The alphabet soup of the upcoming Office for Mac.


Fall is always a good time to sharpen our pencils before tackling the new season. As dire as the technology prospects were for us, translators on Macs last year, I think there may be a ray of hope on our tool landscape. All this in part thanks to… Microsoft?! And Wordfast, and Parallels, and, of course, Apple, itself.

Why Microsoft? First, because now, with more ways to use Windows 7  on your Mac than I can describe here, thanks to the speedy Parallels 5, you can run Windows app seamlessly, mingling in-between you Mac apps. With names like Crystal and Coherence, you’ll find one that suits you… I particularly like Coherence, which allows you to control your virtual machine from the Mac’s Dock and menu bar.

An even more precious gift from Microsoft is the next Office for Mac. I am currently toying with the latest beta of July, and I am impressed. Looks like Google Docs, iWork, and the growing popularity of the Mac platform have finally convinced Redmond to give us a worthy Office, almost on par with the PC version. In many respects, I find the new applications, like Outlook, nicer than their Windows counterparts (my Macs also run Office 2010). Apart from a few not-so-great icons, the whole user experience is excellent, with possibly the best implementation of 3-column display of your mail on any platform. But why we only have the option to display, or not, images in emails, while you have the choice of four options in the Windows version… Beats me.

Lastly, a few tech goodies: first, the new Parallels 5 allows you to run your Windows apps with the content that sits on your Mac, by pointing the main Windows folders—Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos—to your Macs! In theory, you should be able to keep your Trados TM in a Mac folder an run it from there. It was not working last July, but a recent update was supposed to fix related issues.

The return of  Wordfast Classic on the Mac seems confirmed. The only native Mac “in line” solution should definitely run again inside Word with Office 2011—at least, the late July betas of both programs are happily compatible.

Finally, for all those who are wondering about using an iPad for translation, there is a CAT tool for that: Wordfast (them again) with their cool web-based Wordfast Anywhere that can be run from your favorite tablet’s browser. And this is just the beginning. With multi-tasking coming to the iPad this fall, things are looking up!

Bring your questions and experience and meet the TransMUG team at our quarterly 11:30 a.m. lunch-meetings at Out the Door. We meet before the NCTA meetings in the same building Westfield Center’s Food Court.

In the meantime, please visit, for more resources and our latest articles. YA