Wordfast Anywhere
User Guide

Copyright 2008-2011,
Wordfast LLC
Version beta 1.3.4

Table of contents

Getting started
Translating a document
Shortcuts and features
The Case for an Online CAT Tool


Wordfast Anywhere (WFA) is a browser-based version of the popular Wordfast Classic translation tool. Every effort has been made to duplicate the way Wordfast works: toolbars, icons, shortcuts, look-and-feel, methods. Wordfast users should be able to use WFA with almost no learning curve.

With Wordfast Anywhere, data resides online:

Documents to be translated:
You can upload documents in various formats (TXT, DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, HTML, TXML, MIF, INX, PDF) to WFA for translation, and download them back after translation. Up to ten documents can reside in your workspace at any given time. Download then delete documents from the Workspace after translation is completed to free space and upload more documents.
Translation Memory:
Your private online TM grows as you translate. You can also upload TM content to your private Workspace at WFA, in as many languages as you want. Those TMs are yours, confidential, and never shared nor dislosed to third parties, unless you specifically invite others. Your private online TM can be downloaded, should you need a local copy of it.
There is an option to also leverage translations from a large public, read-only TM (the VLTM), and/or from machine translation. Those two sources are optional and will always be considered secondary to your private TM.
You can add terminology to your glossary as you work, just as with Wordfast. You can also upload terminology to your Workspace, in as many languages as needed. Those glossaries are yours, confidential, and never shared unless you specifically invite others. Your private online glossary can be downloaded, should you need a local copy of it.

Once this is understood, using WFA should be natural to Wordfast users, and easy to learn for newcomers.

Getting started

Note there's a video webinar on "Getting started with WFA", posted at www.proz.com. iPad users: see note below.

Logging in

Direct your browser to www.wordfast.net/anywhere, and log in, or create a new account.

Once logged in, you are in your private WFA Workspace. No one else can see or access your Workspace. The owners of Wordfast, with ten years in the localization industry, are serious about maintaining your privacy. None of your data will ever be sold, distributed, communicated, or in any way disclosed to anyone else. Communication between your browser and the server is encrypted. The confidentiality of your data is a founding principle at Wordfast.

Setting up a Translation Memory

As with all Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) programs, the first step is to set up a Translation Memory (TM), where your translations will be stored.

A WFA TM is defined for one source language and one target language. (You can set up other TMs if you work with more than one language combination.)

To create a new, empty TM:

Opening a document

You workspace now has a TM set for your language pair. The next step is to upload a document for translation.

Uploading TM or Terminology follows the same principle.

Your online storage space can hold up to 2 million lines (a line being either a glossary entry, or a TM translation unit). With a full-time translator translating an average 50,000 sentences per year, it would take about 40 years to fill up a Workspace. Up to 10 documents can be stored in WFA. You can delete older (already translated and downloaded) documents to free up space as you work. This is done to allow active professional translators to use WFA even on a full-time basis.


You can upload terminology to your private Workspace the same way you upload TM content. WFA recognizes the Wordfast Classic Glossary TXT file format.


WFA version 1 accepts simple text (you can copy-paste it directly to WFA), of Ms-Word (DOC) documents. Up to 10 documents can be present simultaneously in your private workspace, at any time. To upload new documents to be translated, delete existing ones for which you have completed the translation process (upload - translate - download).

Translating a document

Document translation

Your TM and document are now ready. You can start a translation session.

Click on the first icon of the main toolbar ("Start translation/Next segment"). The first segment opens.

A segment can contain:

We recommend the use of the Alt+Down shortcut for this basic action. Common actions are associated to shortcuts: drop-down menus list all shortcuts.

Document revision

This part is similar to a regular Wordfast revision. You must open segments (with Alt+Down) to edit the translation, then commit the segment with either Alt+End or Alt+Down/Up.

Document delivery

Once the translation is completed, press Ctrl+Comma to toggle the WFA display mode to target only, or click the corresponding zone in the status bar, bottom right (where it says bilingual). Use the File/Download translated document menu for all document formats. Use the File/Download with clipboard menu for a TXT file only. Note: With WFA in bilingual display mode, the bilingual version of the document will pop up. It can be copy-pasted into Ms-Word then cleaned up with Wordfast. Thus, WFA can easily be integrated in a hybrid, local/remote workflow with classic Wordfast (or Trados�) documents.

Verify documents after download.
Note that you can have no more than 10 documents in your Workspace at any time: delete translated documents from the Workspace after verification to free space for more documents.

Supported shortcuts and features

This guide assumes the translator is already familiar with the classic Wordfast interface. Please refer to Wordfast's manual for a full explanation of each feature.

