Common problems with Wordfast Pro 5

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Wordfast Pro 5 is slow, especially with big files

Q. I've started running into a slowdown problem… even copying the source takes a few seconds. It's almost as if the program is running short of memory. How can I speed things up?

A. There are several quick fixes to resolve this problem:

  1. Make sure you are using the Hunspell spell checker and not Microsoft Word (PC-only). The use of the Microsoft Word spell checker can slow down WFP5 to the point of frequent freezing. Modify this setting by going to Wordfast Pro > Preferences > Spellchecker.
  2. If you have the "spell check as you type" option active, disable it. This could cause slowdown issues, especially with large files. Furthermore, best practices dictate that spell checking should be done during the revision phase and not the translation phase. You save time by using "change all" for frequently misspelled words and don't break your translation flow by constant spelling error interruptions. You can disable it by going to Wordfast Pro > Preferences > Spellchecker.
  3. Try disabling term highlighting. Go to Wordfast Pro > Preferences > Terminology and uncheck the option that says "Enable term highlighting as you type", as in this screenshot
  4. If you are saving TMs, glossaries, or projects to a back-up or synchronisation folder such as Dropbox or Google Drive, this can take up a lot of computer memory because it is constantly re-syncing the files. Put the service on pause while working on your translation.
  5. Try disabling Show Whitespace Characters by clicking on the icon under the Edit Tab in the TXLF Editor. This improves the speed of the TXLF Editor.
  6. On a very large Word file with images, compress all images in the source document, save it as a copy, translate the copy, then use Analyze in Quicktools or from the Current Project view to pre-translate the original source file.

Thanks to Danielle Deremo Cosimo for compiling a few of these issues.

Wordfast Pro 5 won’t open large Powerpoint files

Q. I have a very large Powerpoint file and it is crashing Wordfast when I try to import it. What can I do?

A. There a few workarounds to resolve this problem:

  1. Submit a feedback ticket via the Help icon as soon as possible.
  2. If you use 7-zip (PC) or the Unarchiver (Mac), you can unzip[1] the PowerPoint file (if it is a PPTX file), and then you can look in the "media" subfolder to see if there are any large files (e.g. images or videos). Once you have identified them, open the source file, select the images that are over 1 MB and under File, use the Compress Pictures… option to make them smaller (choose the smallest value, e.g. Email 96 ppi). Remove any videos. Translate in Wordfast. Once you have your target file Powerpoint file, open it and replace compressed images with original images (from the unzipped folder) and re-add embedded video.
  3. Hack the .INI file on PC (instructions coming soon). This file allocates memory to Wordfast and you can increase it manually.


  1. Thanks to Samuel for the tip!