CAT Tool Overview
The Smartling CAT (computer-aided translation) tool is where a Translator or Editor, will be translating, editing, and submitting content. Account Owners and Project Managers can also access the CAT Tool, however as these are not translation user roles, strings are locked by default. To unlock the strings, click the padlock icon on the shortcuts bar.
Depending on your user role and the method in which you access the CAT Tool, the content displayed can have varied results. See Accessing the CAT Tool for more information.
Once you enter the CAT Tool, a new tab opens in your browser. Below lists the navigation of the CAT Tool, with details of each feature.
- Job Briefing
- Quality Assurance
- Search TM (Translation Memory)
- QA Export
- Keyboard Shortcuts
- Personal Dictionary
- Job Attachments
- Ignore Quality Checks
- Find and Replace
- Show/Hide Locked Strings
- Special Characters
- Toggle Case
- Toggle Tags
- Strings and Segments
- Fuzzy Match
- String Level Matches
- Bottom Bar Explained
- Save a String (for Translators)
- Confirm a String (for Editors)
- Reject Translations
- Submit Translations
- Draft Mode and Internet Connection Issues
Each of the tabs listed at the top of the CAT Tool are important functions which, when clicked, change the display in the central window view. Below is an overview of each tab function.
This is the default view when opening the CAT Tool from the Jobs Dashboard. This is essentially a "book cover" for the Job, containing any important information for translation users to review before starting work on the Job. It includes the Job name, description, the account name, project name, the target language and the workflow step the user is working on. Any Job Attachments will be hyperlinked here for download, as well as the project Style Guide. Most of these details can be still found under Additional Details.
Visual Context provides a visual representation of the source content you are translating in the CAT Tool. Visual Context can be either static or dynamic, depending on the source file type;
- Static Visual Context has a fixed presentation in the CAT Tool, meaning that context will not update with translations in real-time.
- Dynamic Visual Context is changeable, meaning that context can update with translations in real-time, as you translate each string.
Visual Context is found within the Context tab in the CAT Tool. This Context window is responsive and resizable.
- To open the Context window in a new window, click the gear icon and select New Window (pictured). This is useful for when you want to view context independently and use a function within another tab - such as run a QA check, search the TM or search the glossary.
- You can also click and drag the gear wheel to another area within the Context window.
- Visual Context deriving from HTML content will provide the additional options view the source or target language in the display, as well as viewing the context in Desktop, Tablet or Mobile Mode.
- To resize the Context window, click and drag the window up or down from the bottom (pictured), or, left or right from the right side of the window.
- To collapse the Context window, click the arrows (pictured).
Looking for information about video context? See the Video Translation Overview article.
At any time, you can run a quality check on your translated strings. The Quality Check feature checks for translation consistency, spacing consistency, spelling, and any other quality riles the Account Owner or Project Manager on the account may have configured in Quality Check Options. Running a Quality Check will check all strings in the Job, even if the Job has multiple pages in the CAT Tool.
- In the CAT tool, select the Quality Assurance tab to run quality checks on all translations in the Job. This creates a report of all errors detected in your translations. A string with a translation error will show a warning icon next to it. The color of the warning icon depends on the severity of the error.
- Click on a quality check to bring you directly to the string that needs attention. The report updates itself in real-time. Once you are certain that you have fixed all quality errors, you are ready to submit your translations.
Search TM (Translation Memory)
To search the translation memory, click the Search TM tab and type the source term in the search box. Search will return any TM entries containing the searched term, displayed as source and target string, the user who created the entry, the respective TM name, date the entry was last modified, and published status (if applicable). If the entry has been saved, but the translation is not yet published, "Published" will not be displayed.
- Toggle between target languages using the language dropdown menu.
- Click the date fields to filter for TM entries translated before or after a certain date.
- Click New Window to open the Search TM window in a new separate window.
- Check the Search Target tick box to search the TM for a term in a target language.
- Check the Published Only tick box to search the TM for published strings only. (Entries can be saved
- Check the Match Case tick box to refine your search by case sensitivity.
- Check the Exact Match tick box to refine your search by exactly matching the term entered in the search box.
Inserting TM Entries
Click Insert TM to quickly add a TM entry into the string. Ensure the string selected in the strings panel is the correct string you want to add the TM entry to. Re-clicking Insert TM will re-insert the TM entry. Ensure to move your string selection before inserting a TM to avoid multiple entries inserted on the one string (pictured).
To open the glossary, click the Glossary tab. If you have access to multiple Glossaries, you can select the Glossary from the dropdown menu.
