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April 25, 2024

WPML’s Advanced Translation Editor allows you and your translators to work more quickly and easily while providing better translations. The editor comes with key features like machine translation, a glossary, translation memory, spell checker, HTML-less editing, and more.

The Advanced Translation Editor is WPML’s default translation editor. It works directly in a browser and allows you or your local translators to seamlessly translate posts, pages, and strings.

Watch the following video introduction to the Advanced Translation Editor:

What You Need

To use the Advanced Translation Editor, please be sure you have the following WPML plugins installed and activated on your site:

Activating the Advanced Translation Editor

The Advanced Translation Editor is selected as the preferred translation editor by default for all new sites. If you don’t currently have it selected for your site, you can change this on the WPML → Settings page.

Activating the Advanced Translation Editor in WPML → Settings

Main features of the Advanced Translation Editor

The Advanced Translation Editor has a number of great features to help make translating your website easy and seamless.

If you would like to translate a URL, shortcode, or HTML attribute, you can do so by searching for the value in the Advanced Translation Editor search bar.

Finding a URL to translate in the Advanced Translation Editor

Automatic Translation

WPML’s Advanced Translation Editor allows you to:

  • Review and make changes to content automatically translated using the Translate Everything Automatically mode.
  • Automatically translate specific pages or sentences in the Translate What You Choose mode.

By default, the Advanced Translation Editor automatically translates the posts and pages you send for translation. You can then review these translations and edit them as needed.

Automatically translated content in the Advanced Translation Editor

If you don’t want to use the provided automatic translations, you can simply click the Undo translation button. This removes the automatic translations and immediately returns the credits used.

Clicking Undo translation to remove the provided automatic translations

You can then translate the content by yourself, or you can use automatic translation for individual sentences by clicking the lightning bolt icon next to the text you want to automatically translate.

Automatic translation with WPML supports most of the world’s languages. You can translate your site using machine translations powered by DeepL, Google Translate, or Microsoft Translator. If you select DeepL as your translation engine, you can additionally choose the level of formality for your translations.

To select a translation engine and when to publish automatically translated content, head over to the WPML → Settings page.

Selecting a translation engine and what to do with automatically translated content

You can get 2000 automatic translation credits for free each month by signing up for an automatic translation account. More credits are available as you need them at a reasonable price.

HTML Markers

Some content in your original language may have formatted text. This means that some words or phrases may be in italics, bold, or include a hyperlink. Although you can’t see this in the WordPress block editor, the text is wrapped in HTML tags.

When you translate a post or page with formatted text in the Advanced Translation Editor, you’ll see the text in your default language highlighted with formatting markers. The Advanced Translation Editor allows you to apply the same styling to your translations without actually having to edit HTML.

This way, there’s no risk of breaking the page structure or producing bad HTML.

For example, here’s a post with formatted text on the front-end:

An example of content with formatted text

If you view the automatically translated post in the Advanced Translation Editor, you’ll see the the formatting markers automatically applied to the text in the default and secondary languages: 

HTML markers automatically applied in the Advanced Translation Editor

If you decide to translate the content manually in the Advanced Translation Editor, you need to use the formatting markers to apply the same styling to the corresponding texts in your secondary language. Only then will you be able to complete the translation job.

  1. Highlight the corresponding text in your secondary language. 
  2. Click the colored button that matches the marker in the original language. Your phrase in the secondary language will be highlighted with the same color as the original text. Repeat as needed for the remaining texts.
Applying the markers to the translations
  1. Once you apply all the HTML formatting to the text in your secondary language, you can click on the check mark in the green box to confirm the translation.

Now, the same formatting will be applied to the text in the secondary language.

Translation Memory

The Advanced Translation Editor breaks content into sentences. This allows the editor to keep track of all the translated text in the translation memory across your whole site.

If you repeat sentences anywhere on your site, the Advanced Translation Editor will automatically apply the saved translations when you translate the page. This saves you time and money as you won’t need to translate the same sentences multiple times.

To learn more, visit our page about how WPML’s translation memory works.

Joining Sentences

You can combine sentences within the Advanced Translation Editor to give you more flexibility in how you would like to translate your content. This makes for a translation experience that flows naturally and allows you to translate sentences that do not have a direct one-to-one translation.

To join sentences, click the link symbol next to the content you would like to combine.

Joining sentences in the Advanced Translation Editor

You can also unjoin sentences by clicking Unjoin.

Watch this video for step-by-step instructions on joining sentences in Advanced Translation Editor.

Please note: joining sentences will prevent Translation Memory from being able to reuse translations of individual sentences. If you are translating sentences that will appear in multiple places on your site, we recommend leaving them separate.


In the Advanced Translation Editor, you can see and insert the translations specified in your Glossary for important terms and phrases.

This helps produce more consistent translations, saves translators’ time in researching the related terminology, and prevents automatic translation from translating phrases incorrectly (such as a company name).

Viewing and inserting glossary terms in the Advanced Translation Editor

Read more about how to create and manage glossary terms.

Spell Checker

The built-in spell checker helps your translators avoid spelling errors and typos.

Using the spell checker to correct spelling errors

Deactivating the Advanced Translation Editor

There are some cases where you may not want to use the Advanced Translation Editor:

  • You want to create different layouts in different languages
  • You want to use different shortcodes in different languages
  • You use a plugin that is not compatible with the Advanced Translation Editor

For these cases, you can translate specific pages manually using the WordPress editor. This allows you to continue using the Advanced Translation Editor and its accompanying features on the rest of your site.

If you choose to deactivate the Advanced Translation Editor completely in the WPML settings, you will no longer be able to use automatic translation, the glossary, or the translation memory. Any translations that are still in progress will no longer be available. If you reactivate the Advanced Translation Editor, any translations you add manually after deactivating will not be saved.

Please note that resetting or uninstalling the WPML plugin will erase your translation memory, glossary, and automatic translation account. Previous invoices and word usage reports will no longer be accessible. At this time, there is not a way to recover any of these settings.