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Team Projects in OmegaT Explained

collaboration in OmegaT

Are you uncomfortable using the team project feature in OmegaT?

There are excellent tutorials to get you up to speed. My favorites include:

Introduction to the Team Project feature in OmegaT by Samuel Murray

Sharing a project with OmegaT and Subversion by Sergio Alasia of Qabiria

This article you are reading is not another tutorial, but a brief how-to explaining the process from a translator’s perspective. My goal is to make these instructions as simple as possible, so that they make sense even to people who are new to OmegaT.

What you need to start working

As a translator, you do not need to worry about most project management tasks. Almost everything is done for you by a project manager. All you need to do is receive the URL of a project on the server (called “repository URL”) and your login data and then download the project from the server as described below.

Opening a project

  1. Open OmegaT and select Open > Download Team Project.
  2. Select SVN. We use an SVN server, but others might be using GIT. In this case, just select GIT.
  3. In Repository URL, enter the repository URL that you received from the PM.
  4. In Local Folder, enter the path to the local folder on your computer where you wish to save the downloaded. You can also click the button next to this file, if you want to navigate to the folder manually.
  5. Click OK. OmegaT will ask you to enter the login data.
  6. OmegaT will download the project from the server to the local folder that you chose.
  7. Start translating or editing, just as you would with a regular (non-team) project in OmegaT.

What else you need to know about team projects

Q: How do I open a project after downloading it?

A: Whenever you have closed a team project and want to re-open it, you simply re-open the project in your local folder. Unless errors occur, there is no need to download a project again. Work in your local folder, as if it were a regular project in OmegaT. If a project manager makes any server-side changes, he/she will notify you.

Q: How is the work of several translators organized?

A: A team project is often divided into several batches. Each translator works on his/her batch. All batches, however, are available to all translators. You can open the files from a batch assigned to another translator and browse through them to see the translations made by that translator. The Text Search window also displays results from all batches, and so does the Fuzzy Matches pane.

Q: How does synchronization work in a team project?

A: When you translate a new segment or make a change to an existing translation, OmegaT sends this information to the server on the next “save.” All translators working on this project receive the changes you made almost immediately. They see your translations when they open the same segment, as well as in the Text Search window and the Fuzzy Matches pane.

Q: If I keep a file open, will OmegaT update the segments in it when someone adds or changes a translation?

A: You may notice that OmegaT displays an old translation in the Editor pane, even though it was changed by another translator. This is due to the fact that OmegaT updates the Editor pane only when you open the respective segment or reload the project. So even though the displayed translation is old, it will be updated, as soon as you access it in one way or another. This means that it is unlikely that you will see an outdated translation.

Q: What happens if any source files need to be changed in a project?

A: If your PM makes changes to the files such as rearranging batches or adding reference materials, you need to reload the project (press F5) to update your local working folder. If the updates do not show up the first time, try closing OmegaT entirely and opening the project again. If that does not work either, see the Errors section below.

Q: What if I spot an error in someone else’s translation?

A: If you notice any issue in a translation made by another translator, please do not correct it yourself, unless it is an obvious simple error such as a typo. Add a note to this segment explaining the issue instead. Unauthorized correction may lead to errors.

Q: Should I deliver any files upon completion?

A: Even though, strictly speaking, your translation is already on the agency’s server, you may need to deliver translated files depending on your agreement with them. For example, we ask our translators to upload translated files to our project management system:

  1. To create translated files, you need to press Ctrl+D in OmegaT.
  2. OmegaT will create these files in the target subfolder of the project.
  3. Open this folder, identify the files you want to deliver, and zip them. When you are delivering several translated files, it is best to name your zip according to the batch number, such as “Batch_01.”
  4. Log into the system, go to Dashboard => Started Activities => this activity => Files, and upload the files.
  5. Click the Partially Completed button.


The most important thing to understand about synchronization errors is that when they happen, your translations are no longer going to the server, and you are no longer receiving changes. This should be avoided, of course. To confirm whether you are still connected to the server yourself, run the above-mentioned script svn_status.groovy written by Kos Ivantsov:

  1. Go to Tools > Scripting.
  2. Select the svn_status.groovy script in the left column and click Run.
  3. The messages should say that the status is normal.

In case of any doubts, you should also contact the PM.

Local translation not synchronized with remote repository. Project will not be updated.

