Error messages

  • Invalid user password

    This means the document requires a password in order to be able to read it and that the system will not be able to perform any translation on it.

    If you get this error, the only course of action is to contact the author of the PDF and ask for the removal of the password.

  • Unable to auto-translate - Bad Request

    If you just received this message after trying to do a Microsoft Translation of your PDF it probably means that the target language isn't supported by Microsoft's Translation service. If you think the message is wrong, please get in touch.

  • System error: CPU time limit exceeded

    There is a limit on the time taken to process individual pages. If you see this error it means one page has breached this limit. This may be because the page is particularly complex or it could indicate a problem with the server.

    We have an alternative server called This server has a much higher time limit which will give your PDF a chance to process to completion.

    Log in to and try processing your PDF there. It is not wise to use this server for all your translations since it is slower and more often off-line since it is used for development.

    If you need further assistance, get in touch with us by pressing next to the PDF in question.

  • The translation is for a PDF owned by another user

    You cannot upload an XLIF for a PDF owner by another user. Ask the user to share the PDF with you and then you can work on it though only the owner can generate the final PDF.

    If you have multiple account and need to move a PDF between them, see the FAQ entry: Can I move my PDFs to another account?

  • The original PDF for this XLIFF file cannot be found.

    The system is unable to find the PDF for the given XLIF. It may be that the original PDF has been deleted. Even if the same PDF is uploaded again, this XLIF will still try to refer to the original and you will still see the error.

    For details of how TransPDF links XLIFs to PDFs, see: How does TransPDF know which XLIF applies to which PDF?


  • How does TransPDF know which XLIF applies to which PDF?

    When you upload a PDF it is given a unique ID which is written into every XLIF you download. During translation your CAT tool will preserve this ID so that when you upload your translated XLIF, TransPDF will still find it near the top of the file.

    An example of the ID inside an XLIF file:

    If you were to upload the same PDF multiple times, each instance would be given its own unique ID. This means the XLIF for one could not be loaded into another despite the fact they are all the same PDF.

    If you really need to load the XLIF from one PDF into a different one you can edit the XLIF file by hand, copying the ID from one into the other. This has to be done carefully so as not to break the structure of the file. You will need a plain text editor (not a word processor) to make the edit.

    If you think you need to do this but you're not confident about how to do it, please get in touch and we will help.

  • Why does the XLF contains gibberish characters despite the original PDF looking fine?

    This is probably caused by bad font mappings in the PDF.

    Each font contain mappings from letter shapes to the letter meanings e.g. the shape 'B' means 'capital b'. If these mappings are not setup correctly in the PDF there is no way of knowing what each character means.

    You can check the mappings by opening the PDF in Infix PDF Editor. Select some of the text that is not exporting correctly using the 'T' tool then choose Text->Remap selected characters... You will see each character shape labelled with its meaning.

    You can often correct these mappings using Infix. Press the Help button in the dialog to see how or read the on-line help.

    If there are too many problems to fix, the other option is to remove all the text then process the PDF with OCR. You can remove all the text in Infix PDF Editor by choosing Text->Create Outlines...

    Be aware that OCR comes with it's own problems and isn't always the best approach for a specific PDF.

  • Why does the XLIFF contain <g> tags and what do they signify?

    The tags signify text styles - a combinations of font, size, colour and underline. TransPDF compresses these attributes into a single tag to limit the amount of tagging required in the XML. In order for the formatting to survive the translation process, the tags need to be preserved in the translated text.

  • Why are there watermarks on my final PDF?

    If you uploaded your PDF before 30th August 2019 then you may get watermarks on the pages of your final PDF.

    The solution is to upload the PDF again, download the XLIF and re-translate using your CAT tool. Upload your new translation and should be able to get a watermark-free, final PDF.

    Please get in touch if you have lost some credits as a result of this issue and we will re-credit your account.

  • What is XLIFF?

    XLIFF is an industry standard XML-based format for translating all kinds of documents and is supported by leading tools such as Trados, MemoQ, Across, DejaVu and others.

    XLIFF files generated by InfixOnline contain an original and translated pair for each paragraph in the PDF. Your CAT software will enable you to supply a translation for each original paragraph. XLIFF also contains information about the original PDF, the source and the target language.

    Although possible, It is not generally advisable to edit XLIFF by hand in a text editor.

  • Does XLIFF work with MemoQ?

    Yes but by default MemoQ will not further segment the paragraphs into smaller units.

    To get it to do this, follow these steps:

    1. When you import the XLIFF, choose Import with options....
    2. Click on Change filter and configuration and then on the General tab.
    3. Tick Segment text if no <seg-source> is present for a 'trans-unit'

Security & Privacy

  • What information do you store about me?

    The system stores your name, forum name and email address and maintains a count of your credits. Beyond that the only other information is the PDFs and XLIFF you keep in your account.

  • Can I move my PDFs to another account?

    There is no automated way to move PDFs from one account to another. Our advice is to upload the PDFs to the new account. If you have already begun translation, let your CAT tool re-do the translations on the PDFs after uploading them to your new account. If this approach is not appropriate please get in touch. We can work behind the scenes to import a translation from your previous account to the new one. Though this may take some time.

  • Can anyone else see my PDFs?

    TransPDF uses industry standard security measures to stop your PDFs from being seen by unauthorised third parties.

    When you upload a PDF it is visible to you and only those you choose to share it with. Access to is all done via https (secure web access) which means your passwords and data are encrypted during transit.

    During translation, your PDF is stored on our secure server located in the UK. When you finish translation and have your final PDF, you can delete the original from the system. This not only deletes the PDF but all the XLIFF and translations associated with it.

    Iceni Technology Ltd. cannot be held responsible for the integrity of this data, and documents are uploaded at your own risk.


  • After translation, why do hidden objects become visible in the PDF?

    Sometimes a PDF page contains objects which are hidden by clipping paths (clips). When you edit such a PDF using Infix PDF Editor it will ask if you want to make hidden objects visible. This is needed because some PDFs routinely clip every line of text (for no good reason). If Infix didn't remove these clips then text would often become invisible after an edit.

    Since TransPDF isn't interactive it automatically removes these clips to make all hidden objects visible. Most of the time this is exactly what's needed. However, there are a few PDFs which contain hidden objects - images, artwork, page numbers etc. that really should remain hidden. These may have been left in the PDF accidentally by the author.

    Our development server is different in that it leaves hidden objects hidden. To take advantage of this behaviour, upload your problem PDF to and process it there. It will take longer since it's a small development machine but it should leave the hidden objects hidden, even after translation.

  • Is there a limit to the size of PDF I can translate?

    No - as long as the document will fit into your allocated storage space. Apart from this, there is no upper-limit to the number of pages in a PDF.

    You can check how much storage space you have by clicking on the icon in the top right of the screen. You can also purchase more storage by visiting My Account. Scroll down through your account details until you see the Storage section.

  • Can it handle scanned ('dead') PDFs?

    Yes. When you upload a PDF that contains scanned pages with no real text, you will be asked if you want to convert it to a real, editable PDF. If any real text is detected in the PDF, even only a little, it is assumed that the entire document should be left as is and no conversion is offered.