Google Translate now does PDF, Powerpoint, Excel files and more

Lots of people were upset when Google announced that it is terminating its free translation API and launching a paid service. Are you still upset? I think that many of you will be assuaged when you learn that Google Translate, the free online language translation service, now supports free translation of entire documents. This includes Excel, Powerpoint, Word and PDF files. This feature has evidently been around for the last two months, but I just learned about this myself today. You can access this feature from within Google Translate or just click this link.

I tested this feature a bit and translated an assortment of documents in the following file formats: PDF, Excel, Powerpoint and Word. I even translated a 75 page PDF file. Although the translations were served quickly and in all the language pairs that Google Translate offers, some of the formatting and page layout got lost. But if your purpose is gisting, this feature appears to be ideal.

When translating PDF files, please bear in mind that scanned documents will not work in Google Translate. If you want to try and translate a PDF file, provided that the quality of it is not too poor, you can try Google Docs which has an integrated OCR feature.

I find it interesting to note that Google Translate now supports translation of file formats that are not supported by the Google Translator Toolkit (GTT). I guess it’s only a matter of time and Google will eventually add PDF, XLS and PPT to GTT as well.