Disclaimer Wordfast Classic
If you start using WFC, take time to get acquainted with it before engaging in large or complex projects. Make sure you test WFC on your system and are aware of its limitations. Not all projects or documents can be translated with WFC. There is a level of document complexity (layout, formatting, embedded objects, dynamic documents linked to sophisticated templates, documents with very large tables, etc.) beyond which WFC, and any CAT tool, will give up. The more a document acts like a program (questionnaires, surveys, document with fields and automation), the less it is fit for translation using a CAT tool. Ms-Word documents that are formatted to mimick another application, for example by using many textboxes to look like an Excel spreadsheet or a PowerPoint presentation, will be difficult to handle. Those include PDF conversions, OCRed material, documents that contain numerous textboxes, forms and input fields, so-called "Wordart" shapes, callouts, etc.
Size matters: very large or complex documents with over 100 pages of text can be prepared for translation, for example, by splitting them into smaller, more manageable sub-documents, removing large graphics, etc.
When you consider starting a translation project where there are formats or layouts you have not handled before, test-drive WFC on sample paragraphs to make sure it will behave correctly before accepting the job. Proceed with caution when there are technicalities you are not comfortable with.
WFC does not replace the translator's ability to handle documents. Like all tools, WFC requires skills - it does not replace them.
The WFC website (www.wordfast.net) download page has training guides that are illustrated, step-by-step methods for beginners. Do not attempt to use WFC unless you learned the basics with the training guide level 1. The short instructions for use assume you're already comfortable with basic Ms-Word operation.
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