Frequently Asked Questions

What versions of macOS does MacLinguist support?

We officially support macOS 10.12 Sierra and newer (up to, and including, Catalina 10.15). But it might work on earlier versions as well. Please download the Trial version and check out if it suits you.

Does it work offline?

Unfortunately, it requires an internet connection.

How is it different from Google Translate and zillion other translation apps in the App Store?

MacLinguist is deeply integrated into operating system, similar to the macOS Look Up feature. Basically, MacLinguist translates any text on your screen - whether it's a paragraph in Pages, a selected piece of text in Safari, even text in App Store, Calendar, Notes, System Preferences and others (please check out Screenshots!).

I would like to have a feature in MacLinguist, can you please add it?

We gladly accept suggestions on how to make it better for You, and, if feasible, we try to implement those. Please drop us a message!

Does it work on Windows as well?

Yes, we do have a Windows version!

MacLinguist doesn't work with some application.

Make sure MacLinguist is added to the list of Trusted Applications in System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Privacy -> Accessibility.

Also please make sure you are using it right: Select a piece of text with your mouse cursor, quickly press Control twice, holding Control during the second press for a few seconds. You should get the translation.

If you are sure you are doing everything correctly, please drop us a message, describing what application is it, what did you do, we will try to help.

What is the difference between Standard and Pro versions?

In Pro you can translate significantly longer pieces of text, plus you can translate into two languages at once: you have a Destination Language (the text is translated into it by double pressing Control) and an Alternative Destination Language (the text is translated into it by double pressing Control and holding Fn key). Both version allow pasting translated text into the currently active application by pressing Alt (Option) key

I cannot paste the translation

Make sure the currently active application supports entering text into it. For example, Preview application, displaying a PDF file, does not normally support pasting text into it. On the other hand, Pages or Text Edit support this.

Are you using Optical Character Recognition (OCR)?

The accuracy of the input of the translated text is crucial. Our research showed that Optical Character Recognition has bad performance when translating text, especially when translating Asian characters. As an example, Screen Translator loses a lot of context because of misinterpreting words which ends up in messed up translation. Hence we decided to integrate MacLinguist into the system instead of building a universal "recognize what you see on the screen" solution. The usability and comfort are the same but the translation results are much better.

MacLinguist keeps asking to make it "Trusted Application". What is going on?

For MacLinguist translator to operate, it needs to listen to Control (⌃), Option (⌥) and Fn keys on the keyboard. To be able to do that MacLinguist needs to be added to the list of Accessibility applications in System Preferences. MacLinguist does not listen to any other keys on your keyboard.

To add MacLinguist to the list of Accessibility apps, see the video below

Is it going to work with Sublime Text/TextWrangler/Adobe Acrobat Reader/you name it?

Yes, MacLinguist should be able to translate text of box with almost all macOS applications. Some apps require selecting the text that you want to translate, though.