How to Translate a Document in Word?

Can you translate a document in Word? Yes, you certainly can! When reading a document in the middle of your work, have you ever been disrupted by a foreign-language text that looks entirely unintelligible to you? Many people used to have this frustrating experience. What would they normally do to get around that? The most common practice would be to copy the foreign text and paste it on Google Translate for automatic translation. In fact, you don’t even need to open Google Translate. There is a built-in translator right with in Microsoft Word. 

How to Translate a Document in Word?

Translators can translate a document on different word processors or CAT (Computer-assisted Translation ) tools based on their work habits or the client’s specific requirements. Suppose you are not a professional translator but someone who handles paperwork regularly and needs to translate Word documents occasionally. Don’t just resort to using Google Translate to save time and effort. You have the faster and more convenient option right within your word processor itself. And it’s FREE! Say hello to your quick translation tool – Microsoft Translator!

How to Translate on Microsoft Word?

Getting automatic word to word translation in Microsoft Word is simple once you get the hang of it. Based on your needs, you can translate a text selection or the entire document on Word. We will walk you through the instructions to translate document in Word.

Translate Segment of Text

You can instantly translate a word or snippets of the text into multiple languages with Microsoft’s built-in Word document translator. Word will auto-detect the language of the text for translation, or you can select it manually.

You can follow the steps below to translate the selection with Microsoft Translator.

Step 1: Click and open your Word document.

Step 2: Select the text that needs to be translated.

Step 3: Go to the Review tab on the toolbar and click on the Translate button.

Step 4: Click Translate Selection from the drop-down menu to translate the selected text.

Step 5: Check the auto-detected language of the text or select the source language manually in the “From” drop-down menu.

Step 6: Select your target language in the “To” drop-down menu to quickly review your preferred translation.

Step 7: Click the Insert button to replace the selected text in the document with your target translation.

Step 8: Make adjustments or adaptations yourself or use a post-editing service to fine-tune the translation. 

Remember to save an original copy of your document before you change the text language in Word document in case the selected text is lost during the process. Automatic translation is a quick yet unreliable option. If you’re not satisfied with the results by the Word document translator, you can undo the replacement of the translation and revert to the original text by pressing Ctrl + Z on Windows or Cmd + Z on Mac. If you rush to save the document before withdrawing the replacement and accidentally close the Word document, you will have difficulty retrieving the original copy.   

Translate the Entire Document

If you wish to translate the entire Word document, just repeat the above steps except for Step 4, in which you will select Translate Document instead. Once this option is selected, a new Word document will be automatically opened to display the translation, which you can edit and save as a new file. 

Translation in Microsoft Word is not Accurate

AI-powered machine translator is highly advanced these days. But it’s not quite the same as human translators who pay great attention to detail in linguistic and technical accuracy, cultural nuances and adaptations, style guides, and much more. If all you need is to make sense of the document, the Word document translator is a good option. Otherwise, you should be mindful of the quality of the word to word translation provided by these machine translators. 

Other Ways to Translate a Document in Word

However, suppose you are starting out as a new translator and are only using Microsoft Word as a word processor with no intention to use its document translator. In that case, you can open a new Word document for your manual translation input by viewing and comparing both documents side by side. 

As you enter the target translation one sentence after another, the length of the text will necessarily expand. You can activate Synchronous Scrolling in the Window group on the View tab to avoid scrolling both documents back and forth and increase work efficiency. Under this mode, you can view and scroll both documents side by side at the same time for easier editing. In many CAT tools, the source and target translation sections are also displayed side by side. So there you have your very first experience as a translator with Word.

Another alternative to translating a document in Word is by uploading your Word document to Google Translate or Google Drive. With this option, you are not technically changing the language in the Word document but translating it via Google Docs’s built-in translator Google Translate. Once your target language is selected, the translation will be presented in a new Google Doc file, which you can download and save as a Word document.

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Generally, there are three ways to translate Word documents. Few people know that they can directly translate a document in Word. This could be a useful tool to quickly get the gist of a foreign language text but not a go-to option when translation accuracy is of paramount importance to you and your audience. 

If you need to translate a document for your business, ensure the translation is adapted to your target market with guaranteed quality. If you want a hassle-free translation experience, Wordspath will be at your service. Get in touch with our expert to know more about how we can help you globalize.

Wordspath can help

Wordspath provides highly reliable human translation and state-of-the-art machine translation services for content related to diverse subject matters with accuracy and consistency. 

We take pride in our quality-driven workflow that combines the excellent work of our linguists, desktop publishers, project managers, customer service, and technical team. Their endless support allows Wordspath to provide first-rate language solutions in 150+ languages for thousands of customers who need to connect with the world.

Wordspath also offers machine translation post-editing services translating the content with our proprietary MT engine and having our in-house/contracted linguists review,  edit, polish, and proofread the results.

Meanwhile, we are highly experienced in delivering tailor-made localization-related solutions such as desktop publishing, transcription, subtitling, and voiceover. Our ability to quickly handle a wide range of content types between nearly all language combinations sets us apart from our competitors. Should you need to consult on your best-fit language solution, you can contact us through live chat or email to Or simply request a free quote.

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