Detailed Instructions for Using Wordfast Classic

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Essential icons and shortcuts:



(Alt+PgDn) expands a segment, when the sentence actually extends beyond a final punctuation mark. Note that a segment cannot be extended beyond a paragraph mark, page break, tabulator or table cell.



(Alt+PgUp) reverses any use of the Expand segment command.

Copy Source


(Alt+Ins) copies the source segment over the target segment.



Translates until a non-exact match is found.



(Ctrl+Alt+C) scans the BTM & TM and displays all TUs containing a specific word. By default, the search for concordance is done in the TMs source segments. However, if, during a translation session, the selected expression is in the target segment, WFC will search for concordance in the TMs target segments.



(Ctrl+Alt+N) scans the files located in the folder specified with Terminology/Reference search folders to retrieve and display reference material.



(Ctrl+Alt+D) looks up a word/expression in the currently active external dictionary#1.



(Ctrl+Alt+F) looks up a word/expression in the currently active external dictionary#2.



(Ctrl+Alt+G) looks up a word/expression in glossaries.



(Ctrl+Alt+M) displays the contents of the relevant TU above a proposed segment.

Quality assurance


(Shift+Ctrl+Q) toggles real-time QA on/off during translation.



(Ctrl+Alt+Q) cleans up a document without updating the memory (the real, full clean-up is performed from WFC's Tools tab). Quick-clean can be used if you revised the document by re-opening segments, so that changes are recorded in the TM. If WFC proposes to process bookmarks without cleaning up the document, see the note on <a style="color:#000000" href="#Boomarks">Bookmarks</a>.

Data editor


Data Editor. This tool lets you browse, edit, maintain your TM, BTM, glossaries, and a few other resources used by WFC.



Deletes the contents of the target segment.



Copies the source segment's text attributes/style to the target segment. This is useful if, on an opened segment, you have pasted text that has a different font or style.



Forces WFC to segment the text you selected.



Loads the glossaries into the toolbar, if their size is less than 200 Kbytes.



Can be used to return to the previous segment.



If more than one match was found in the TM, this shortcut will display the next/previous TU found, by order of match rate.


Wordfast.icon.previousplaceable.png Wordfast.icon.nextplaceable.png Wordfast.icon.insertplaceable.png  

Selects the next/previous placeable (in the source segment); Ctrl+Alt+Down   ⇓  copies the selected placeable at the position of the cursor (in the target segment). A placeable is an untranslatable element which is simply copied from source to target.



Marks a segment as provisional. Read the note on provisional segments for this important feature.



Toggles hidden text on/off. This lets you "preview" the final translation, then get back to full view. All editing, spell-checking, revision, etc should be done in "full view", i.e. with hidden text visible.



Copies any selection of text (from any Ms-Word document) into the current target segment, if a session is opened. If, in the target segment, the selection has a zero length (it's just an insertion point), the selected text will be pasted at the insertion point. If the selection has any length, or if the selection (or insertion point) is outside the target segment, the text will be pasted at the end of the target segment. If the newly pasted text has a format or style that is different from the target segment's general style, remember that the Ctrl+Alt+Ins shortcut can copy the source segment's style and format to the target segment.

Backup your original (source) document before translating it.

  • Always have hidden text visible, so that the source text and segment delimiters are visible, when revising (post-editing, proof-reading, spell-checking) a document. Ctrl+Comma provides a quick way to toggle hidden text off/on to "preview" the final translation; but always make hidden text visible again before you resume revision. Get accustomed to Ms-Word's Tools/Options/View dialog box and its various options.
  • Quotes, dashes, hyphens. If Ms-Word is properly set up for your target language, the proper style of quotes, dashes, and hyphens will be available during translation. If that is not the case, WFC can be set up to address those points using Pandora's Box "ProcessQuotes" command. You may postpone this feature until you're more comfortable with WFC.
  • Skipping text. During a session, you can select text further down in the document and force WFC to use that selected text as the next segment by pressing Shift+Alt+Down rather than just Alt+Down. The selection will normally be somewhere further down in the document. But note that the selection can even be within the source segment, in which case you are actually shrinking your segment.
  • WFC does not consider isolated numbers as translatable items, and does not segment them. You can select such isolated numbers and force WFC to segment them. Finally, remember that Pandora's Boxhas a switch ("SegmentAll") that will force WFC to segment isolated numbers.
  • WFC proposes the TU that has the highest match rate, if it finds more than one matching TU. The Alt+right/left shortcut will display the next/previous matches by order of match value, among the top 10 matches found in the TM.
  • If the computer or Ms-Word were accidentally turned off during a translation, see the Troubleshooting section.
  • It is possible to work without the TM (when, for any reason, you do not wish to have propositions, or to have WFC update the TM). The Shift+Alt+M shortcut will deactivate/reactivate the TM at any time.

Alt+Home can be used to resume a translation session. It will re-open the segment that was last closed. If Alt+Home is used when the last document is not yet opened (as when you simply launch Ms-Word), it will re-open the last closed document, and resume translation at the last closed segment.

Beside Alt+End (validate + close the current segment, and end session), there are two other ways of closing the current segment and ending a session:


Closes the current segment without writing (committing) it into the TM.


When a segment is opened (the source segment appears against a pale blue background), this shortcut deletes the contents of the target segment, then closes the segment (and the session) and restores the source segment as it was before segmentation. When no segment is opened, unsegments the entire document (returns the document to a source-text-only state).


Trados Translator's Workbench (TWB) accepts documents translated with WFC for clean-up (and vice-versa); WFC TM files can be shared with tools from Trados(tm), DéjàVu(tm), MemoQ(tm), CypresSoft(tm), Star Transit(tm) etc. using the TMX standard.

When a TU is displayed above the current segment, use Shift+Alt+Insert to copy the TM's target segment into the document's target segment.

If you wish to exclude some portions of the document from the translation process: create a new style named "tw4winExternal". Apply that style to untranslatable portions of the document. Another, simpler way, is to choose one text attribute in the Format/Font dialog box (either DoubleStrikeThrough, Gray highlight or Animation/Marching Red Ants), apply it to the untranslatable text, then check the corresponding option in Wordfast/Setup/Segments/"Use ... as untranslatable attribute" option.
is recommended.
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