Trados Multiterm support in a later section addressing compatibility issues between Trados and Wordfast.

Wordfast latest versions can also open glossaries in Excel format (*.xls) and Trados Multiterm format (*.mtw). This will cover most cases. There are still uncountable proprietary formats around, but most of them can be converted in Wordfast format.

If your glossary is already in the appropriate format, simply click on the tab "QC", "Glossary", and on "select a glossary"

When importing is done, you will see your glossary's path below the "Edit..." buttons. Click on "Sort" to allow Wordfast to sort the glossary entries.


Tab delimited format is a simple text document where different type of data are separed by tabulations and hard return (Enter)

I.E: Imagine an address book. The first column contain the name, the second column contains the phone number, ...Each line reffers to a different person. In tab delimited format, this would be :

Joe Blow [tab] 1234567890 [enter]
Bob Jones [tab] 567889670 [enter]

Simple. (Of course, you do not write "[tab]" and "[enter]" in the file. You just press the keys)


Setting up a translation memory

Translation Memory (TM) is the heart and soul of CATs. The picture on the left show Wordfast translation tab as you will see it the first time you open it.

If you already have a translation memory you would like to use, click on "Open TM" and select your translation memory.

At this time, Wordfast support translation memories in the following formats :

Text "*.txt", Translation Memory eXchange "*.tmx", Trados TMs "*.tmw", Trados *.txt exports and IBM Translation Manager EXP files.

Note : Opening a translation memory may take a short while depending on your system and the size of the TM you import.

If you do not have a translation memory for the project you are working on, or that you want to use a new TM, simply click on "New TM" and follow the instructions.

As a suggestion, I recommand you create a folder to store all your translation memories, and that you maintain at least one translation memory per subject you are translating. For instance, you are very unlikely to be able to re-use past IT translation when translating a car manual, or a financial statement. Actually, best is to have one translation per subject for a single client. If you want to, you will always be able to merge diverse TMs if you think it might be usefull for the project you are handling.


Entering your registration #

To open Wordfast, click on the button shown previously. Wordfast's tool bar will deploy itself as you can see on the picture on the right. It also create an additionnal menu

To access Wordfast dialog, click on the last icon on the right, . Wordfast dialog will open as shown in the picture below.

Enter your licence number in the field and close the dialog. You will be asked if you want to save your settings in wordfast.ini. Click "Yes". Re-open your dialog box as previously. You should see the license number appear in the text box.

Your copy of wordfast is now registered and unlimited in use. :)

The next thing to do is to Set up a translation memory.

Trados is another CAT tool for professionnal translators. Currently the leader on the market. Many agencies will request you to work with Trados, not knowing that the vast majority of "Trados-only" projects can be handled in Wordfast quite easily, and, I dare say, it is somewhat more convenient to use Wordfast in many cases. It has been now a couple months I haven't worked on anything but "Trados only" projects, to my clients' satisfaction, using Wordfast. As this is a subject on its own right, I will devote a few pages to develop on compatibility issues between Wordfast and Trados later on. CLICK HERE FOR THE FIRST DRAFT on that subject.

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Wizard translations has moved to a new website and offers English-French translations services and translation management essentially, but also handles multi-lingual projects, in collaboration with a number of selected translators around the world. Updated content and tutorials

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