Linguists familiar with CAT tools will feel at home with the Smartcat Editor. Many functions (and even the hotkeys) are similar to what can be found in other applications, although with a stronger emphasis on communication and collaboration. One major difference would be in the multi-user interaction where linguists at all stages can work on the same document at the same time. Smartcat implements a locking mechanism that enforces the translation workflow while facilitating collaboration at the same time, saving your time and money.
The interface has five components:
- The toolbar where the users will find buttons for most of the editing functions.
- The editing area with four columns for source and target text as well as informational data.
- The CAT panel with TM, MT, and terminology entries.
- A series of tabs for communication, QA and revisions.
- The CAT information panel.
From left to right, the buttons are:
- Confirm segments () — this button is used to confirm segments, although linguists will generally use the Ctrl-Enter hotkey. The down arrow on the button can be used to confirm all segments at once if the project manager activated this option for the language team. It can be useful for later stages of the process or a client review where the user might only need to correct a few segments and doesn't want to confirm segments manually one at a time.
- Go to the next unconfirmed segment (F9) - allows the user to go to the next unconfirmed segment of a current workflow stage.
- Go to Segments by number (Ctrl-G) — allows the user to go to a segment by specifying its number.
- Undo the last action (Ctrl-Z)
- Redo the last action (Ctrl-Y)
- Copy the source text to the target segments (Ctrl-Insert) — it is also possible to apply it to the entire document by clicking on the down arrow to display that option.
- Clear all non-empty target segments, one at a time (Alt-Del) or all at once. Please note that cleared segments remain on the last stage they have been worked on.
- Insert a special character (Ctrl-Shift-I) — Smartcat will display a table of special characters that can be inserted in the text. The user can add custom special characters to that table.
- Cycle through cases (Shift-F3)
- Insert a tag (F8) — tags will be inserted in the order that they appear in the source document.
- Insert a placeholder (Ctrl-Q). Will be active if there are any placeholders in a source segment.
- Upload an image (Alt-Insert) — this will display a dialog box where the user will be able to add a link to an image or upload an image file for a specific segment. An icon will be displayed in the source column to indicate that an image is associated with that segment. This option can be useful when translating software strings and a screenshot can help with context.
- Segment length limit — this option is used to specify the maximum length of a specific segment. This is also useful when translating software strings.
- Return the segment to the previous stage — this option is only available to the project manager. It allows the PM to revert a segment to a previous stage of the process. For example, from editing to translation. This can be used when many mistakes make it necessary for the previous linguist to review many segments.
- Open the custom dictionary associated with the spellchecker .
- Concordance search (Ctrl-K)
- Merge segments
- Split segments
Some of these options might be invisible depending on user rights and choices made by the project manager.
The editing area is similar to what can be found in other tools with one read-only column for the source text and one column for the editable target text. In addition, there is one column to the left for segment numbering and repetition indication:
In this case, segments 3 and 4 are repetitions in the project as indicated by the down arrow. In segment 4, the user has indicated that this segment should not be auto-propagated with repetition by clicking on the arrow. It is indicated by a crossed arrow.
There is also an additional column to the right for segment status information and QA notifications:
For example, in the screenshot above, the top segment is in translation and has a critical error (red triangle) while the second segment is already at the editing stage and has a QA warning. 102% matches were inserted in both segments from the TM.
Comments to segments are indicated by a text bubble in the source segment:
Smartcat supports the in-context preview of certain file formats. Clicking the eye in the segment will enable the live preview of the source document:
The top of the editing area has the text search and filter options:
The Source and Target fields can be populated by selecting text in the respective columns and using Ctrl-F. The text can also be typed in manually. By clicking on the Replace button () (or Ctrl-H), the user opens the Replace with field along with Replace options:
The Case checkbox () ensures that capitalization is taken into account for searches. The filter button ()at the extreme right shows how many segments match the criteria (13 in the example above). The Remove all filters button () resets any searches or filter active.
The Filter button can also be used to start some custom searches. The user can filter segments by status, the last revision date, by source text criteria such as repetitions or numbers, to show segments with comments or error, and by the origin of the last input:
Each criterion has different options that can be accessed by clicking on the filter name.
