How to Translate PDF and Word Documents
Say dad bought you a digital camera from Japan but the problem is that the PDF manual that came with the camera is also written in Japanese. How do you quickly translate that PDF document into English?
Well there are several ways by which you can translate your Microsoft Office documents, presentations or PDF files from one language to another using Google Translate. The only condition is that your documents should not be password protected as Google Translate won’t be able to read such files.
The easiest option is that you upload the document to the Google Translation website - translate.google.com - then select the language translation pair and hit the Translate button.
The other good option is the Translator Toolkit, also from Google, where you may not only translate documents but also edit the translated material. Microsoft also offers a free utility that brings translation capabilities right into all your existing Office programs (including Outlook emails).
There’s however a limitation you should be aware of. While the Google Translate website makes it a one-click affair to translate lengthy documents, it doesn’t preserve the formatting of your documents /presentations and turns them into almost plain-text after the translation.
If you want your translated documents to look just like the original as far as formatting is concerned, give
DocTranslator a try. The user interface is horrible but the tool is pretty useful. You upload a document, select a target language and within a minute or so, it will translate all the text of that document in the required language while preserving the document formatting.
DocTranslater internally uses Google Translate itself and hence supports all language-pairs that are supported by Google Translate.
You may use the tool to translate PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, video sub-titles, OpenOffice documents and plain text files. Here’s a video demo of the translation tool in action.
Related: Add Language Translation to Websites
Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion
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.