Development on Wordfast version 1 (then called simply Wordfast) was begun in 1999 in Paris, France, by Yves Champollion. It was made up of a set of macros that ran inside of Microsoft Word, version 97 or higher. At that time, other translation memory programs also worked inside Microsoft Word, for example Trados.
Until late 2002, this MS Word-based tool (now known as Wordfast Classic) was freeware. Through word of mouth, Wordfast grew to become the second most widely used TM software among translators.
In 2006, the company Wordfast LLC was founded. Prior to this date, Wordfast was developed by Yves Champollion in his personal capacity.
In January 2009, Wordfast released the Wordfast Translation Studio which included Wordfast Classic and Wordfast Professional, a standalone Java-based TM tool. The two tools can be purchased separately or bought as a suite.
In May 2010, Wordfast released a free online tool known as Wordfast Anywhere. This tool allows translators to work on projects from virtually any web-enabled device including smartphones, PDAs and tablets. By July 2010, 5000 users had registered at Wordfast Anywhere, and by November 2010 the number was 10,000.
In April, 2016, Wordfast released Wordfast Pro 4, a major upgrade to their standalone Java-based TM tool. This tool includes advanced translation management features including a WYSIWYG editor, the ability to create multilingual translation packages, real-time quality assurance, and a powerful translation editor filter.
Wordfast Classic is a set of macros that run in Microsoft Word 97 or higher on any platform. More recent versions support features only available on higher versions of Microsoft Word, but generally still runs on Word 97. A document translated in Wordfast Classic is temporarily turned into a bilingual document (contains both source text and translation, in delimited segments), turning into its final form by being cleaned up. This workflow is similar to the old Trados 5, WordFisher and Logoport.
The first version of Wordfast Classic was called Wordfast version 1, and was developed by Yves Champollion. It was distributed to the public in 1999.
Version 2 was used by the translation agency Linguex, which acquired a 9-month exclusive usage right for their in-house staff and affiliated freelancers in late 1999. During this time Wordfast was expanded with features such as rule-based and glossary quality control, and network support. After the demise of Linguex, version 3 of Wordfast was released to the public, as a free tool with mandatory registration.
In mid-2001 the developers of Wordfast signed a joint-venture agreement with the translation group Logos for distribution of the program, under a newly created UK company called Champollion Wordfast Ltd. The joint-venture ceased in August of that year after Logos had failed to share their software source code with the Wordfast developer, despite having gained access to Wordfast's source code through intercepting the developers' e-mails. To this day, Logos still distributes an older version of Wordfast from that time, and claims that the right to the name "Wordfast" or distributing newer versions of it is owned by them.
Initially, version 3 was freeware, with mandatory registration, using a serial number generated by the user's computer. In October 2002, Wordfast became a commercial product with three-year licenses at a price of EUR 170 for users from "rich" countries and EUR 50 (later EUR 85) for users from other countries.
Wordfast Classic can handle the following formats: any format that Microsoft Word can read, including plain text files, Word documents (DOC/DOCX), Microsoft Excel (XLS/XLSX), PowerPoint (PPT/PPTX), Rich Text Format (RTF), tagged RTF and HTML. It does not offer direct support for OpenDocument formats because the current versions of Microsoft Word do not have import filters for OpenDocument files.
Wordfast Anywhere is a free web-based version of Wordfast, with a workflow and user interface similar to that of Wordfast Classic. It was released in May 2010, although development versions were available to the public as early as May 2009. Before the product was first released, it was not certain whether it would remain a free service after release.
Although the service is free, certain restrictions apply:No more than 10 source files simultaneously
No more than 1 million translation units per account
No more than 100 000 translation units per translation memory
No more than 100 000 glossary entries per account
Upload size limitation is 2 MB, but files can be uploaded in zipped format
In addition to being usable on tablets such as Windows Mobile, Android and Palm OS, Wordfast Anywhere is also available as an iPhone app. Since April 2011, Wordfast Anywhere has built-in optical character recognition of PDF files.
Wordfast Anywhere can handle Word documents (DOC/DOCX), Microsoft Excel (XLS/XLSX), PowerPoint (PPT/PPTX), Rich Text Format (RTF), Text (TXT), HTML, InDesign(INX), FrameMaker (MIF), TIFF (TIF/TIFF) and both editable and OCR-able PDF. It does not offer support for OpenDocument formats.
Wordfast Pro is a stand-alone, multiplatform (Windows, Mac, Linux) translation memory tool that allows translators to work in a bilingual environment, leverage previously translated content and access terminological databases. Project managers can use Wordfast Pro to perform advanced pre-/post- translation processing functions including pre-translating documents, batch analysis, and quality assurance.
Wordfast Pro can handle Word documents (DOC/DOCX), Excel (XLS/XLSX), PowerPoint (PPT/PPTX), Visio (VSD/VDX/VSDX), Portable Object files (PO), Rich Text Format (RTF), Text (TXT), HTML (HTML/HTM), XML, ASP, JSP, Java, InDesign (INX/IDML), InCopy (INC), FrameMaker (MIF), Quark (TAG), Xliff (XLF/XLIFF), SDL Trados (SDLXLIFF/TTX) and editable PDF. It does not offer support for OpenDocument formats.
A set of free tools designed to help WFC translators perform specific advanced functions such as text extraction and alignment.
Users can leverage content from a very large public TM, or set up a private workgroup where they can share TMs among translators they are collaborating with.
Wordfast Server (WFS) is a secure TM server application that works in combination with either Wordfast Classic, Wordfast Pro, or Wordfast Anywhere to enable real-time TM sharing among translators located anywhere in the world.
WFS supports Translation memories in TMX or Wordfast TM (txt) format, leverages up to 1,000 TMs containing 1 billion TUs each and serves up to 50,000 users simultaneously
The Wordfast translation memory format is a simple tab-delimited text file that can be opened and edited in a text editor. Wordfast products can also import and export TMX files for memory exchange with other major commercial CAT tools. Wordfast's glossary format is a simple tab-delimited text file. Wordfast Pro can also import TBX files for terminology exchange with other major commercial CAT tools.
Wordfast products can support multiple TMs and glossaries. TMs can store up to 1 million TUs and glossaries can store up to 250,000 entries each.
Wordfast is able to use server-based TMs, and retrieve data from machine translation tools (including Google Translate and Microsoft Translator).
Comprehensive user manuals can be downloaded from the Wordfast web site. Wordfast Pro and Wordfast Anywhere also offer online help pages. Users can access the Wordfast wiki for help getting started, tips and tricks, FAQs, etc. Video tutorials are available on Wordfast's dedicated YouTube page.
Wordfast offers users free technical support with the purchase of a license. Users can also access free peer support forums available in dozens of languages.
WFC and WFP can be purchased individually for 400 euros per license or together as a suite for 500 euros per license. Special discounts are available for users in certain countries. Bulk discounts also apply for the purchase of 3 or more licenses. All Wordfast licenses include, from date of purchase: free email support; free upgrades to new releases of the software for three years; the right to relicense the software to keep it running for three years.
After the 3 year license period, users can renew their license for another 3 years for 50% of the standard list price of a license at the time of renewal.