Poll: My biggest complaint with the CAT tools I've used is:
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 01:19
May 7, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "My biggest complaint with the CAT tools I've used is:".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other May 7, 2017

My biggest problem is myself. I'm usually either too busy or too lazy to find out how to use all a CAT tool's functions, and tend to do things on a need-to-know basis. The problem is that sometimes I need to know how to do one specific thing, but in order to find out how to do it, I usually end up having to turn to forums for advice. For example, I had a compatibility issue with my Chrome and my Dragon NS (in fact I still have a few queries, such as why will Dragon not let me "add new vocabulary" if the item is already in its dictionary/glossary or whatever it's called), but the response from their user support was so technical and demanding, asking me about things that I quite simply did not know, understand or where to find, that I just gave up and soldiered on regardless. Eventually that problem seems to have sorted itself out, or perhaps it's something I did, but the main thing is that I was able to keep on working without wasting so much time trying to sort things like these details out.

For example, I use Wordfast Classic, and I would like to know if it is possible for the target segment to replicate the punctuation of the source segment, and if so, the steps I need to take to set this up. However, to date I have been unable to do so, or find out if this is possible. I'm not interested in "upgrading" to more complex or sophisticated versions, as I barely use most of the functions as it is. For example, I don't know what use the glossary function is supposed to be, because I just can't fathom how it's supposed to work or be of any help. I mainly use the software for the segmentation and the creation of subject or client specific TMs. Every other CAT tool I've looked at seemed worse, more expensive or more complicated, particularly TRADOS, which to me just seemed like an unnecessarily complicated and cruel, costly joke. I hasten to add that I do have colleagues who are perfectly happily using it, but I'm afraid it's not for me.

Basically, I don't want to have to spend time learning how to do absolutely everything with a software before starting to use it. Ideally, rather than just dumping a handbook or manual on us, the manufacturers or distributors should provide an online site where you can ask how to do something and be given a clear, simple step-by-step explanation.

[Edited at 2017-05-07 09:30 GMT]


Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:19
Member (2006)
German to English
Other May 7, 2017

You cannot use them on a Mac! (Obviously without the Windows thingy, but that is the same as driving a Rolls Royce with Lada engine in it)


Teresa Borges
Local time: 09:19
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other May 7, 2017

As I said before (another very similar quick poll): I used Trados when I worked in-house and I deeply disliked it. I particularly hated all the time wasted aligning and re-aligning documents…

That being said, when I retired from my in-house position and started freelancing I didn’t buy a CAT tool. To date I have survived without one and I have managed to build a strong client base. My approach to translation is that of a “handicraft” rather than an “industrial process”. I’m more concerned with quality than with quantity, productivity and rapidity.

Anyway, most of the texts I translate are creative and not repetitive, with the exception of some medical devices certifications which are extremely repetitive, but nothing that the Word search function can’t solve…

Well, if you know of a CAT tool that is really intuitive, one that you just jump right into and start working with it, learning as you go and not one that requires you to take time out from work, maybe I could be converted…

I have been working for over 10 years with 3 agencies that require CAT tools but we have come to an agreement that works for me and for them.

To sum up:

1. They are difficult to learn or not user-friendly enough
2. There are too many features
3. There are too many technical issues, glitches, crashes...

[Edited at 2017-05-07 10:09 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-05-07 11:35 GMT]


Aleksandra Muraviova  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:19
Japanese to Russian
+ ...
Other May 7, 2017

It may sound odd, but my biggest complaint has been the difference in functions between various CAT tools. I use 3: memoQ (which I don't own yet, but my clients provide me with temporary licenses to work on the projects), SmartCAT (free) and CafeTran (owned). When I go to SmartCAT, I miss many memoQ features. When I go to memoQ, I miss the built-in dictionary from SmartCAT.
And when I go to CafeTran, I close it down immediately, because who even thought that replacing Ctrl+Enter with Alt+down was a good idea?!


Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:19
Member (2008)
English to Italian
No complaints here May 7, 2017

I use wordfast and I chose it because it is user-friendly and it works on a MAC, and, as Michael said, I would never use that Windows stuff on a MAC...
Wordfast is not perfect, but every update provides new features which make my life easier!


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:19
English to Portuguese
+ ...
WordFast Classic - User unfriendliness May 7, 2017

I have been using WFC for 10+ years. Throughout all this time, its price went from zero (freeware) to near-Trados, yet its interface still preserves all typical $19,99-shareware features: the user is expected to maneuver it almost blindfolded.

