Using the New Mini Translator in Office 2010

The Professor

A Lesson by The Professor

Using the New Mini Translator  in Office 2010


Allow me to introduce myself. I have traveled far and taught at many universities. I have seen how people everywhere around the world use computers to reach their full potential and connect with others. And now, I have joined with the Office Global Experience team because people need to understand how much Office has to offer to our global customers. Starting today, I will conduct classes periodically through this blog. I'll even have quizzes and homework if you really want to shine. If you come to my class – be ready to learn! So, let us begin…

Our lesson today is about using an exciting new feature in Office 2010 called the Mini Translator!

The Mini Translator provides on-the-fly translation as you select a word or phrase and provides dictionary definitions of individual words. With the Microsoft Office 2010 Mini Translator, you can point to a word or selected phrase with your mouse, and the translation will display in a small window. The Mini Translator also includes a Play button so you can hear an audio pronunciation of the word or phrase using a text-to-speech engine. A Copy button is also available so that you can paste the translation into another document. You can use the Mini Translator in Word, Outlook, OneNote and PowerPoint.

The great thing about Mini Translator and Office applications is that it works the same way in all of the applications. So if our lesson today takes you through the Word application, you can rest assured that you've learned the basic information you need to use the same feature in OneNote, Outlook and PowerPoint! One lesson, four applications – what a return on investment!

So, now that you know what Mini Translator does, it's time to learn about how to do it!

1. Start your Word 2010 application and either open a document or type some text.

If you want to have Word give you three quick paragraphs of text - at the beginning of the Word document - type: =rand() and press the Enter key. If you want to control the number of paragraphs you'd like, type it between the parenthesesi.e.: =rand(5) and then press the Enter key.

Go ahead, try it... I'll wait.

2. Now that you have text in your document, let's verify the Mini Translator feature is turned on!

3. Click on the Review tab, and then the Translate Button.

Review Tab / Translate

4. The Mini Translator is turned on and off by clicking Mini Translator.

If the Mini Translator icon is highlighted, it is turned on.

Mini Translator ON

If the Mini Translator icon is not highlighted, it is turned off.

Mini Translator OFF

Note: The translation language will always show in the menu whether the MiniTranslator is on or off.


5. When you click on it the first time, it will bring up the Translation Language Options dialog, or you can click on the Choose Your Translation Language option, and click on Mini Translator to see the below dialog:

Translation Language Options

6. Here, you can choose what language you'd like to have your text translated into. Click on the arrow in the Translate To list:

Choose Translation Language

7. Once you select the language you'd like the text translated to – click OK to save the selection and close the dialog.

How can you verify that the Mini Translator is really 'ON'?

How can you tell what language the Mini Translator will translate to without opening the Translation Language Options dialog?

Clue: See step 4.

8. Now that you have Mini Translator turned on – you simply select the text you want to translate and hover over it:

Hover and Mini Translator Appears

9. You might be wondering what else you can do with the Mini Translator – good question!

If you want more information, you can open the Research pane from the Mini Translator, by clicking Expand.


If you want to copy the contents of the Mini Translator window to the Clipboard - in the Mini Translator, click Copy. You can now paste the translation as you wish.


If you want to hear the text, in the Mini Translator, click Play. (You must have speakers and the text to speech engine for that language.)


10. Hovering over a single word will allow the Mini Translator to show the Bilingual Dictionary:

BiLingual Dictionary

Ok class that is the lesson for today for the basic usage of Mini Translator!

  • Turn on and off Mini Translator in each of the following applications:
    • Word (should be easy, you've already done it here!)
    • PowerPoint and OneNote (should be easy, just like Word)
    • Outlook - you will need to open the email to see the Message tab which is where you will find the Translate button.
  • Change the 'Translate To' in the Translation Language Options dialog:
    • Try different languages
    • Try the Encarta Dictionary
  • Explore the other options of the Translate feature. (Available off of the Review menu).


Future lessons will explore the other options of the Translate feature and will drill down into more specifics about the capabilities of Mini Translator.

If you have questions, I'm always available – just leave a note below and I will respond as soon as I can!

Happy Translating!

The Professor

PS. I would like to offer recognition to Sandy Rivas for her significant contribution on this article. Sandy is a Software Development Engineer in Test at Microsoft with the Office Global Experience Platform team based out of Redmond, Washington, USA. Sandy and her team are responsible for designing, developing and testing the Mini Translator feature as well as bringing you these blogs - they are busy folks!

The example companies, organizations, products, domain names, email addresses, logos, people and events depicted herein are fictitious. No association with any real company, organization, product, domain name, e-mail address, logo, person, or event is intended or should be inferred.