Free Software for Translators

I have set this portion of the site and wiki aside to discuss and showcase Free (open source) Software alternatives for my fellow professional translators.

OmegaT and TDict

Useful software:

  • OmegaT is a Free/open source, cross-platform CAT tool, and, in all truth, one of the most used applications on my desk (only superceded by my web browser). See for support and information.
  • Anaphraseus is another Free/open source CAT tool.
  • LibreOffice is a complete office software suite, including word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, html/web page editor, drawing tools, database front end, and more. Basically, it does everything other popular office suites do, and more, and it's Free and fully cross-platform (forked from
  • - the office suite, with wordprocessing, spreadsheets, presentations, html editor, drawing tools, database front-end, etc.
  • TuxTrans - a full featured GNU/Linux LiveDVD and distribution customized for translators, based on Ubuntu Linux, with a full Gnome desktop environment, and thousands of software packages available, including OpenOffice, OmegaT, and other software useful for translators. Tuxtrans can be run as a “LiveDVD”, meaning, if you have a DVD drive, of course, you can place the DVD in the drive, reboot the computer, and run the system, experiment with the tools therein, etc., without installing it on your computer. Once you've satisfied your curiosity, you can close down the system and return to your current system, without having made any alterations thereto. The TuxTrans DVD does, of course, also offer the option to install TuxTrans on your computer, if you wish to do so. Also available in a slightly stripped-down version that can fit on a CDRom and be run, as such, from a CDRom drive (less software, but still the main components and tools relevant to our work) called TuxTrans-Essentials (available on the tuxtrans download page).
  • Bitext2TMX - text alignment software (for creating translation memories from legacy translations).
  • OmegaT+ - a fork of the OmegaT project, with a fancy, themeable, aesthetically pleasing interface, but lacking many standard CAT tool features, such as tag insertion and spellchecking.
  • TransProCalc - Translation project management tool by tonybaldwin
  • transprocloud - free/open source, online translation project management tools, also by tonybaldwin.
  • USBTrans - For Windows users who would like to experiment with a variety of free software without installing linux or altering their current system, there is USBTrans, a collection of free software for translators that can be placed on a USB key and run without further installation.
  • TransTools - a suite of tools for use with MSOffice® programs. While MSOffice®, of course, is not free software, these tools, at the very least, are.
  • Open TM2 - developed by IBM, and currently only available for Windows® (a contact at IBM has assured me that a gnu/linux port is in the works), OpenTM2 provides an open platform for managing translation related activities with enterprise level scalability and quality. It serves as an open yet comprehensive localization tool that provides that integration platform. Ultimately, the goal is to create a cost-efficient and high-quality localization deliverable. OpenTM2 is released under the nonrestrictive Eclipse Public License that is suitable for use with both commercial software and with other open source or free software.
  • Virtaal - a graphical translation tool for editing .tmx and .po files, and more.



What is Free Software? - the Free Software definition.

“Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price.

To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer.”

Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software.

More precisely, it means that the program's users have the four essential freedoms:

  1. The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  2. The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish (freedom 1).
    Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  3. The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  4. The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3).

By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Cross platform: functions with more than one computer platform or operating system. When I say “fully cross-platform”, in general, it means the software runs on GNU/Linux, BSD, Windows & Mac. I can't speak for OpenSolaris, Syllable and HaikuOS.

tony baldwin 2012.