Too many of the WDC glitches can be attributed to Microsoft Word, evidence of it being that each version is worse than its predecessor. MS Word crapware was raised to the one-and-only market standard for translation by sheer marketing clout. All other more intelligent by concept - and hence more promising - word processors withered upon such overpowering domain.

I used MemoQ and Passolo for a while. They work better as CAT tools and are more user-friendly, no doubt about it. However WFC, being a Word macro, handles better the endless formatting "issues" within Word.


Luiz Barucke
Local time: 05:19
Member (2013)
Spanish to Portuguese
+ ...
Which one? May 7, 2017

I use different CAT tools and all of them deserve a complaint:

Wordfast Pro 3. The best one for me. Fast, simple, practical. You can start working in seconds, without annoying questions. But it doesn't have text format features, so I cannot add italic, bold, etc. if not mirroring source segment.

Weirdfast Pro 4. It destroys all WF3 good features. It's extremely slow, heavy and makes my work slower and harder. I barely use it to avoid wasting my time. I still don't understand why WF team committed this crime to a great software (WF3) rather than just improving it.

Trados Studio 2011. Complete, but the lord of red tape. And its interface is too crowded for me. I almost forget that the main purpose is translating. It makes me feel controlling a city traffic system with so many windows and tabs opened at the same time.

Memsource. A great CAT. Clean, simple. Really good. It puts text in the center of my attention without any questions at all. The best one for editing and proofreading. But it's not so used. Only 2 of my clients demand this software. But I must say I love it.

memoQ. I don't use it frequently. Who does it loves it, but I don't know exactly why (really don't - not being ironic). When I had to try it, I thought it's a little hard to understand.

Trados 2007. This was my first contact with a CAT. It helped me a lot at that time, but it loves a crash that makes any translator crazy. Today it's a dinosaur.

Across. After almost one hour installing it (!), I gave up to understand its logical. It seems they tried to reinvent CAT concept, so it ended alone in my computer. In my new one, I didn't even install it. And nobody asked me to work on it.

Wordbee. A web-based CAT. It's very interesting and complete, and it has a good XLF export/import feature, which allows me to actually work with my preferred CAT. But it's a web-based applications, which will always limit it.

[Editada em 2017-05-07 13:51 GMT]

[Editada em 2017-05-07 16:33 GMT]


Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:19
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
No complaints May 7, 2017

with Wordfast PRO 3 or 4


Local time: 03:19
English to Spanish
+ ...

Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile

Too many May 7, 2017

The only complain I have about CAT tools is that there are too many of them and you need to learn them if you want some jobs.


Jan Truper
Local time: 10:19
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
I want more features May 7, 2017

I have tried Wordfast, Trados and memoQ.
I prefer memoQ, but I would like more features (for example, more freedom to arrange the layout to my liking, or more freedom to pick the colors so I can work on a dark background).

A Mac version would be nice, too...

[Edited at 2017-05-07 18:08 GMT]


Platon Danilov  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:19
Member (2014)
English to Russian
+ ...
Other May 7, 2017

Trados and MemoQ are too expensive. As for free cloud based tools, I doubt they are good enough. I use MemoQ, basically 5-6 features: confirm match, concordance, term selection, find in source/target, QA, import/export, wordcount. I feel I need "find a segment" feature by the segment number.


Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 10:19
German to Serbian
+ ...
Other. May 8, 2017

They are not making the process any faster when taking other factors into consideration, such as: learning about the tool, fixing errors, doing updates, etc. Plus, in my experince, agencies requiring them usually pay very low prices and don't care about quality much.


Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:19
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Abusive Price May 9, 2017

The price of the best CAT tools (Trados, MemoQ...) is quite abusive. There is absolutely no reason why a software considered quite simple by most developers, since it's basically a database with very few fields and the tools to search and get info from that database, should be so expensive, considering the high number of users all over the world. It's so easy for a developer to make a CAT that in a few years there are over 30 of them available, and new ones showing up every day. The software programming requires no sophisticated resources or formulas at all.

However, as usual, two or three brands prevail in the market and determine the prices. Even with good CATs for free or much cheaper, most people will still use the two or three most expensive ones and most agencies will require them, too (including myself).

This is how our market works. We pay 100 for a software package that is worth 10, and a market name that and a supply-demand curve that makes it worth 100.

What can we do? The same thing happens to countless other products in the market, and we all buy them anyway. Your mobile, for example, is physically worth 50 bucks, but you paid at least 300 for it, didn't you?


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