How to Optimize Your Translation Workflow with a CAT Tool

As businesses expand globally, the demand for accurate and efficient translation services is increasing. The translation process involves various stages and requires close attention to detail.
Lucky Eze
5 min
Table of Contents

As businesses expand globally, the demand for accurate and efficient translation services is increasing. The translation process involves various stages and requires close attention to detail. With the advancement of technology and artificial intelligence, machine translation has become a popular solution for some language service providers, but it often falls short in quality and accuracy. That's where Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools optimize the translation workflow.

A CAT tool is a software application designed to assist translators in their work. It offers a range of features that streamline the translation process, such as translation memory, terminology management, and project management. Translation memory is a database that stores previously translated material and content for future use, which saves time and improves consistency across translations. Terminology management ensures that the same terms are used consistently across translations, increasing accuracy and reducing errors.

CAT tools are handy for complex projects or translations involving multiple languages. Using a CAT tool, translators can improve their productivity and accuracy, resulting in higher-quality translations in less time. CAT tools like Bureau Works can also be integrated with machine translation software, further speeding up the translation process.

In this blog post, we will explore how to optimize your translation workflow with a CAT tool. We will discuss the benefits of using a CAT tool, such as improved productivity and accuracy, and how to choose the right tool for your needs. We will also provide tips on integrating machine learning into translation with CAT tools and working with translation memory to ensure consistency. With the right CAT tool and workflow, you can streamline your translation process and deliver high-quality translations in your target language.

Benefits of using a CAT tool

The following are the advantages users of CAT tools like Bureau Works will enjoy when incorporated into translation projects.

Improved Accuracy and Quality

CAT tools help improve the accuracy and quality of translations. Translators can ensure consistency and avoid errors with automated translation memory and terminology management. The translation memory stores previously translated content, so translators don't have to repeatedly translate the same content into different languages. Terminology management ensures that the same terms are used consistently across translations, improving accuracy and reducing errors.

Furthermore, CAT tools allow for post-editing of machine translation output, where a human translator reviews and edits the machine translation to ensure accuracy and clarity. This results in high-quality, more accurate, reliable statistical machine translations.

Increased Efficiency and Productivity

CAT tools are designed to streamline the translation process and increase the productivity of other translators. By automating repetitive tasks, such as formatting and translating identical text, translators and project managers can focus on more complex and creative aspects of the translation process.

Project management features in CAT tools like Bureau Works allow for better organization and coordination of the translation process, resulting in increased efficiency. Translators can track the progress of a project, assign tasks, and manage resources efficiently. This feature is particularly useful for larger projects that involve multiple languages and translators.

By integrating machine translation, CAT tools can further increase productivity. Machine translation can quickly translate large volumes of text, allowing translators to focus on more nuanced and complex aspects of input text during the translation process. However, it's important to note that machine translation should not be relied upon entirely and should be combined with human intervention during translation or post-editing to ensure accuracy.

Cost Savings

Using a CAT tool can also translate faster and result in cost savings for both language service providers and their clients. By automating repetitive tasks more translations and improving efficiency, translators can complete translations quicker and cheaper. Additionally, using translation memory can save costs as previously translated content can be reused, eliminating the need for translators to translate the same content multiple times.

Improved Consistency

One of the biggest challenges in the translation process is maintaining consistency across translations. This is particularly important for businesses that want to maintain a consistent brand voice across different languages. CAT tools address this challenge by providing translation memory and terminology management features, which ensure consistency across translations. These features allow the same terminology, language skills and style to be used consistently across all translations, resulting in a more professional and polished final product.

Customization and Flexibility

CAT tools can be customized to meet the specific needs of a specific language, service provider or client. They can be tailored to specific industries, such as legal or medical, and adapted to accommodate different file formats and content types. This flexibility allows for a more customized approach to translation and ensures that the final product meets the client's specific needs.

Choosing the right CAT tool for your translation workflow

When selecting a CAT tool for your translation workflow, navigating the many options available can be overwhelming. However, choosing the right translation tool is essential to ensure your workflow's translation quality and efficiency. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a CAT tool.

Translation Quality

Translation quality is a critical factor when selecting a CAT tool. The tool should support neural machine translation (NMT) and rule-based machine translation (RBMT) and allow for integrating translation memory, which stores previously translated segments. By using these features, human translators can ensure consistency across translations and improve overall quality.

Ease of Use

The tool's user interface should be user-friendly, and its features should be intuitive and easy to use. Additionally, the tool should support a range of file formats, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, to ensure compatibility with different clients and projects.


Different translation agencies have different translation workflows, so the CAT tool should allow customization. The tool should allow the user to create custom glossaries and translation memories and allow for the creation of project-specific terminology lists.


The CAT tool should enable collaboration between translators, editors, and clients. The tool should allow for real-time updates on project progress and provide a central location for project management. Additionally, the tool should allow for collaboration across different time zones and locations.


The CAT tool should integrate with other tools and platforms, such as content management systems (CMS), localization platforms, and machine translation engines. This integration helps streamline the whole translation management process and ensures that translations are consistent and accurate across different platforms.


The price of the CAT tool is also an important consideration. Some CAT tools are free, while others require a subscription or license fee. Some tools charge per word or project, while others charge a flat rate. When selecting a CAT tool, it's important to consider the cost and weigh it against the tool's features and benefits.

