TranslateCAD is a tool for computer-aided translation software designed to extract translatable text from CAD drawings saved in the industry-standard DXF format - regardless of the CAD software used to create such drawings - so that professional translators are able to translate in plain text using a number of CAT tools available.
The translatable text is saved in a Unicode Text file, that can be translated using any CAT tool available. The main advantages of translating out of the drawing CAD software environment are:
* It is faster to translate in plain-text format than using the native MTEXT or TEXT command in AutoCAD
* The translator is able to re-utilize translation memories, glossaries, dictionaries and other features of the CAT tool being used
* The special Unicode fonts can be visualized better using the CAT software than the drawing software
But there are also disadvantages of doing so, such as:
* Some visibility is lost during the process. Users may need to go back to the drawing to see more context.
* Not 100% of the drawings are not subject to be converted to DXF (See Limitations section)
Once the translator has created the target-language equivalent, TranslateCAD re-creates a DXF drawing merging the extracted translatable text with the rest of the elements in the DXF file, such as lines, circles, dimensions, page properties, etc.
TranslateCAD is not a CAT tool itself, but a tagger software, that serves as a bridge between the target format and the CAT software.
The translator would need to check (and edit if needed) the target-language drawing in order to accommodate the different lengths of words/phrases into the original layout. This specially true when translating between European and Asian/far east languages, due to the differences found in lengths among ideograms/glyphs and alphabet-based languages.
Latest version of TranslateCAD is 1.4.4 and it was released on April 16, 2010.