software required
Thread poster: alibo (X)

alibo (X)
Local time: 08:49
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Jan 31, 2008

What software would you recommend for a freelance translator starting up again after many years. I have Microsoft Word - what else would i need? Also, a fax with scanner...anything else? Thanks so much!


Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:49
German to English
Other MS products, OCR, graphics editing software Jan 31, 2008

You may also need Excel and PowerPoint, as frequently translators are asked to use these programs. Excel is also useful for compiling simple glossaries without having to learn a serious database program. Xbench is a free program that's useful for managing multiple glossaries.

A graphics editing program such as PaintShop Pro or Photoshop Elements would be helpful for doing call outs / labels on an image. There are freeware/shareware utilities available for graphics editing, so you may want to try an inexpensive alternative.

You may eventually want to get a CAT tool, so optical character recognition software such as OmniPage, ABBYY Fine Reader or Able2Extract might be useful.

It's generally better to become familiar with a software package before actually having to work with it.


Stephen Franke
United States
Local time: 05:49
English to Arabic
+ ...
MS Office XP or 2003 versus 2007. Add Adobe Acrobat 8.0 Standard or Professional (full suite) Feb 1, 2008


If I may add to those good suggestions of "productivity software:"

Use those MS Office application (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel) available in either their XP or 2003 version. Both versions will remain in wider service for several years until MS Office 2007 (later) becomes more common worldwide.

The encoding and features of MS Office 2007 will recognize, open and display files formatted in those earlier versions, but not the other way ***unless*** when you go to the"SELECT AS" file phase, you scroll down the list and then select the proper other / earlier format and save the file in that.

So, if you create a file in Word 2007 and send that to someone whose computer has an earlier version, the recipient may have difficulty opening that file in MS Word 2007 format. I undersand that Microsoft offers a compatability converter MS PowerPoint 2007 - XP / 2003, but I don't know about MS Word.

Also, buy and install a full version of Adobe Acrobat (AA 8.0 is the current build), either Standard or Professional, so you can covert MS Word files into PDF. Installing AA will add a dongle to your MS Word desktop frame (appears usually in the upper left corner) so you can easily select that option to re-format your file while you're working inside MS Word.

If your computer's OS is MS Windows XP (with no slight intended or implied against other OS out there), your computer should provided you with fine operation for the next 3-5 years.

Hope this helps.


Stephen H. Franke
English - Arabic, Kurdish, and Persian
San Pedro, California
(Late of Riyadh, KSA)

[Edited at 2008-02-01 00:43]

[Edited at 2008-02-01 00:44]


Local time: 14:49
French to Dutch
+ ...
Excel and Powerpoint Feb 1, 2008

Minimum: Excel, Powerpoint, Acrobat Reader (the free version), WinZip, an ADSL internet connexion and an e-mail program (Outlook or another one). And subscribe to the antivirus option of your internet provider.

Optional: a CAT (test the trial versions before you purchase one), and a desktop search tool (such as Copernic) just for making your life easier.

If you have money: another CAT, and a second PC with an internet connexion, just for the case everything is going wrong.

And basic knowledge of these office tools! Some time ago, I subcontracted a small translation to another translator, and she just typed her translation in a new document: she didn't know that she could (and should!) use the original and save it under another name...


Margreet Logmans (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:49
English to Dutch
+ ...
Article Knowledgebase Feb 1, 2008

Have you tried searching the Article Knowledgebase here on ProZ?
You can find it under the tab 'Community' at the top left side of the page.
In the section 'Getting Established' you will find some articles on this. And a lot more you'll probably find interesting.

I would like to add a comment of agreement with NMR: even the best tools won't help you if you don't know how to use them. Most of them have help files or (online) tutorials - make sure to read these at least once before you start accepting assignments.

Good luck!


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