- By default, all Glossary entries are listed. Use the search box to find a specific term.
- The display includes the source term, the translation, the definition, and any notes.
- Hover over the information icon to view more detail including the part of speech, the Glossary name, the timestamp the entry was last modified and any custom field information (if applicable).
- To insert the Glossary entry, click the downward arrow.
Glossary terms are underlined with a dotted black line. To view the Glossary entry details, hover over the term.
- To edit the glossary term, click the pencil icon.
- To insert a glossary term in the target segment, click insert
Smartling also runs a glossary match of different forms of a word (such as run, ran, running). For example, in the source, the term "currency" will match against "Currencies" in the glossary. Likewise, "Ran for food" will match against "run for food". This only applies to English source terms.
For more information on this topic, see Add or Edit a Glossary Term.
Next to the tabs are the action buttons that impact the translations and state of the Job. Depending on the workflow step you enter the CAT Tool on, you may see two or three action buttons.
When entering the CAT Tool on a review or edit step, you will see the additional Reject All action button. Clicking this will reject all translations in the Job and move it back to the translation step. A reject dialog will appear where you must provide the reason for rejecting from a dropdown list along with a short description to highlight improvements to the translator. Once complete, and you click Reject, a translation Issue is sent to the translator and the Job is moved back to the translation step.
Click Save All to save all translations in the Job. This action updates the translation memory. It is recommended that you click Save All before Submit.
Click Submit to submit the translations to the next step in the workflow. Choose to submit the number of saved translations in this job (recommended after you click Save All), saved translations on the current page, or, translated strings on this page. This action cannot be undone.
To the right of the action buttons are three dropdown menus.
As a Translator, you have the option to export a bilingual CSV or DOCX file of all saved translations in the current job. This does not include drafts. Exporting translations is commonly done when a third party is used to run quality assurance. For example, you may specifically want to run a Microsoft Word spell check.
QA Export is only available when the CAT tool is filtered by Job. If it's not filtered by a job, click Filter and select a job from within the dropdown menu.
To export your translations, click the QA Export menu and select either:
- Export Job as CSV
- Export Job as DOCX
(Any tags that appear in the source/target translations in the CAT tool will be removed upon export.)
There is no import option.
If you ever need support, click the Help dropdown and select from the following options:
- Help Center: a direct link to the Smartling Help Center
- Release Notes: a direct link to Smartling Release Notes
- Contact Support: a direct link to contact Smartling Technical Support
- Get a short URL for this page: a short URL of the CAT Tool page to share with another user on the account or Smartling Technical Support. You can always use the URL in the browser, but this is usually very long.
The CAT Tool can be customized to suit you and the way you work. It is recommended that you spend some time updating the CAT Tool settings.
Keyboard shortcuts are instrumental in getting the work done fast. You can modify the keyboard profile and any keyboard shortcut listed.
- Settings > Keyboard Shortcuts
- If you've worked in other CAT Tools, you can modify the keyboard short profile from the dropdown
- Modify any shortcut by simply clicking the field and pressing the shortcut
- Click Save
Many of the shortcuts are also found on the shortcuts bar, above the strings. Hover over the following keyboard shortcuts to reveal functionality and shortcuts. You can update any of them anytime from the settings.
If a keyboard shortcut you're familiar with isn't working, make sure to check your settings so that it doesn't conflict with your preset shortcut.
For more information on this topic, see Customize CAT Tool Behavior.
In your settings, you can adjust the following:
Pre-population is when fuzzy matches are pre-populated within the CAT Tool.
- Pre-populate TM Match Threshold (%): Minimum fuzzy match % for which pre-population will occur.
- Pre-populate TM matches: Turns on the feature.
- Pre-populate machine translation if there's no TM match available over X%: You can set the threshold for the TM and MT pre-population. If pre-population machine translation is enabled, and there's no fuzzy match available above the threshold that has been set, the CAT tool with then pre-populate machine translation.
Pre-population does not overwrite translations that have already been loaded in the CAT Tool.
For repetitions, this means that as soon as the translation for the first instance of the repetition is saved, that translation will pre-populate throughout all the repetitions within the Job because they will be a 100% fuzzy match. Any changes to that translation will need to be made manually throughout each repetition string separately.
Auto-propagation is an automated way to keep the translations for string repetitions in sync across any given Job.
