Technical specifications Wordfast Classic

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Translation memory (TM)

Size: up to 1,000,000 Translation Units (TU) per single TM. A TM is a simple Text file. You can create as many TMs as you want, in as many languages as you want, then enable/disable them as required. Note that two TMs can be used simultaneously: the main TM in read-write mode, and a Background TM (BTM), in read-only mode. Wordfast Classic offers a tool called the Data Editor to create, split, merge, join, edit, maintain TMs.

Format: Wordfast Classic uses TMs in either plain text format (ANSI), or Unicode format (UTF-16 only, on Mac or PC). The Unicode format is the default, and preferred, format. The WFC TM format is open, straightforward, easy to read, maintain, share, and store. It is fully described in this manual in the WFC TM format section. Most text editors (the deceptly diminutive Notepad in Windows, or TextEdit in OSX) can open a WFC TM for viewing, editing, merging, proof-reading etc. Ms-Word can be used to manage TMs, but WFC itself offers tools to edit TMs.

This format guarantees robust data, superior versatility and compatibility. It is probably the most compact format in the industry: a WFC TM is typically three to four times less bulky than its competitors. This is important when vast collections of TMs are considered.

The WFC TM format has never changed: WFC versions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 all share the same format, while other TM solution editors keep changing their formats, regularly breaking compatibility. WFC's format is extensible for future features without destroying compatibility with previous versions. This is rarely seen in the TM industry.

Compatibility: Wordfast Classic can read and write (import from, export to) the TMX format with minimal losses.

TM engine performance: The Wordfast Classic TM engine is built to spot exact and/or fuzzy matches in less than half a second in most cases.

Integration: The Wordfast Classic TM engine is totally integrated in Ms-Word: you don't need to run another application.

Networking: An unlimited number of users can share the same TM over a LAN (Local Area Network) or over the web using Wordfast Server


Wordfast Classic can use up to three simultaneous glossaries.

Size: the size of a glossary in Wordfast Classic has been voluntarily limited to 250,000 entries. Most project-specific glossaries supplied by clients have far less than 10,000 entries - closer to 1000 for most. Important note: glossaries are meant to assist a translator with uncommon terminology, like technical jargon, that (s)he arguably may not know. Filling up glossaries with common words is a bad idea, it has consistently proved to decrease the tool's efficiency.

Format: like the TM format, the glossary format is plain text (Unicode or not), tab-delimited. It is therefore easy to feed terminology into a WFC glossary by simply copy-pasting it from a client's glossary, combine glossaries, etc.

Features: Wordfast Classic glossaries offer a full range of services, from querying a term or expression, to full-fledged terminology recognition that highlights known terms in the source segment in real-time.

Fuzzy terminology recognition: Wordfast Classic can recognize exact or fuzzy terminology in glossaries. Glossaries can be used as they are, or fine-tuned with the use of wildcards to meet special requirements.

Integration: Wordfast Classic glossaries are totally integrated in Ms-Word - you don't need to run yet another application.

Networking: An unlimited number of users can share the same glossaries over a LAN (Local Area Network) or orver the web using Wordfast Server.

Supported languages

Wordfast Classic can be used to translate any of the languages supported by Ms-Word. This includes all European, Latin-based languages, Chinese/Japanese/Korean, right-to-left languages (Arabic, Hebrew), Cyrillic, in addition to Central European, Greek, various forms of Hindi, numerous so-called "minority" languages, etc.

Document format

Wordfast Classic uses Ms-Word as translation editor, thereby taking all formats recognised by Ms-Word. WFC can handle files that have been tagged. WFC is compatible with the "tagged" format produced by RWS Rainbow, Trados Stagger etc., so WFC can easily be integrated in a Trados-based architecture to translate tagged files for FrameMaker, SGML, Quark Xpress, PageMaker, InDesign, etc. Note that the translation of tagged files requires great skills, and attention to minute details.

System requirements

The system (Windows 95...Window XP, Mac OSX, Linux+Ms-Office) are all supported.

Wordfast Classic operates smoothly on any system that comfortably runs Ms-Word 2000 or higher.

Supported Ms-Word versions are: Word 2000, Word 2002 (a.k.a. Word XP), Word 2003, Word 2007, Word 2010, Word 2013, Word 2016. The only supported Mac version is Word 2011. The better Ms-Word works (in speed and reliability), the better WFC works. Even a modest 120-Mhz PC/Windows running Ms-Word 2000 will do fine.

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