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Running Wordfast on CrossOver Office

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For Linux users who want to run a powerful Trados-compatible CAT tool on Linux, running the Wordfast translation memory engine ( , licenses vary between 90 and 180 euros; can be used free for memories of up to 500 TU) is an excellent option. Wordfast runs on Windows and Mac as well, but currently cannot handle files natively, since Wordfast depends on MSWord macros.

In this author's experience, Wordfast strikes a good balance between power, name recognition, and affordability. While Wordfast costs considerably less than Trados and SDLX (the purchase price includes three years of unlimited upgrades), it also has features such as support for tagged files and customizable glossaries, is quite “light” to download and run (500K zip file), and has an excellent online user support community, including direct e-mail support from Wordfast's developer, Yves Champollion. In addition, again, in my personal experience, a growing number of clients recognize Wordfast's name, and thus are more inclined to believe that Trados users and Wordfast users can collaborate on a project.

If you're already running Linux and would like to run Wordfast, your first step is to purchase CrossOver Office ( standard version US$39.95) , a great little program that “brings Windows to Linux” by allowing you to run many Windows apps on Linux (legally) with no Windows license. Once CrossOver is installed, a very easy process, you can install Microsoft Word/Office, and then Wordfast. Once MSWord is installed, installing Wordfast follows the same procedure as if the program is running on Windows or Mac. Depending on your cost for MSOffice and the currency in which you operate, this could result in a TM system for under $500 including the cost of MSOffice. Running Wordfast on Linux requires some tweaking, and an understanding of where CrossOver Office stores those mysterious Windows files including your Wordfast template. If you'd like to know more, I've set up some basic information at: where you will find an introduction, FAQ, and list of tips for specific functions.

This article may be freely reproduced or redistributed
for non-commercial use with attribution to the author
Copyright 2005 by Corinne McKay

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