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Across, a CAT tool developed for the needs of agencies and clients

I’ve previously written about three translator-centred tools, different in their conception but aiming to make the translators’ lives easier. Today, let’s see what Across Translator Edition has to offer.

Across CAT tool

Across CAT tool is a program that works differently than the ones we’ve talked about these last three weeks. Free with limited functions for freelancers to work on one project at a time, a subscription offers freelancers a few extra functions : creating and managing your own projects, connection to more than one client server at a time, machine translation connectivity, document preview, adding local TMs and terminology…

The translation interface has been recently upgraded (in V8.0) to a slightly more comfortable setup, but some options are still cumbersome : format changes inside one segment with the mouse, keyboard shortcuts that are uncomfortable to use (too many keys to press on the same side of the keyboard), limitations set by the client when setting up the project that can’t be changed, lags when propagating perfect matches…

The model does afford extreme data protection for the end client : every single detail is set within the server project and access to the program itself is password-protected locally for download and translation. Each task/project must be retrieved separately from the client’s server and then uploaded again. There is also a browser editor (crossweb), but you can’t switch between online and offline editors. The browser editor allows work on non-Windows systems.

The tool works with most Windows file formats (a few exceptions for QuarkXPress and AutoCAD files) in the standalone subscription edition.

Across, a CAT tool developed for the needs of agencies and clients

Translators used to the translator-centric CAT programs will have to go through quite a steep learning curve with Across. Some functions we take for granted aren’t always accessible, depending on the client’s settings for the project if you’re downloading from their server. That’s alright when your client manages and maintains their TMs and terminology regularly and to superior standards, but will become very annoying when it’s not the case.

One of the clients I work for, for example, has a termbase that was setup before the first translations and not corrected or expanded greatly since, with some absolutely abominable errors/typos. Also, they outsource to a few different translators, which leads to inconsistencies in style when the perfect matches are locked.

Personally, I find it very frustrating not to be able, like with Trados or Transit, to edit a locked segment (knowing I’m not getting paid for it) so that the style of the whole document is uniform. Are you one of those freelancers who hate Across with a vengeance?

Do you use the tool independently from clients/agencies or only because you’re forced to?

Do you know of any advantages in Across that I haven’t mentioned?

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