Saturday, December 15, 2012

Xbench 3.0 – Now in public beta with some major new features

ApSIC have announced today the public beta of Xbench, their terminology management and translation QA program.

I’ll write a review of the new version of Xbench after working with it for a while, but there are some major improvements that should please many translators:
  • Full unicode support
  • Separate 32-bit and 64-bit versions
  • Support of MemoQ 6 XLIFF files
  • Support of Wordfast 3.1 Pro
  • Integration of the spell checkers in the program itself (you no longer need to download and install the dictionaries separately). 
The QA functions are also improved, with two new tests that will certainly interest those of us who often translate software: checks for CamelCase and for ALL UPPERCASE string mismatches.

Unlike most other beta programs, Xbench 3.0 comes with good documentation: an excellent help system and a new 70-page manual.

You can read about all the new and improved features in ApSIC's blog, but if you want an introduction to Xbench, see my old presentation: it is no longer up to date, now that 3.0 is out, but should give you a good idea about what this program can do to help your translations.

A big change is that version 3.0, when it is finally released, will be available through a paid subscription; those who pre-order before the end of the beta period will enjoy a discount  (up to 80% if you subscribe by December 27, less so if you wait). Version 2.9, however, will remain free and will still be available for download. I believe that charging for the program will be good for the translation community: the program's priorities will no longer depend on ApSIC's internal use only, so they should match even more closely the needs of other translators.

To download the public beta you can go to (if you are in a hurry, the link for the download is here). If you want to pre-order a subscription to take advantage of the discounts (and I strongly recommend you do so), the link is here.


There was some confusion about the pricing scheme for Xbench licenses - ApSIC have now clarified things in a new post on their own blog.


  1. Hmm, an interesting decision. What about LSPs that are currently using Xbench internally and asking their freelance translators to use it, too? It's an impressive user base, but will they be happy about switching to a paid program? Especially at €99 per year, which seems quite a lot to me.

    Best wishes,

    1. Hi Roman,

      Bear in mind that I'm just an avid user of Xbench, and do not speak in any way for ApSIC.

      Speaking personally, I stated in various occasions that I would gladly pay for Xbench - and in fact I'll do so.

      As regards companies that are currently using Xbench internally - I don't think it fair to base their business practices on the good will of a competitor providing them with a free product. They should pay for Xbench (or, if they prefer, for QA Distiller or the few other products in this category - but as far as I know none is free), just as they pay for the other software tools they use.

      If they make it a requirement for their translators to use Xbench, I believe that they should negotiate a bulk license deal with ApSIC, if ApSIC is willing to provide volume discounts.

    2. Hi Roman,

      ApSIC have just published some clarifications on their blog about the pricing scheme for Xbench licenses (see above, in the update to my original post).

      Short version: as far as I can see, it would be very convenient to pre-order soon.


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