How to translate in XTM Visual Mode


The purpose of XTM Visual mode is to generate and display a preview of the source and target file so that the Linguist can click on the text in the preview and enter a translation in the relevant target segment. The target preview is immediately updated with the translation. This enables the Linguist to see the full context of the translation as they are working on it.

Supported formats

XTM Visual mode in XTM Workbench supports the following formats:

InDesign files (IDML is recommended)


MS Office Word files (e.g. DOCSX)

PDF (only editable PDF files are supported)



InDesign is a paid feature and requires a special connector with XTM Cloud. Contact the XTM International Sales team for more information by writing to the following email address:

Furthermore, to enable XML files to be viewed in XTM Visual mode, the relevant XSLT style sheets must be added to the system configuration before a project containing XML files is created. To do so, create a suitable issue request for the XTM International Support team and request for assistance.


  1. When you open XTM Workbench for a particular file (see How to open a file for translation in a created project for more information), you will notice an additional option in a popup window: Open in XTM Visual mode. Select this option and proceed…

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You can also switch over to XTM Visual mode directly from Workbench by selecting Visual modeEnable in XTM Workbench.

  1. Click some text in the visual view to display the corresponding segment in XTM Workbench, then enter your translation there, and confirm the segment. The editable text is highlighted in yellow.

Match-based text highlighting

Apart from the currently active text being displayed in yellow (as shown above), the text in which either an ICE match or MT (machine translation) match has been inserted is highlighted in light green and purple in the target language.

You can disable highlighting entirely by selecting Hide decoration in the XTM Visual mode settings:

As shown above, you can also disable visual mode by selecting Disable from the dropdown.

Visual mode preview

You can also open preview mode in a separate tab by selecting Open XTM Visual mode preview in secondary window from the "three dots" icon menu located on the top right corner of the page:

Good to know!

Using the Preview files section in Project editor → General info, you can enable Visual Mode for the vast majority of extensions supported in XTM Cloud, if you use a matching HTML file for this purpose.

To learn about common XTM Visual mode issues and troubleshooting guidelines, we recommend that you read the following article: XTM Visual Mode – most common issues and troubleshooting.