Working in team with OmegaT through a Shared Folder

This post describes how to work in team using the computer assisted translation software OmegaT.

[Leggi questo articolo in italiano]

In order to work in team, you need to share and synchronize in real time the translation memories of all the translators involved in the project.

To constantly synchronize everyone's TMs thee are at least two ways:

  1. Setting up a server. This is the option suggested by OmegaT developers. In my opinion, this solution is a bit complex for the average computer skills of translators. Moreover, it requires the installation of a specific software for SVN management (the suggested software is Tortoise) and the creation of an account on a platform that provides space on an SVN or GIT server. Usually, these platforms are designed for software developers. Further information is available on an omegat wikia page.
  2. Synchronizing a folder in real time. It is also possible to synchronize the folder using a cloud service like Dropbox or others (Microsoft OneDrive, SugarSync, Adrive, etc.). The benefit of this approach is that many of us already use one of these services, so you don't need to create a specific account and download another software. You can simply use your personal account and share with your colleagues the job folder for the time needed to complete the job. If the team members work in the same space (like an office), you can share the project folder using the LAN sharing options without the need to load the files on the server of a third party.

This post will describe only the team working process using a shared folder (Dropbox or other). When working with this method you should always consider the privacy. Every time we save files on a cloud folder —whatever the service provider— we must remember that we are sharing our files with a third company and sometimes, depending on the provider, without a good data encryption option. Therefore, if you translate extremely confidential files, the sharing of a folder through the cloud may not be the best option.

In the team work, you need to appoint a translator as project manager (PM): His/her task is to create the folder to be shared and an OmegaT project folder for each member of the team.
For example, let's imagine we have a big translation job for a company named ACME and the team includes three translators Tom, Dick and Harry. Tom will be the PM.
It is crucial that every team member correctly sets its own name in OmegaT. To do so, use the menu Options > Team. To speed up the synchronization process, select a lower time interval for memory save. To do so, go to the menu Options > Saving and Output. In this window, set the saving interval at 1 minute.

Job Setting

The Project Manager will have to:

  1. Open the Drobbox folder (or other synchronization service provider on the cloud) and crate a job folder to be shared with all the translators involved (in the example we name it ACME-team). 
  2. In the folder named ACME-team create a folder named auto.
  3. Open OmegaT; access to the menu Project > New and create a new project in the folder
    .ACME-team/auto. It is advisable to name the project after the team member. In our example we will create a project named Tom.
    • In the field Translation Memory Folder select the path of the ACME-team folder (e.g D:/Dropbox/ACME-team).
    • In the field Glossary Folder click on Browse and create a new Glossary folder inside the ACME-team folder (for example create a folder with the path
  4. If in the previous step we used the Browse button, the field "Writeable Glossary File" will automatically show the path of the glossary folder we just created and will name the glossary in this way:
    which is perfect for us.

    OmegaT Properties

  5. Now, to create the project click on OK at the bottom of the window.
  6. Repeat all the previous steps for each translator in the team.
  7. At this point, the PM can assign the source files to each translator copying them directly in the source folder of the OmegaT project of each colleague.
  8. After the team folder has been set up in this way, the PM has to share it. If you are using Dropbox, right click on the ACME-team folder and select Share folder. Once the sharing web page is open, insert the translators' e-mail addresses. If you are using another cloud service, share the ACME-team folder following the specific procedure set by the cloud service provider.

Warning: The translators must provide the e-mail address they use for their Dropbox sign in.
Translators will receive an e-mail requiring them to accept the shared folder. Every translator will see the ACME-team folder and the folders of all the other colleagues involved in the project. Obviously, the translator will have to open in OmegaT only his/her own project, that is the project named after him/herself.

Now the translators can start working on the project and the various glossaries and translation memories will be shared in real time.

End of the Job

The PM has two possibilities:

  1. Ask every translator to create the target files, then retrieve them directly from the project Target folders of each colleague.
  2. Insert all the files to be translated —the files assigned to other colleagues also— in his/her own job folder (the PM is a member of the team him/herself). As OmegaT automatically inserts the segments from all the reference TMs, it can re-create the translations of all the files. Choosing this option, it is possible to review the translations by others and possibly change them. In this way, the PM can also be the reviewer.

At the end of the job, in Dropbox remember to remove the sharing option from the project folder.


(What's behind the project sharing through shared folder)

Translation Memories Sharing.
OmegaT can use recursively all the tmx files contained in the folder selected as "Translation Memory Folder". This means that OmegaT searches in all the subdirectories inside the selected directory. As for this folder we selected a directory containing all the projects of each translator (synchronized in real time by Dropbox), OmegaT will show as translated all the segments translated by any team translator. As we inserted all the projects inside the "auto" folder, OmegaT will automatically insert all the segments —the inactive ones as well— translated by other team members.
In this respect, it is advisable to select the OmegaT Menu View > Mark Auto-Populated Segments. Through this option, it is possible to see at a glance the segments translated by other team members.


Glossary Sharing.
Likewise, OmegaT can use recursively all the glossary files contained in the folder selected as Glossary Folder. To do so, we created a specific folder in the team path and we selected a different glossary name for each translator.
This is essential because, otherwise, all the translators will write on the same glossary file possibly causing synchronization problems in Dropbox.

 (Print version)

dasmi Thursday 05 February 2015 - 06:26 am | | Translator tools

two comments


Thank you for posting very useful solution.That is exactly what I wanted.
I have one question.

Is there any problems if “source” folder was shared by all team members?

In other words, Can I set “source” folder as follows?
(not “/ACME-team/auto/Dick/source/”)

I’m glad if you teach me.
Thank you.

Yuuki, - 20-06-’18 07:30

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