Must-Have Tools for Professional Translators

These must-have tools for translators will help you process files, quote, translate, and manage your accounting, so that you can focus on what you do best.

SDL Trados

The market leader in CAT (computer-assisted translation) tools. Not the easiest to learn, but will save you time and money, and win you more jobs in the end.


Use this software to turn PDFs into word documents, for word counting or formatting purposes. Excellent recognition for dozens of languages.

FOR MAC                FOR PC


Easily count words for large batches of files to save you time when quoting a client. Add in your rates to generate invoices and quotes in seconds.




Accounting software has a long way to go before it catches up to the international freelancing marketplace. Xero comes the closest to handling your needs, allowing you to bill and record multiple currencies.

Microsoft Office

Clients rarely want to see Pages, WordPerfect, or Hanword. Eliminate file delivery issues with the Microsoft Office suite.


Mac user? If you want to be able to use Trados, Practicount, or any other commonly used translation tools, you'll need either Bootcamp (free with Mac) or Parallels to allow you to run Windows.

How about a tool that lets you calculate a variety of discounts and rates on fuzzy matches without opening up a CAT tool?

Try Meridian’s new Fuzzy Calculator here.

Must-Have Apps for Professional Translators


Keep track of your receipts from onsite work and conferences, so you can easily deduct them from your taxes later. Expensify lets you scan and sort receipts and bill them to clients.


A translator is never done learning. Keep up to date with gamified vocabulary packs for dozens of languages.


Who has a landline anymore? If you're dealing with international client, you'll need Skype, and you'll need it on your phone for instant push notifications when an assignment is pending.


This app lets you take a picture with your phone, transforming the image into a professional-looking scan. Great for NDA's or other necessary hard copies.


Helps you scan, sort, and store business cards. The translation industry runs on referrals, so keeping your contacts organized is a must for your marketing plan whether you are an LSP or a freelancer.


Digital nomad? Or just prefer working in cafes? Check the wifi before you sit down, because you never know when you'll need to process large files or take a Skype call from a client.

These tools will make life as a translator more efficient, more productive, and will minimize the hassles that go along with being an international freelancer. For paid tools, we have secured deals for Meridian Linguists wherever we can through brand partnerships. In these cases you will find affiliate links. We only recommend tools that we use ourselves and can confidently recommend to other translators.

Looking for tools to help you learn a language? Check here