Manage translations of non-CAT files

Discover how to upload and work with non-text files in Smartcat, including their integration into project management, task assignment, work estimation, and the issuance of quotes and invoices.

There are orders placed with pretty exotic file formats or non-text files that practically cannot be parsed by the system and opened in the Editor. The option to upload files without processing have cropped up exactly from such cases and for dealing with such files in a single loop with more common formats. Thus, it allows you to integrate work with non-text files into the general project management system and assign tasks, for example, translation of video and audio materials, to freelancers from the Smartcat Marketplace. The only thing left is to figure out how to work with such files in Smartcat.

Uploading files into a project

Almost all formats can get uploaded into Smartcat except for executable files from this list. You can also skip processing files in the text formats available for parsing if you click on the file icon on the first step of project creation and mark the Do not parse checkbox.

If a project contains only files uploaded without parsing, the Statistics, Pretranslate, and Linguistic Assets tabs won't appear, at least until some text files get loaded and processed into that project.

Estimating the amount of work

Considering that Smartcat hasn't processed non-CAT files, it is required to estimate the amount of work on the assignments page.

All workflow stages besides Source layout check and DTP are calculated in words while the layout stages in pages. The cost is the rate per unit for a service taken from a freelancer's profile.

That said, a freelancer that has the rate of $0.5 per word for the Translation service with the amount of work as 100 words will receive $50. Indeed, the system won't analyze discounts for fuzzy and context matches since files aren't parsed.


You can assign freelancers if they have a service in the profile that matches the project workflow stage. The team hasn't yet added workflow stages that support other types of units, such as minute, hour, or document. Therefore, when assigning a video or audio file, as a workaround, you have to set the estimate in words for calculating the cost.

For example, if you've agreed in the Chat with a freelancer that the cost of Transcription will be $100, then set the freelancer's rate as $1 for Translation and the amount of work as 100 words before the assignment.

The assignment process itself does not differ much from the standard one. Once assigned, a freelancer will be able to download the source file and upload the resulting file back to the system after completing the task in the original or another format.

When you change the document status to Completed, the corresponding job will appear in the Payment section.

It's not a big deal If a freelancer's uploaded an incorrect file by mistake, and the document is already completed since you can always restart the task and reassign it.

Issuing a quote

Another useful feature when working with non-CAT files in Smartcat is the option to calculate the quote and issue the invoice for a client. You can learn more about forming quotes and invoices in the Client Management section.