Editor overview

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 be working 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 proposals.
  • 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)
  • Go to Segments by number (Ctrl-G) — allows the user to go to a segment by specifying it's 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.
  • Add a new term (Ctrl-E) — used to add terms to a glossary associated with the account. Linguists might only the right to suggest terms.
  • 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.

Editing Area

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.

And an additional column to the right for segments 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:


Unread comments have an orange bubble that turns gray upon reading.

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 (mceclip6.png) (or Ctrl-H), the user opens the Replace with field along with Replace options:


The Case checkbox (mceclip7.png) ensure that capitalization is taken into account for searches. The filter button at the extreme right shows how many segments match the criteria (2 in the example above). The Clear all filters button (mceclip8.png) 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. 

CAT Panel

The CAT panel displays matches from the translation memory, machine translation output, and  terms found for wordings or words within a 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 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-6 would insert the TM match while Ctrl-7 would insert the glossary entry.

CAT Info

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 reddish one. The panel also displays metadata for the match as the name of the database, the date of creation of the unit, and the author.

Concordance searches will allow the user to search throughout the associated with the project translation memories for a term in the source or target text:



Tabbed Area

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 Revisions 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 reddish 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 Comments to Segments and Comments to Document tabs are used for real-time communication among the team members. For example, project managers can leave instructions for the team in the Comments to Document tab and linguists can exchange ideas at the segment level. 




The Settings wheel (at the top-right corner) opens the Settings dialog box, which contains options that can be adjusted accroding to a lingust'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. There could be times when the text in a segment is a repetition of another segment, but the words are capitalized differently. If this option is checked, Smartcat will propagate the text to segments regardless of the capitalization but with two possible options:
Use the original case. The capitalization of the segment will be maintained
Use the match case. The capitalization of the segment will be changed to match the original segment being propagated.

Propagate to confirmed segments. If this option is checked, the content of segments that have already been confirmed will be overwritten by the content of the segment being propagated.

Confirm auto-propagated segments. Segments that are being translated using auto-propagation will be confirmed automatically to match the current workflow stage.

Note: If the project manager set repetitions settings at the project level, linguists will not be able to modify these settings unless the repetition settings are empty on the project level.

Segment confirmation


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.

Downloading files

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. 

Layout options


Smartcat offers three layout options for the user to choose from. Each one presents a different window layout that might be more adapted to the way a linguist is working. Users can experiment with these three options and choose what works best for them.

The up arrows at the end of the bar are used to hide the button toolbar to increase the size of the editing area and display more segments.

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