How can I translate PDF files?
There are two features which you can use to translate PDF files:
- Translation of whole PDF files keeping the formatting in place (available in the web translator, desktop apps, and API)
- Translation of text extracted from PDF files without retaining the formatting (only in the desktop apps and mobile apps)
Translation of whole PDF files keeping the formatting in place (available in the web translator, desktop apps, and API)
If you want to translate whole PDF files and keep the formatting of the original document in the translation output, you can do so by using whole file PDF translation.
The number of file translations available per month depends on your subscription plan.
You can translate entire PDF files by opening the document translation area:
- In the web translator, click on Translate files
- In the DeepL for Windows app, click on Translate files
- In the DeepL for Mac app, click on Documents
Your texts will be processed exclusively within the European Economic Area when using this feature. You can find more information about this here.
DeepL also supports this feature in API requests.
Translation of text extracted from PDF files without retaining the formatting (only in the desktop apps and mobile apps)
If you want to translate PDF files without keeping the original formatting, you can translate them in the DeepL for Windows / Mac app or in the DeepL for Android / iOS app.
Please note that with this feature, only the plain text from your PDF file will be extracted for translation. Pictures or graphs included in the original file will not be included in the translation.
With this app feature, the whole file translation limits do not apply.
To translate PDF files in the desktop apps, just drag and drop your PDF file in the text translation area (Translate text for the Windows app / Text for the Mac app). You'll be asked if you would like to extract the text from your file or translate the full document. Click on the Text only button for the Windows app or the Extract text button in the Mac app.
The text from your PDF file will be extracted into the text translation area and translated to the language of your choice with no formatting preserved.
To translate PDF files in the mobile apps, tap on the folder icon and select a file. The extracted text from your file will also be translated to the language of your choice with no formatting preserved.
You can find more information about how to translate documents in the mobile apps in this article.
Translation quality of PDF files
Please note that since PDF file translation relies on optical character recognition, it may be subject to a higher error rate.
If you are unsatisfied with the whole file PDF translation and your PDF file was created from a .docx or .pptx document, you can try translating that source document instead.
Custom fonts and large image sizes might impact the quality of translation. If possible, use documents with fewer visual elements.
If you try to translate a scanned document, please note that the quality of the scan might impact the translation quality.