When this error occurs, you just need to reload the project by pressing F5.

OmegaT is in offline mode.

When this error occurs, it means connection is lost between your PC and the server, probably because the Internet connection is down. You do not need to do anything about it, since OmegaT will automatically synchronize with the server, as soon as the connection is available again.

How to resolve more serious errors

In case of any other errors, it is best to download the team project again to a new local folder. I recommend doing it like this:

  1. For example, you have your local project folder in c:Usersuser nameDocumentsProjects01_team_project.
  2. Rename it to 001_team_project_backup.
  3. Download the team project again to the original folder c:Usersuser nameDocumentsProjects01_team_project.

Following this procedure allows you both to remove the error and keep a backup of your translation, so that you can restore it, if the error prevented you from saving the latest translations to the server.

Feel free to ask any questions about this feature in the comments. For more information on this topic, read the general description of team projects in OmegaT.


  • jl says:

    thanks for your excellent tutorials and articles on OmegaT… I have one question, though… I have created a shared project using SVN with only one source file. I have commited the files to SVN and added two users to it… Then I added more source files using OmegaT, but they are not visible to other users. I’ve tried to manually upload these source files using TortoiseSVN, bot now I have an error message “Error checking out the project from remote repository: org.tmatesoft.svn.core.SVNException: svn: E155021: This client is too old to work with the working copy at ‘D:\path to project\source’ (format ’31’). Any idea what went wrong?

    • Hi,

      Kind words, thank you.

      Then I added more source files using OmegaT, but they are not visible to other users.

      I assume you simply added files to your working copy. This is not how shared projects work. To make files available to all other users, you need to add these files to the SVN. As soon as users reload their working copies after that, the added files will appear in their working copies as well. Note that simply reloading the project (F5) is fine usually, you do not need to download the team project again.

      now I have an error message “Error checking out the project from remote repository: org.tmatesoft.svn.core.SVNException: svn: E155021: This client is too old to work with the working copy at ‘D:\path to project\source’

      I did not encounter this message, but the best practice in such cases is to download the team project again, into a different folder. If this does not help, I would re-create the project on the SVN from scratch.

      Please let me know if this helps.

      Best wishes,

  • Tamatoa says:

    Hi Roman,
    I manage an OmegaT project which I successfully committed on my server.
    I’m now testing the project.

    Today when I opened OmegaT again to continue working on the project in OmegaT, the interface couldn’t open the project. So I applied what you say on your blog, that is, make a backup file of the local folder and download the team project again. I was able to download fine but then I couldn’t save it. There was an error saying “Client is too old to work on the Working Copy at”.
    So I copy-pasted all the project’s files into the folder I’m using with SVN. Then I committed the changes and redownloaded the team project again. I have been able to redownload again but I still cannot save the project.
    It says again:
    Error while saving the project!
    org.tmatesoft.svn.core.SVNException: svn: E155021: This client is too old to work with the working copy at ‘C:\Users\HURIMOZ\Documents\work’ (format ’31′).
    “work” is the name of my repository.
    Every time the system wants to save the project, this message appears over and over again.
    I’d appreciate your lights on this problem,

    • Hi Tamatoa,

      Thank you very much for taking the time to check out my post and ask a question! Sorry for my late response—I am in the middle of rebuilding the website.

      I have never encountered the error you are describing. This leads me to believe you might be doing something completely wrong. From what you wrote:
      ‘C:\Users\HURIMOZ\Documents\work’ (format ’31′).
      “work” is the name of my repository.

      it appears that you put your working copy into the repository folder, which is not the right thing to do. If this is really the case, you need to make them separate. Here is what I would start with:

      Re-create the repository, say at ‘C:\Users\HURIMOZ\Documents\repositories\project1.
      Download the team project to say C:\Users\HURIMOZ\Documents\projects\project1
      Copy the old project_save.tmx to the \tm\auto in C:\Users\HURIMOZ\Documents\projects\project1 to have OmegaT insert the existing translations into the newly created project.

      Please let me know if this makes sense and helps.

      Best wishes,

About the Author

Roman Mironov
Roman Mironov
CEO & Founder

As the founder of Velior, Roman has had the privilege of being able to turn his passion for languages into a business. He has over 15 years of experience in the translation industry. Roman has helped dozens of clients increase sales by making their products appealing for speakers of other languages.