Introducing in-context preview for Microsoft Word documents: See source text in its original layout
In-context preview gives translators a visual guide so they can see the source text in its original layout.

We are excited to introduce in-context preview for Microsoft Word documents, as well as documents like images or PDF that pass through the optical character recognition process. It is a new way to visually guide translators through the source text. Here’s how it works:

Why visual context?

In-context preview gives translators a visual guide so they can see the source text in its original layout, with original formatting and images. Instead of having to download the file and open it side by side, manually navigating through the document, switching back and forth between applications, now you can see the document directly in the CAT tool, which also automatically scrolls to and highlights the place you are currently editing.

And for OCR documents having a way to instantly find out where a specific piece of text appears is indispensable. Due to the very nature of such documents, text in them can go in random order, so locating it becomes an even more challenging task.

But it's not just about translation. Here’s how helping translators helps busy PMs as well:

1. Meeting tight deadlines

Using in-context preview, translators can see the document’s structure so they can translate more quickly. This enables you to get your content delivered earlier and worry less of approaching deadlines.

2. Better translation quality

Missing context is one of the most common reasons for mistranslation. Seeing source text in its original layout gives translators a better situational understanding of the content they are translating.

3. Less time spent on explanations

Dealing with translators' questions can take a lot of time and energy. Since in-context preview gives translators instant answers to most of their questions, it ultimately reduces unnecessary communication and gives you back the time.

How else can you provide context?

Visual context is important, but there are also other means to help your translators do their work faster and with better quality:

Segment comments

You can leave important information about the source text in segment comments. You can also use them to provide instructions for your translators. Segment comments will appear in a special pane in the CAT tool.

Translation memories

Although not exactly related to context, translation memories allow translators to check how similar text was translated in the past. This provides for better consistency and thus better translation quality.


Industry- and client-specific glossaries go a long way towards ensuring consistency between different pieces of content. So even though you will have to spend some time creating the glossaries, it will pay off in the end.

Clear source

Last but not least, you can reduce the very need for context by making the source text clearer and to the point. Of course, in most cases it’s not up to you, but if it is, you can make a big difference.

Check out in-context preview in your Smartcat account now. It’s live in your CAT tool, just open any Word document and click the eye to see your segment in context. Translators can preview up to 10 source documents per month for free. We have additional options on our subscription packages, all the way up to unlimited documents.

Previewing Word documents is only the beginning of in-context preview. We have plans for previews for HTML, video subtitles, and other source formats as well. We also know previewing the translated text is a popular request, so stay tuned for more!

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