Selecting the right CAT tool ensures your workflow's translation quality and efficiency. Consider factors such as translation quality, ease of use, customization, collaboration, integration, and price when selecting a tool. Additionally, testing the tool before committing to a subscription or license is essential to ensure it meets your needs.

By selecting the right CAT tool for your translation workflow, you can improve the quality of your translations, reduce costs, and increase productivity. Additionally, automating specific tasks and using translation memory can free up time for more creative aspects of your translation workflows and focus on delivering accurate and consistent translations in the target language.

Setting up a Translation Project in a CAT Tool

Once you have chosen the right CAT tool for your translation workflow and customized it to suit your needs, the next step is to set up a translation project. This process can be a bit overwhelming for beginners, but it can be easy and efficient with the proper guidance. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on setting up a translation project in a CAT tool.

Step 1: Create a New Project

The first step is to create a new project within your chosen CAT tool. Most CAT tools, like Bureau Works, have a straightforward process for creating a new project. Simply select the option to create a new project, and then you will be prompted to enter some basic information, such as the name of the project, the language pair, the source language, and the target language.

Step 2: Import Files

Once you have created a new project, importing the files you need to translate is the next step. This step is critical because it is essential to ensure that your CAT tool supports the file format you are working with. Most CAT tools support various file formats, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, HTML, and XML.

Step 3: Pre-translate

After importing the files, you should pre-translate them using your translation memory (TM) and machine translation (MT) engines. Pre-translating means you can take advantage of any previously translated segments in your TM and use machine translation to accurately pre-translate new or fuzzy segments. This process can save you a lot of time and improve your translations' overall consistency and accuracy.

Step 4: Assign Work

Once you have pre-translated the files, you can assign work to your translators. Most CAT tools have a feature that allows you to assign work to your translators, track their progress, and communicate with them directly within the tool.

Step 5: Review and Edit

After the translators have completed their work, the next step is to review and edit the translations. This step is crucial to ensure that the translations meet your quality standards and are consistent in tone, language, style, and terminology with previous translations. Most CAT tools, like Bureau Works, have a review and editing feature that allows you to review the translations and make any necessary changes directly within the tool.

Step 6: Finalize

The final step is to finalize the translations and prepare them for delivery to the client. Depending on the project, this step may involve formatting the translated files, running a final quality check, and preparing the translated version with any necessary documentation or reports for the client.

Setting up a translation and project manager in a CAT tool can be straightforward and efficient if you follow the right steps. By creating a new project, importing files, pre-translating, assigning work, reviewing and editing, and finalizing, you can optimize your translation tools' workflow and improve the quality of your translations. As with any new process, it may take some time to get used to, but with practice, you will become more proficient and productive in your translation projects.

Handling Different File Types in a CAT Tool

One of the benefits of using a CAT tool is that it can handle different file types, which is essential for translators who deal with a wide range of documents. In this section, we'll discuss the different file types that CAT tools can handle and how they can be efficiently processed.

Supported File Types

CAT tools can handle many file types, including text files, Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), Adobe FrameMaker, HTML, XML, etc. The type of file that you will be working with will depend on the client and their requirements. Some clients may prefer to send their content in a specific file format, while others may be open to different options.

Preparing Files for Translation

Before you start translating, it is essential to prepare the files properly. This includes removing any formatting or hidden code that may interfere with translation. For example, if you receive a Word document containing tables or graphics, extracting the text from it and importing it into the CAT tool is best. This ensures that all the features and formatting don't interfere with the translation process, and the translator can focus solely on the text.

Translating Different File Types

Once the files have been prepared, the translator can start translating the content. The translation process for different file types may vary. For instance, when translating a Microsoft Excel document, the CAT tool will display the source text and target text in a grid-like layout. This allows the translator to easily see the text that needs to be translated and where it needs to be placed in the target language. Similarly, when translating content from an HTML file, the CAT tool will display the source and target text in a web-like view, making it easy to see how the text fits into the page's overall layout.

Handling Non-Editable Files

Sometimes, the file that needs to be translated may not be editable, such as scanned PDFs or images. In these cases, the translator must use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software to extract the text from the document and import it into the CAT tool. This process can be time-consuming, and the quality of the extracted text may not always be accurate. It is essential to carefully review the text and make necessary edits to ensure the computer-assisted translation tool is accurate.


Using a Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tool can significantly optimize the translation workflow for language service providers and their clients. CAT tools offer a range of features, such as automatic translation, memory and terminology management, that improve accuracy and consistency, increase productivity and efficiency, save costs, and provide customization and flexibility. When selecting a CAT tool, it's essential to consider factors such as translation quality, ease of use, customization, collaboration, and integration. Businesses can streamline their translation process and deliver high-quality translations in their target language by choosing the right CAT software tool and workflow.

Lucky Eze
Lucky Ezeihuaku is an SEO expert and specialist Translation content writer with Bureau Works. He has a master’s degree in English and Literature, and has been writing professionally for at least 7 years. He has gone on to specialize in the Translation and Localization niche, churning out multiple quality, informative, and optimized articles for Bureau Works over the past year. He claims writing and developing SEO strategies keeps him going, and he’s also interested in Data Analytics.
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