- Auto-propagate updates to 100% repetitions across all pages (if content is in a job) or current page: If you have two or more draft or saved translations that are 100% matches, updating one of them will automatically update / auto-propagate the others (across all pages), provided that your content is in a Job. Auto-propagation is at the segment level (not string level), and the segment needs to be saved before it gets saved to the TM. Any other translations that have been auto-propagated will also need to be saved.
- Notify before auto-propagating (recommended): By default, this setting is enabled. If you change one of the draft or saved translations, the Overwrite Translation dialog box will appear for you to confirm your action.
- Save auto-propagated strings: If this is turned OFF, repetitions will still be propagated, but they're simply a draft.
This feature can only be accessed if the CAT tool is filtered by a Job.
Enable to replace straight quotes with smart quotes. Available for Czech, French, German, Greek, Hungarian and Norwegian languages.
Glossary Terms, Tags, and Placeholders
When you start to type a glossary term, tag, or placeholder in the target field, you'll be presented with options which you can select from. If there are multiple items, you can use the arrow keys to go up or down.
If you're using the Smartling keyboard profile, use "Enter" to insert the item. For Trados and MemoQ, use the "Tab" key. (If not already configured, it can be done from within the Keyboard Shortcuts menu.)
- Tag values: Enabling this feature will show HTML tags in strings and segments.
- Spaces between words: Enabling this feature creates a dot in the place of a space.
- TM information: Enabling this feature displays TM extra information in Language Resource panel. Extra information includes the entry's status (published or unpublished), the username and timestamp it was last used, and the TM the entry is stored in.
Insertable Bar Settings
Choose from the dropdown which special characters appear in the insertable bar above the editor. Additionally, a keyboard shortcut can be configured for each special character under Keyboard Shortcuts.
Change the default font option to your preferred font and size.
Chosse to see a warning when saving an unedited fuzzy match
For more information on this topic, see Customize CAT Tool Behavior.
Sometimes you'll see words are underlined in the CAT tool, suggesting that there's a spelling error, when in fact, there isn't. The personal dictionary feature allows you to add words to a dictionary that only applies to you. (You can also remove words.) Once this is done, these words will no longer be marked as containing spelling errors.
To add a term to the personal dictionary:
- Go to the CAT Tool > Settings > Personal Dictionary.
- Type in the word and click Add.
- Click X next to the term you want to delete.
- Click Save.
For more information on this topic, see Customize CAT Tool Behavior.
On the right side of your screen, lists a number of panels which contain vital information. The panels are collapsible so ensure the arrow beside each panel title is pointing downward to expand the view of each. Additionally, you can click and drag to further expand each view.
From this section, you can view important information about the active string and Job, such as:
- String variant (flagged by a red number beside Additional Details)
- Source character count
- Translation character count
- source file name
- File attachment (downloadable)
- File instructions
- String hashcode
- Glossary name
- Style Guide (downloadable)
- Job Attachment (downloadable)
- Job Details (including description and custom field info)
Additionally, Account Owner, Project Manager, and Requester users can set character limits to strings from here.
In this panel, you will find the following insertable resources:
- Translations Memory
- Glossary terms
- Machine Translations (if enabled)
Hover over each to view more detail.
Click or use a shortcut to insert the resource, and use as a translation of the string. You can modify the resource once inserted.
This panel displays a list of errors found within your translations, at a string or segment level, informing you of the number of errors along with what they are.
Ignore Quality Checks
Linguists have the option to ignore individual quality checks. This is useful in cases where you spot a check that may be a false positive, or doesn’t apply to the current set of content you’re working on. Low and medium severity errors can be ignored, while high severity errors (which prevent a linguist from saving a string) cannot be ignored. Ignoring works on a string level, meaning that if you were to ignore a spacing error, no subsequent spacing errors would appear for that string.
Errors can be ignored in the Quality Assurance panel in the side bar by pressing the X button to the right of the error.
Errors can also be ignored in the Quality Assurance tab view, also by pressing the X button:
One of the major benefits of ignoring quality checks is that strings with a medium severity error will show a warning when the string is saved. Ignored quality checks won’t trigger this warning, so ignoring quality checks at the time they are found is helpful to prevent unwanted warnings.
Note that spelling errors cannot be ignored. Instead, there's an add to Personal Dictionary option which will remove the error, and not mark that spelling as an error in the future.
If you need to address anything that might need clarification from your customer, you can open an issue. All Issue opened in the Job by any user will be visible here.
View the running history of all actions taken on this Job in this panel.
Search & Filter
When you enter the CAT Tool via the Strings View or List View, you will have entered the CAT Tool outside a Job. While the general Search source and translations field is still available to you, strings can also be found by using Filters.