The CAT panel displays matches from the translation memory, machine translation output, and terms found for wordings or words within the source segments. By hovering over the origin of a match, the user can tell the exact source — TM name, glossary name, or MT engine:
In this example, the CAT panel displays one TM match (TM), 2 glossary entries (TB), and one MT match (MT) from the DeepL MT engine. The number on the left is used by the linguist to insert the text in the target field using the Ctrl key. In this case, Ctrl+7 would insert the glossary entry while Ctrl+6 would insert the TM match.
There are three types of TM matches a user can see when working in the Editor:
A qualified TM result () is the TM match with the final editing step preceded by any other workflow stage other than machine translation. Quality-wise, it is the best type of a TM match to populate a target text column with.
A regular TM result () is the TM match with translation as the last workflow stage.
A questionable TM result () is when Machine Translation is followed by any other stage.
Note: if the Confirm segments option was selected for Machine Translation as a pretranslation rule, then the MT output will be written into the Translation Memory with a Questionable quality label. To avoid the MT from being written into the TM, set the Minimum TM Segment Quality parameter to Regular or Qualified.
Clicking on the icon ( or depending on the user role) at the top-right corner of a TM match will open a dialog box, which allows users to see relevant metadata, such as the TM name, the exact source where the last update was made, the update history, and the MT engine used (if any). The dialog box also includes previous and next segments to show context for a more efficient decision-making process.
Here, users can either edit or remove the TM match as well.
Note: This option is only available for project managers or linguists assigned to the editing stage. All other users can view the TM match but not make changes to it.
A project manager/editor view:
A linguist view:
The CAT info panel is used to display the differences between the new source segment and any matches found in the translation memory as well as perform concordance searches:
In this example, Smartcat has found a 90% fuzzy match and the CAT info panel displays the differences, highlighting the addition with a green background and deletions with a red one. The panel also displays metadata for the match such as the name of the database, the date of creation of the unit, and the author.
Concordance search will allow the user to search for a term throughout the translation memories associated with the project in the source or target text:
The Editor also includes a series of tabs that are used by team members to communicate but also to displays QA errors and segments revisions:
The History tab will display all the changes that have been made by team members at any time during the translation process. The same scheme used in the CAT info panel is used in this tab — addition with a green background and deletions with a red one.
The tab will also include information on the name of the user who modified the text, as well as the time and date of the action.
The QA check tab will list information about the QA errors in the current segment. Assigned linguists will also have the option to ignore some errors when for example, dealing with false positives.
The Segment comments and Document comments tabs are used for real-time communication between the team members. For example, project managers can leave instructions for the team in the Document comments tab and linguists can exchange ideas at the segment level.
Clicking on the In-context preview tab (or the eye icon in the Editing area) will automatically generate a live preview of the source document:
Clicking the hamburger menu at the top-right corner will open User settings, which contain options that can be adjusted according to a user’s needs.
The linguist can ask Smartcat to automatically insert text in the target field upon reaching a new segment. Rules are implemented one at a time, and this will speed up the translation process as the linguist will not need to consult the CAT panel in most cases as the best option will be inserted.
This tab allows the linguist to choose how repetitions are going to be propagated. Here is a quick explanation of the available options:
Propagate to segments with different case usages. If two segments have identical content but different case, Smartcat will propagate the text to such segments regardless of their case in either of the two scenarios:
Use the original case. The current segment's case will be saved.
Use the match case. The current segment's case will be changed to match the first confirmed segment.
Propagate to confirmed segments. When enabled, this setting will overwrite all previously confirmed segments by the one being confirmed the last.
Confirm auto-propagated segments. Once auto-propagated, the segments will be automatically confirmed.
Note: If the project manager set the repetitions settings at the project level, linguists will not be able to modify these settings unless the “Force for the entire project” setting is disabled.
These options let the linguist decide what happens once a segment has been confirmed. In most cases, going to the next unconfirmed segment will be the preferred option as Smartcat will skip any segments that wouldn't need to be revised. In other cases, for example, a client review, the reviewer might decide to review every segment and confirm them in batches at the end.
If given permission by the project manager, linguists will be able to download files from the Editor:
Being able to download the original file could be helpful for the context of the source text, while the translated file could provide the same context for the translation.
Smartcat offers three view options for the user to choose from. Users can experiment with either of the layout options available and choose one which works best for them.