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Best Free Translation Software for Freelance Translators in 2024

The translation industry continues to witness significant advancements in technology as 2024 unfolds, particularly in Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools, and it’s not just due to the omnipresence of AI. For freelance translators, finding effective and budget-friendly tools is key. This article explores the best free translation software available in 2024, with a special focus on CAT tools suitable for freelance professional translators.

The Importance of CAT Tools for Freelancers

CAT tools have become necessary for modern-day translators, blending automation with the human touch to ensure consistency, speed, and accuracy. They are indispensable for managing large volumes of translation work, maintaining quality, and enhancing productivity. For freelancers, investing in CAT tools can significantly improve their workflow and even multiply their output (and revenue). 

Best Free Translation Software in 2024


Tailored for professional freelance translators and small LSPs, Doc3 offers a robust, free version packed with essential features, allowing unlimited use in terms of translated volume and usage period. Its browser-based nature means easy access without installations, and its compatibility with all standard translation file formats (such as SDLXLIFF, MQXLIFF, and TRANSIT PPF) ensures versatility. Doc3’s integration with DeepL for high-quality machine translation, already in its free version, makes it a top choice for freelancers seeking a comprehensive, cost-effective solution.


OmegaT is an open-source software that facilitates translation and runs on desktop computers (Windows, Linux, and MacOS). It offers basic CAT functionalities like translation memory and glossary support, making it ideal for individual translators or small teams who need a straightforward, no-cost solution. OmegaT’s simplicity means it may lack the advanced functionalities found in more sophisticated tools, but its open-source nature allows for continuous improvements and updates.


Smartcat offers a variety of features to streamline the translation process, including translation memory, terminology management, and machine translation integration. Its cloud-based platform allows users to access their projects from anywhere, making it ideal for remote work. Smartcat’s translation memory feature leverages previous translations to increase efficiency and accuracy, and its collaborative workspace streamlines the translation process. Some freelance translators might not like the hidden fees and imposed limits on the abilities of the free version though.

CafeTran Espresso

CafeTran Espresso offers a perfect blend of simplicity and power. Its intuitive interface ensures a minimal learning curve, while its range of features guarantees professional-level translations. Supporting a wide array of file formats and integrating with other CAT tools, CafeTran Espresso ensures everything needed is in one place. CafeTran Espresso, while user-friendly, faces limitations such as being primarily a desktop application, which restricts cloud-based collaboration and remote access. 


Anaphraseus, an extension for OpenOffice, is perfect for those who prefer a lightweight solution. Despite its simplicity, it packs a punch, offering basic CAT functionalities that ensure quality translations without the complexities of standalone software. However, it might not include the more advanced features that are present in other CAT tools.

Making the Right Translation Software Choice in 2024

Finding the best free translation software tailored to your needs can be daunting in the vast sea of options. However, with tools like Doc3 leading the charge, freelance translators can easily equip themselves to deliver unparalleled work, ensuring they stay ahead in the competitive world of translation. It offers an exceptional balance of advanced features and cost-effectiveness, making it ideal for freelancers looking to maximize their potential in the translation industry.

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