The workflow and job filters will change the display of content available for translation in the CAT tool.
- Workflow (workflow step)
- Current Status
- Not Saved
- Unresolved Issues
- Files URI
When you enter the CAT Tool via a Job, you can apply much more granular filters to the strings, such as filtering for strings by Saved Status and Issue Status. Additional Options include; Empty Segments, Machine Translation, and most recently, Repetitions.
When filtering strings by Repetitions, you can further refine your search by;
All: Displays all strings that are repeated in the Job.
No Repetitions: Displays all strings that are unique or not repeated in the Job.
No Repetitions and First Only: Displays all strings that are unique or not repeated in the Job plus the first repeated string.
First Only: Displays the first repeated string.
All Except First: Displays all repeated strings expect the first of the repeated strings.
Find and Replace
The CAT Tool Find and Replace feature allows users to quickly find and replace translations within a specific Job.
To access find and replace, go to the CAT tool and click on the "spy glass" icon.
Alternatively, you can use the following shortcut to bring up the Find & Replace dialog box: CTRL/CMD + Shift + F.
For more information, read CAT Tool Find and Replace
You can update the order of the strings by clicking Sort and choosing from one of the following options:
The following rules apply to TM Estimate sorting:
- Fuzzy match sorting is designed to work when accessing the CAT Tool via a Job, or filtered by a Job and takes a snapshot of the current status of your strings whenever a job is estimated.
- If a string is translated later, it may add to the translation memory and change the fuzzy match estimate for another string, although the overall string sort order will not change.
- Finally, strings with multiple segments are scored according to the average of each segment’s fuzzy match score.
Show/Hide Locked Strings
Strings are locked if:
- A user who is not assigned to the step opens the CAT Tool (e.g.: an Account Owner or Project Manager)
- The strings are not in the step the CAT Tool was opened on (e.g.: if some strings have been submitted to the next step or published).
Account Owner and Project Managers can unlocked strings by clicking the padlock icon.
Translation Resource users can choose to view strings in all workflow steps by clicking the Show Locked Strings button.
Translation Resource users can choose to just view strings in the current workflow step by clicking the Hide Locked Strings button.
The black bar above the strings list is known as the shortcuts bar.
You can easily insert special characters into the target field by opening the Special Character Menu and selecting the one that you need.
If a translated string requires different formatting than the source, click on a formatting option in the insertables toolbar or use the keyboard shortcut that's displayed on hover over. This will insert the tag where your cursor is placed in the translation field.
All are Unicode characters, and not tags (except for "BR"). Unlike tags, these Unicode characters do not necessarily have to be added. However, for tags, you can't add a tag that wasn't in the source.
For more information on tags, see Insert, Remove, or Move Tags and Placeholders.
Improve translation speed by using the toggle case feature. Options include:
- Change all text to lowercase (ex.: morning)
- Change all text to uppercase (ex.: MORNING)
- Capitalize the first letter of each word (ex.: Good Morning)
Highlight the text you'd like to change and click the Aa button or use the default keyboard shortcut Shift + F3 to cycle through the different options.
(If you would like to customize the toggle case keyboard shortcut, go to Settings > Keyboard Shortcuts > Miscellaneous.)
Not all languages have the concept of upper/lower case. Supported languages include all languages using the Latin alphabet, Cryllic alphabet, Greek, and Armenian.
For tags, you can toggle between the HTML code view or simplified view, denoted by numbers (1,2,3, etc.).
- To copy a tag to your segment, click the tag in the source. This will copy the source tag to the segment.
- To move the placement of a tag within a segment, click and drag the tag to anywhere that is highlighted in green. This prevents HTML code from breaking. If you're dragging a pair of tags to another spot, move the opening or closing tag first (depending on the direction you need to move the tags).
For more information on tags, see Insert, Remove, or Move Tags and Placeholders.
Below the central window view is the strings panel, divided into 6 columns: string number, source strings, target translation, TM match %, warnings, status.
Strings and Segments
Larger strings may be further divided into segments, only visible in the CAT tool. A segment is usually a sentence, with a sentence-ending punctuation mark such as a period (.), exclamation point (!) or question mark (?) creating a new segment.
The following example shows an entire string (denoted with a green vertical bar) that has been parsed or broken down into two segments. A Translator, Editor, or Reviewer will then be able to translate or edit each of the corresponding segments.
If you're translating a string with multiple segments, you have the option to merge segments. Mouse over the Merge segment into next icon. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut that you've set in your keyboard settings.
