The CAT Tool

Customize CAT Tool Settings

This article is for Translators and Editors.

To make it easier and more efficient to complete translation tasks, you can customize the following CAT Tool settings:

  1. Keyboard Shortcuts
  2. Preferences, which includes:
  3. Personal Dictionary

Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are instrumental in getting the work done fast. You can modify the keyboard profile and any keyboard shortcut listed. Modifying the keyboard profile updates the displayed keyboard shortcuts only.

  1. Settings > Keyboard Shortcuts
  2. Select a profile from the drop-down list, or enter your shortcuts in the fields
    • 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
  3. Click Save


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.

A shortcut can only be applied to one command. If you try to apply a shortcut that is already in use, you will receive a warning message. The warning message will give you the opportunity to select a different shortcut or override the existing one. If you choose to override it, the previous shortcut will be erased, and you will need to choose a new and unique keyboard shortcut.

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.



In addition to keyboard shortcuts, you can customize your translation and display options, as well as the font. Go to CAT Tool > Settings > Preferences.

Pre-populate Options

Pre-population is when fuzzy matches are pre-populated to the target string panel within the CAT Tool. 

Insert a % TM Match threshold. This is used with the following configuration options:

  • Pre-populate TM Match Threshold (%): Minimum fuzzy match % for which pre-population will occur.
    • Once enabled, you can choose to automatically merge segments to apply string level TM match at the specified threshold.
    • Selecting this checkbox means that if a string has segment-level matches that meet the threshold, they will pre-populate. However, if any segment does not meet the threshold, but string level match meets the threshold, the string segments are merged, and the string level match is applied. 
    • For example, if you set your threshold to TM matches over 75%;
      In a multi-segment string, you might have a segment that doesn’t meet this threshold, e.g. because it’s only a 60% match for that segment.
      But you might have a match available for the whole string that meets the threshold, e.g. an 80% match for the entire (merged) string.
      Enabling this setting results in having a translated string by merging all segments and applying a pre-existing TM entry.
  • 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. Furthermore, multi-segment matches are not used for pre-population even if the score is higher than other units from the Translation Memory.

Auto-Propagate Options

Auto-propagation is an automated way to keep the translations for string repetitions in sync across any given Job. With this setting, strings that have been saved in the TM can be automatically propagated as translations for exact repetition thereafter.

Auto-propagation is at the segment level (not string level), meaning the propagation occurs for the repeated segments. Translations that have been auto-propagated will also need to be saved before being submitted.

  • 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. 
  • 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.

Autocorrect Options

  • Replace straight quotes with typographic quotes: Available for French, German, Norwegian languages, and Czech.
    • Enable this setting to choose to replace straight quotes with typographic quotes for any language.


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.)

Display Options

  • Show tag values: Turn this on to enable an expanded view of the code. A  simplified view makes it is easier to read the content because it hides the code within the CAT Tool.
  • Show spaces in between words: By turning this option on, a gray dot will appear to indicate a space between words.
  • Always show TM extra info in the Language Resources panel: 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.

Editor Settings

Change the default font option to your preferred font and size.


Choose to see a warning when saving an unedited fuzzy match

Editor Settings

Change the default font option to your preferred font.

Personal Dictionary

Sometimes you may see underlined words in the CAT Tool, suggesting that there's a spelling error, when in fact, there isn't. Adding those words to the personal dictionary, that you know are correctly spelled, prevents them from appearing as a spelling error. Terms added to the personal dictionary will only be visible to you.

To add a term to the personal dictionary:

  1. Go to the CAT Tool > Settings > Personal Dictionary.
  2. Type in the word and click Add.
  3. Click X next to the term you want to delete.
  4. Click Save

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.

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