WFA implements the following Wordfast shortcuts and features:

Start translation
Next segment
Alt+Down Starts a translation session by opening the currently selected segment.
Commits the current segment to TM and opens the next segment.
Copy Source Alt+Insert Copies the source segment over the target segment.
Expand Alt+PgDn Expands a segment, if it actually extends beyond the punctuation mark (wrong segmentation). Note that a segment cannot be extended beyond a paragraph mark, page break, tabulator, or table cell.
Shrink Alt+PageUp Reverses any use of the Expand segment command.
Translate Shift+Ctrl+PgDn Translates until a non-exact match is found.
End translation session Alt+End Closes the current translation by closing the current segment and committing it to the TM. Note: Shift+Alt+End also closes a session and a segment, but does not commit the segment to the TM.
Previous placeable Ctrl+Alt+Left Selects the previous placeable in the source segment
Paste placeable Ctrl+Alt+Down Pastes the currently select placeable in the target segment, at insertion point (cursor).
Next placeable Ctrl+Alt+Right Selects the next placeable in the target segment.
Contexts Ctrl+Alt+C Scans the TM and displays all TUs containing a specific word or expression.
Glossary Ctrl+Alt+G Looks up a term in the glossary
TM pane Ctrl+Alt+M Closes or opens the TM pane.
Glossary pane Ctrl+Alt+H Closes or opens the Glossary (Terminology) pane.
Wordfast setup Ctrl+Alt+W Opens the Wordfast setup interface. Only very few items can be customized now - more to come.
Delete target Ctrl+Alt+X - Deletes the contents of the target segment.
Previous segment Alt+Up - Return to the previous segment.
Show next match Alt+right/left - If more than one match was found in the TM, this shortcut will display the next/previous TU found, by order of analogy rate.
Provisional segment F10 - Marks a segment as provisional with a yellow Post-It.
View mode Ctrl+Comma - Toggles view mode: source text, bilingual text, target text.
Exporting text is based on the current view mode.
Close without saving Shift+Alt+End - Closes the current segment without writing it into the TM.
Add term to glossary Ctrl+Alt+T - Ctrl+Alt+T pops up a glossary term entry form.

The Case for an Online CAT tool

The idea of a purely browser-based translation tool can sound surprising. Most translators will frown at the prospect of entrusting precious data to a remote server, making them dependent on an internet connection for work, not to mention concerns of confidentiality, and data security. Furthermore, online translation tools are suspected of compromising speed and features. Most translators will prefer working from their local PC, using installed software.

On the other hand, some of the unique features of a browser-based CAT tool will appeal to translators in some situations, and to translation clients as well. Such a tool offers:

The above may sound too good to be true. The trade-offs that still make an online CAT tool a dubious proposition are listed below, with the way WFA addresses the issues:

Online CAT tool drawbacks Wordfast Anywhere's answer
Most online translation tools today are proprietary tools that are used only when the translator works for an agency or a client who runs the show and decides everything (the "satellite" concept of some CAT vendors: the translator is turned into a typist behind a controlled screen). Wordfast's philosophy has always run counter to that view of the profession. WFA offers a tool that is really translator-oriented. Translators can work wholly independently if they wish. They fully control their data, decide what to do with it.
There may be agency deployments of WFA in the future where projects are prepared by Project Managers, but WFA's primary calling is to empower translators.
Further to the above, in rare cases when an online CAT tool is made available outside the "satellite" scheme, it tends to be either very expensive, or hide some pay-per-use commercial plot. WFA offers a totally free, full-fledged online tool to all translators, with no strings attached.
Online tools usually mean a sluggish workflow that slows you down. Since most translators are paid per actually produced translation (whatever the metrics), anything sluggish is just not right. WFA is architectured to offer the same sort of productivity as a local desktop tool. The method may appear slightly slower at first, but WFA is made to produce the same output as its desktop counterpart when used correctly.
Online tools are usually feature-poor, compared to stand-alone, desktop tools. WFA is integrating the essential features that make Wordfast an ongoing success, and further improvements are being prepared to even outperform desktop CAT tools.

Using WFA with an iPad

The iPad is a secondary computer, for use on-the-go, with minimal or no file management. Your normally upload/download files in WFA using your main computer. Nevertheless, we have provided a way to translate files (DOC, PPT, PDF, etc.) that are available from the net - simply provide the URL. We provide a sample DOC file for demonstration purposes.
Once translation is complete, the translated file can be temporarily stored on our server for three days. You can, for example, inform a client or a PM that the file is available, by just providing the URL. This makes it possible to complete a full job only using an iPad, from source file upload to the delivery of the translated file (using a full suite of Translation Memory, glossaries, Machine Translation, etc.), without ever dealing with a local hard disk. You can of course log into WFA from your main computer at any time to upload or download files.

With an external keyboard (like Apple's bluetooth keyboard), the translation experience is the same as on any other computer. If you use the iPad's own virtual keyboard: note that features accessed with Ctrl+Alt... shortcuts are available either from the drop-down menus, or from the "segment toolbar", which can be expanded right above the segment. Do not hesitate to contact us with the Help/Report menu.

We wish you a happy iPad WFA experience!