OmegaT - Free CAT Tool

I have been using Trados for more than ten years since version 5.0. SDL Trados is a really powerful and most popular CAT tool. In the early versions, there were many bugs which annoyed the translators. But, now, I think it's very stable. Despite many merits, the high price is still one of the major concerns for many linguists. (In fact, the current price of SDL Trados is not higher than before.)

Recently, I had to find a free CAT tool which would be used by several linguists for a translation project. Most other translators had no idea about CAT tools. Among several free CAT tools, I chose OmegaT. I think it's really a handy translation tool. OmegaT supports glossaries and external TMs. Moreover, Linux version is also available. (Even Mac OS version is available. Wow!)

OmegaT can be downloaded from here: [ Page removed].


The above figure shows OmegaT Editor. OmegaT Editor consists of three panes: Editor, Fuzzy Matches and Glossary. It's not difficult to use this tool. In the Editor panel, press [Ctrl + U] after translation to proceed to the next string. OmegaT supports Shortcuts which make it more convenient:

Ctrl+U: Next Untranslated Segment
Ctrl+N: Next Segment
Ctrl+P: Previous Segment
Ctrl+J: Segment Number...
Ctrl+R: Replace with Match
Ctrl+I: Insert Match
Ctrl+Shift+I: Replace with Source
Ctrl+Shift+T: Insert Source Tags
Ctrl+number: Select Match #number
Ctrl+F: Search Project (similar with Concordance feature)

For example, I'd like to choose Match 3 among several Fuzzy Matches. In this case, I can press [Crtl+3] and then [Ctrl+R.]

Those who are familiar with Trados shortcuts are able to customize the key combinations using AutoHotkey. (I will handle AutoHotkey in another post.)

You can use external TMs by pacing them under the folder "\tm." TMX version 1.1 (exported from Trados) worked well in my system. Glossaries also can be used. The glossary files should be placed under the folder "\glossary." I converted my existing glossary to a tab-delimited text file with utf-8 without signature format, which worked well.


As I said, OmegaT for Linux is also available. The above figure shows OmegaT in Ubuntu. The version of the Linux version is lower than that of the Windows version. But I have not encountered incompatibility issues so far. I found that text files were not properly segmented, which could be solved by correcting a segmentation rule for text files. In the Windows version, the following setting (see the figure below) is valid for text files. In this case, each line will be individually segmented. But, in the Linux version, it did not work. To solve this issue, I just deleted " +" under "Pattern After" in OmegaT for Linux.  (I found that some users negatively evaluated the Linux version. But I think they might have not known how to use OmegaT properly.)

Text files segmentation - OmegaT

Although OmegaT is a free application, it offers various functions. I think this application will be a good alternative to those who want a free royalty-free CAT tool.

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