CAT Editors

CAT Desktop Editor (TMS)

Content is machine translated from English by Phrase Language AI.


As of January 2021, all outdated OS support ends and their corresponding desktop editor versions will no longer function. This is due to the deprecation of legacy APIs. An updated OS and editor version will be required.

As of June 18, 2024, the minimum version will be set to 24.8.0. Earlier versions will no longer be able to login to Phrase to work with online files.

Download the latest version to use with an updated OS.

The CAT desktop editor is a lightweight CAT tool that can be installed on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux operating systems. Minimum requirements are a processor (CPU) not  more than 8 years old, 2GB of RAM and at least 256 MB of disk storage. While translating offline is supported, full functionality is provided when connected.

Panes in the editor can be moved outside the main window to give more visibility. To place the panes back in their original positions, select Restore default layout from the Tools menu.

.MXLIFF files are the native file format for the editor and can be downloaded from translation projects.

The editor automatically connects to appropriate translation memories, term bases, and/or machine translations when logged in.

For supported versions, see the download site.

Installation for Windows

As of October 24, 2023 Windows (32-bit) is no longer supported. The minimum supported Windows (64-bit) version is 10.

To install CAT desktop editor, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click the downloaded installation file.

    The installation launches.

  2. When installation completes, open the editor.

  3. From the Tools menu, under Preferences, select the Login tab.

    The Login tab opens.

  4. Enter login details:

    • Server - typically for the EU data center and for the US data center

    • Username

      Unlike the web editor, this must be the username and not the email address.

    • Password

  5. Click Save.

    Login credentials are saved. If correct, the Login indicator will show green.

Installation for Mac

Supported versions are macOS 11 and higher.

Follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to System Preferences and select Security & Privacy settings.

  2. In the Allow apps downloaded from users section, select App Store and identified developers.

    Administrator privileges required.

  3. With Security & Privacy settings still open, unzip the installer and launch it. The installer will be blocked, but will appear in Security & Privacy settings

  4. In Security & Privacy settings, click Open anyway.

    The installer launches.

  5. When installation completes, open the editor.

  6. From the Tools menu, under Preferences, select the Login tab.

    The Login tab opens.

  7. Enter login details:

    • Server - typically for the EU data center and for the US data center

    • Username

    • Password

  8. Click Save.

    Login credentials are saved. If correct, the Login indicator will show green.

Installation for Ubuntu

As of November 9, 2021 Ubuntu (32-bit) will no longer be supported. The minimum supported Ubuntu (64-bit) version is 20.04.

To install the CAT desktop edito, follow these steps:

  1. Right click on downloaded file and select Properties.

  2. Select the Permissions tab.

  3. Select the Execute box (Allow Executing File as Program).

    The software installer will pop up to complete the installation.

When new versions are released, the editor displays the Application update window, where users can choose to download them in the background. The upgraded version will be opened when restarted. Updates are backwards compatible but if any issues occur, logging in to the project (with the same profile that you are using to log in to the editor) and downloading a fresh version of the bilingual MXLIFF file may solve the problem.

Login Preferences

To set or change Login Preferences, follow these steps:

  1. From the Tools menu, select Preferences.

    The Preferences windows opens.

  2. Select the Login tab.

    Provide, change or remove login details.

  3. Click Save.

    Login details are applied.

Login credentials for different organizations are saved. Selecting the username for a specific organization applies the preferences for that organization. If not in use, or invalid, user credentials can also be deleted.

Single Sign-On (SSO)

If SSO is implemented for the profile, follow these steps:

  1. For User, select New domain user.

  2. Provide Server and Domain.

  3. Click Save.

    SSO server login page opens for the organization.

  4. Provide a username and password for the organization.

    Notification is given if login is successful and the editor is now synchronized.


SSO token will need to be refreshed if not used for 24 hours.

Network Preferences

To set or change network preferences, follow these steps:

  1. From the Tools menu, select Preferences.

    The Preferences window opens.

  2. Select the Misc tab.

    The Network section is displayed at the bottom of the window.

  3. If the proxy requires manual configuration, click the Configure proxy manually radio button.

    Provide proxy type, server name and authentication details. These should be provided by a network administrator.

  4. Click Save.

    Network details are saved.

Translating Offline

The CAT desktop editor can be used to work offline but access to translation resources such as TMs, TBs, machine translation and QA will be limited. The preview feature is also only available while online.

It is recommended to be connected to the internet when using the editor but if connection is not possible, the following process can be used to work offline.

To prepare a job for working offline, follow these steps:

  1. Install the editor.

  2. From the linguist portal, pre-translate the .MXLIFF file.

  3. Download the pre-translated .MXLIFF file and begin translating in the editor.

    Segments with TM matches are pre-translated.

  4. Go offline if required and continue translating.


Make backups of .MXLIFF files as well as any other important documents at regular intervals in line with the general best practices for offline work. Refer to clients' data protection policies e. g. on the mandatory use of encryption on external drives.

To go back online with the job, follow these steps:

  1. Log in.

    Resource status will show green.

  2. Upload the .MXLIFF file with one of these methods:

    • From the Document menu, select Upload to server.

    • From the linguist portal Tools menu, select Upload.

    • Send the file to the Project manager for upload.

  3. Complete the translation.

.MXLIFF Upload Problems

The editor resource status provides detailed information about error messages during upload.

  • The MXLIFF is broken.

    • May occur if the file was translated in a CAT tool other than Phrase.

  • The MXLIFF belongs to a different project.

    • A workflow error; a translator creates their own projects and then tries to add their .MXLIFF files to a client profile.

  • The MXLIFF belongs to a different workflow step.

    • The .MXLIFF file should always be added to the same workflow step that it was exported from.

  • The job has been deleted.

    • The job into which the .MXLIFF file belongs has been deleted, but the translator has continued to translate the deleted .MXLIFF file. Because the job was deleted, the connection between the server and the .MXLIFF file was lost (connections cannot be made to deleted jobs). The translator was working offline when the job was deleted and the resource status was showing red.

    • The PM can locate the deleted job in the recycle bin and undelete it.

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