3 Reasons to Use CAT Tools

Resolutions in Translation Series
Resolution #1 (January) — Start Using a CAT Tool

3 Important Reasons to Use a CAT Tool

Long before pen ever hit paper, people used available resources to communicate across languages and cultures. Choosing the right technology enabled the most adept to reach their audience in the most efficient manner. Translators (communicators) who use the right technology to support and enhance their work often come ahead in this highly competitive industry. With this constant advancement in Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) technology, translators are now more productive and competitive by adopting the tools that fits them best. Here are a few reasons why you should leverage technology and use a CAT tool:

  1. Industry Standard

    No more translating in Microsoft Word documents! With the need to reduce cost in translation and get to market more quickly, many companies have come to see the value of translators that are proficient in at least one CAT tool. In order to be competitive and valuable to your clients, whether companies and/or languages service providers, you should be competent in this technology.

  1. Productivity

    Because of the advances in social media, internet, and the overall globalization of our planet the amount of information translated every day continues to increase. In order to meet this demand translators are having to increase their output.The average translator working in a MS Word document translation environment outputs around 30-40% less words per day than a translator using a good CAT tool. This increase in productivity helps translators meet deadlines, take on more projects and see quick return to their investment in a CAT tool.

  1. Quality

    While some might fear that this increased quantity and speed would result in decreased quality, it has been found that by integrating the right CAT tool, you can have the best of both worlds. Through the use of Translation Memories, CAT tools increase quality by saving the translations you have done in the past so you don’t have to duplicate your efforts. For example, by building up your own translation memory and/or terminology management system you will improve consistency and facilitate collaboration with other translators and colleagues across the organization as whole.

Fortunately several companies that specialize in CAT tools have developed solutions worthy of your consideration. These companies offer tools with licenses that range anywhere from free to nearly $3,000. Some are client-based (installed on your computer) whereas others are cloud-based (online, software as a service). Each contains their own array of benefits that can be used to best meet your needs. Below is a chart that contrasts these two type of companies to give an idea of what you can expect:

Brief Comparison of Client vs. Cloud:


Client-based CAT Tool (SDL Studio)

Cloud-based CAT Tool (

System Requirements:

  • Operating System: Windows 7 and above

  • RAM required: 2 GB (best performance 4 GB)

  • Mac Compatible: No

  • Browser: N/A

System Requirements:

  • Operating System: ALL

  • RAM required: N/A

  • Mac Compatible: Yes

  • Browser: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and most others.


  • Professional: $2,895 (one time)*

  • Freelance: $825**

* Yearly upgrade (2017: $895)

** Yearly upgrade (2017: $275)


  • Professional: $30/month to month*

  • Standard: $20/month to month*

  • Freelance: Free

* Automatic upgrades on all new features

Native Collaboration = No

Licensing: 1-2 Machines for a license

Native Collaboration = Yes

Licensing: Unlimited devices for a license

Learn more at

As you begin the process of selecting the CAT tool that best fits your needs and budget, you may wonder where to start. For this, and other needs that may arise, remember to turn to trusted colleagues, leaders, groups, and organizations. You may also contribute to these groups by sharing your experience with our CAT in the Cloud solution.