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Technical specifications for Wordfast Classic

Translation memory
Supported languages
Document format
Other features
System requirements

Translation memory (TM)

Size: up to 1,000,000 Translation Units (TU) per single TM. You can create and maintain as many TMs as you need, in as many languages as you need. Note that Wordfast`s VLTM project can greatly enhance TM capacity if you have internet access. (1,000,000 TUs represent 20 years` work for a full-time translator.)

Format: Wordfast uses either plain text (ANSI), or Unicode (UTF-16) TMs. The Wordfast TM format is open, straightforward, easy to read, maintain, share, and store. Practically any text editor can open a Wordfast TM. Microsoft Word can be used to manage TMs, but Wordfast itself offers tools to edit, compress, prune, merge, reverse TMs.

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

The Wordfast TM format has never changed: Wordfast versions 1, 2, 3, 4 all share the same format. This format is extensible for future features without destroying compatiblity with previous versions. Most other tools change format with every new version, revealing poor engineering, or sinister commercial plots.

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

TM engine performance: The Wordfast TM engine is built to spot exact and/or fuzzy matches in less than half a second in most cases. In case no fuzzy or exact match exists, Wordfast can retrieve expressions or text that has a relevance to the source segment being translated.

Integration: The Wordfast TM engine is totally integrated in Ms-Word: you don`t need to run other applications.

Networking: An unlimited number of users can share the same TM over a LAN (Local Area Network).


Wordfast can use up to three simultaneous glossaries.

Size: the size of a glossary in Wordfast is virtually unlimited. It has been voluntarily limited to 250,000 entries. Most project-specific glossaries supplied by clients have far less than 10,000 entries.

Format: like the TM format, the glossary format is plain text (unicode or not), tab-delimited. It is therefore extremely easy to paste terminology into a Wordfast glossary with the clipboard.

Features: Wordfast 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 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 exact requirements. Wordfast`s fuzzy terminology recognition engine can also automatically recognize various inflections of a term or expression.

Integration: Wordfast 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).

Supported languages

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

Document format

Wordfast uses Ms-Word as text editor, thereby taking all formats recognised by Ms-Word. In addition, Wordfast can also be used to translate Excel and PowerPoint documents without the need of any filter or tagging device. Wordfast can handle HTML documents. Wordfast is compatible with the "tagged" format produced by RWS Rainbow, Trados Stagger etc., so Wordfast can easily be integrated in typical agency project workflow (Trados-based, or other) to handle FrameMaker, SGML, Quark Xpress, PageMaker, etc. files if they are tagged and prepared for Ms-Word.


Wordfast offers numerous QC features during the translation process, to minimize after-translation loss of time. A QC check can also be run after translation and produce a QC report that can help spot potential problems. The QC check is performed on typographical points, the respect of untranslatable terms, and the respect of terminology requirements.

Other features

Other features are just too numerous to describe here. Wordfast can use external, third-party dictionaries (Collins™, Merriam Webster™, Harrap's™, Langenscheidt™, Larousse™, etc.), can be linked to machine translation, offers Concordance search in the current TM, Reefrence search (searching terms or expressions in a corpus of raw documents). Hundreds of other features can help customize Wordfast to specific projects. Ms-Word macros can be added to cater for the most demanding translation projects, opening infinite possibilities.

System requirements

The system (Windows 95...Window XP, Mac OS7...Mac OSX, Linux+Ms-Office) is not relevant.

Wordfast will happily run on any system that comfortably runs Microsoft Word 97 or higher. Wordfast is strictly an Ms-Word add-on, and uses no other resources (no DLLs, no runtime, no EXE files).

Supported Ms-Word versions are: Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002 (a.k.a. XP), Word 2003, Word 2007 32/64bits, Word 2010 32/64bits,as well as Word 98, Word 2001, Word X, Word 2004, and Word 2011 (but not Word 2008) on the MacIntosh. The better Ms-Word works (in speed, reliability etc), the better Wordfast works. Even a modest 120-Mhz Windows 95 workstation running Ms-Word 97 will do fine. For the MacIntosh, a fast processor (1 Ghz) is recommended for OSX. The ideal version of Ms-Word on a Mac is Word 2011 (in beta release as of July, 2010, but functional) See supported platforms for more detailed information on this topic.



(c) 2024, Yves Champollion for Wordfast LLC