Translate Google Documents with Google Apps Script

Published in: Google Apps Script - Google Translate

The LanguageApp service of Apps Script can be used to translate any selected piece of text in a Google Document from one language to another. Select a paragraph in the document, or a word or a partial sentence, and choose the translate option from the menu bar. It will append the translated text with the original selection.

The functionality is offered by existing add-ons but this will give you an idea of what happens behind the scenes.

function translateSelection() {

  var selection = DocumentApp.getActiveDocument().getSelection();

  if (!selection) {
    DocumentApp.getUi().alert("Please select text for translation.");

  var elements = selection.getSelectedElements();

  /* Append the translated text with the original */
  for (var i = 0; i < elements.length; i++) {

    if (elements[i].isPartial()) { /* Is partial text selected */

      var element = elements[i].getElement().asText();
      var startIndex = elements[i].getStartOffset();
      var endIndex = elements[i].getEndOffsetInclusive();

      var text = element.getText().substring(startIndex, endIndex + 1);
      var translatedText = LanguageApp.translate(text, 'ja', 'en');
      element.insertText(endIndex + 1, " [" + translatedText + "] ");

    } else {

      var element = elements[i].getElement();

      if (element.editAsText) { /* Is the selection contains text */
        var text = element.asText().getText();
        var translatedText = LanguageApp.translate(text, 'ja', 'en');
        element.asText().setText(text + " [" + translatedText + "] ");

Published in: Google Apps Script - Google Translate

Looking for something? Find here!

Meet the Author

Web Geek, Google Developer Expert
Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India. He is the developer of Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory

Get in touch