A segment is one large string that has been broken into a number of smaller segments (string-like rows) in the CAT Tool. When translating this type of string, each segment would need to be translated before the string can be saved.
In this example, this one string is broken into three segments.
For more information on this topic, see Content Parsing.
Strings are now numbered in the CAT Tool. String numbering is displayed to the left of the source strings. The active string, or string you are working on, will be indicated with a blue number.
For more information on this topic, see CAT Tool String Numbering.
Source strings are listed in a column to the right of the string number. This is the content you need to translate, review or edit.
When opening the CAT Tool on the translation step, you will see that each source sting will have a blank field to the right. This is where you insert your translation.
When opening the CAT Tool on any step after translation in the workflow, the translations should be listed in the column to the right of the source content, string by string. These are the translations you need to review or edit.
Fuzzy Match and String-Level Match (%)
The column to the right of the translation column is the % Match column.
When Smartling uses an existing translation memory to match source content with existing translations in the translation memory, it will often find word matches that are less than 100% identical. These type of matches is what we refer to as a fuzzy match. They're represented by a percentage on how the words match, typically somewhere between 50-99% (but a 100% exact match is also possible).
For more information on this topic, see Get a Fuzzy Estimate.
Unedited Fuzzy Matches
For unedited fuzzy matches, such as the example shown in the screenshot below, the font is lighter and italicized. The two occurrences when this could happen are:
- From auto-population of fuzzy matches -OR-
- From inserting matches from the Language Resources panel
Once you make any edit to the text, it will return to its normal state.
Unedited fuzzy matching is not persistent across page loads, therefore, if you refresh your browser, the unedited fuzzy matches will become normal strings.
String level matches are TM matches that correspond to an entire string, and not to each segment within a string. When inserted, they will be inserted into the first segment of a string.
String level matches are indicated by diagonal stripes. Also note that string level matches will not be auto-populated by the pre-populate feature. Therefore, it's possible for a segment to have only a string level match and not be auto-populated.
Smartling doesn't allow for string level matches to auto-populate as a way of preventing all the text from being added to the first segment.
- Pages: Current page of the number of pages there are in the Job.
- Word Count: Word count of total source word count.
- Project Name: Name of the project the Job is in.
- Job: Name of the Job
- Step: The step in the workflow you are viewing content/working on.
Save a String
For Translators, when you save a string, you can continue to make further updates (and re-save) it provided that you haven't already submitted the string.
To save a string, click the checkmark for the designated segment. The checkmark will then appear next to the segment. Remember that if a string contains multiple segments, you'll need to translate and save all segments before being able to submit the string.
Instead of saving strings individually, you can also click Save All to perform a bulk save.
The bulk save functionality will save the strings for the page you're currently on. Each page has a limit of 100 strings. If you have more than 100 strings that need to be bulk saved, you'll need to click to the next page. (Basically, we start paginating after 100 strings, so the bulk save will save up to 100 strings at a time.)
You can use the default keyboard shortcut: Command + S (Mac) or Control + S (Windows) to save your work. See Configure CAT Tool Settings and Keyboard Shortcuts for more information.
For information, see Save and Submit Translations.
Confirm a String
For Editors, when you confirm a string, you can continue to make further edits (and re-save) it provided that you haven't already submitted the string.
To confirm a string, click the checkmark for the designated segment. The checkmark will then appear next to the segment. Remember that if a string contains multiple segments, you'll need to translate and confirm all segments before being able to submit the string.
For more information, see Save and Submit Translations.
You can reject an individual string or reject all strings at once.
- To reject an individual string, click the X for a specific segment.
- To reject all strings at once, click Reject Translations.
For more information, see Proofread Translations.
When submitting your translations, you'll be given two options:
- Submit saved translations: This submits all previously saved/confirmed translated strings.
- Submit all translations: If you haven't previously saved/confirmed your translated strings, this saves and submits them in one action.
Remember to click Submit. Keep in mind that once you submit your strings, you'll no longer be able to modify them.
You can also create a keyboard shortcut for each action above. Go to Settings > Keyboard Preferences. Add your shortcut to Submit Saved Translations and/or Submit All Translations and click Save.
The submit functionality will submit the strings for the page you're currently on. Each page has a limit of 100 strings. If you have more than 100 strings that need to be submitted, you'll need to click to the next page. (Basically, we start paginating after 100 strings, therefore up to 100 strings will be submitted at once.)
For more information, see Save and Submit Translations.