How to translate PDF documents

Translate editable and scanned PDFs with SDL Trados Studio

Are you often asked to translate PDF documents? Have you ever encountered problems translating scanned PDFs? With SDL Trados Studio’s OCR converter for PDFs, translating a PDF is as simple as translating a Word document.


Watch this 4-minute video on translating PDF files in SDL Trados Studio.


PDF documents can be editable or scanned

Editable PDFs

These PDFs include text layers and can be processed in SDL Trados Studio 2011 onwards.

Scanned PDFs

These PDFs are documents which have been scanned. This creates an image based PDF, meaning all of the content will be captured as an image, so there is no text available. Translating scanned PDFs is available in SDL Trados Studio 2015 onwards through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) powered by Solid Documents, to extract the text from the image.

Read Emma Goldsmith's blog on how to translate a PDF in Studio

Benefits of translating PDFs with SDL Trados Studio

  • Easily translate both editable and scanned PDFs
  • OCR Conversion is free and included in SDL Trados Studio 2015 onwards
  • Preview how your file will look in Studio before opening for translation
  • Higher quality conversions
  • Retain PDF file formatting and images 
  • Flexible Studio editor to best handle PDFs
  • Easy to edit source segments for better translation memory leverage
  • OCR support for over 130 languages, including Asian languages, with free IRIS PDF OCR Support app from the SDL AppStore.
Translate scanned PDFs in over 130 languages in SDL Trados Studio 2017 SR1 or higher with the IRIS add-on app