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About SketchUp

A subsidiary of the Trimble Navigation group, SketchUp offers 3D modeling solutions focused on the construction industry vertical, with applications including architectural, civil and mechanical designs. SketchUp 3D software is available in two versions: a free version geared towards hobbyists and students, and an $800 paid version for professionals and researchers. A low-cost, easy-to-use software, SketchUp competes with AutoCAD and other modeling solutions. The company is making inroads into new industry verticals including entertainment and video gaming.


After acquiring SketchUp, Trimble Navigation decided to move SketchUp content management system (CMS) workflow to Drupal. The previous translation management system (TMS), WeLocalize, did not integrate with Drupal. SketchUp had to find separate tools for localizing web content and desktop software.

Because 40 percent of their business is from overseas, the SketchUp team needed a more efficient way to translate content into multiple languages. To save time and effort, the solution needed to process a range of resource file formats. Moreover, the solution had to be cloud-based in order to ensure seamless collaboration in real time, as well as continuous availability of content.

Trimble Navigation invited the Lingotek team to test the Lingotek Inside-Drupal integration software. SketchUp was impressed by the fast turnaround times and accurate translation produced by Lingotek TMS. Trimble chose Lingotek as the TMS for SketchUp.


Trimble Navigation implemented the Lingotek Inside- Drupal solution with Machine Translation (MT), workflow integration and post edit. Lingotek was thus able to localize SketchUp websites and desktop software interfaces into nine different languages.


Lingotek is enabling Trimble to refresh the translations of its Help Center content into nine target languages before the next major SketchUp release scheduled for the end of 2013. Instead of individually handling each format, Lingotek automatically converts all resource files into XLIFF format for efficient translation processes. Lingotek thus eliminated the need to execute the content management and translation processes manually. Moreover, automated translation services helped reduce turnaround times significantly.

Managing Global Workflow

SketchUp 3D is used in a variety of applications specific to the construction industry, with expansion into industries such as entertainment and video games. SketchUp has a vast user base with millions of active users per week and over 30 million unique activations per year. With such a vast global user base, SketchUp must be understood in multiple languages by millions of users around the world. Specifically, current strategy is to expand SketchUp service into the local languages of countries in the Asia-Pacific region.


In addition, the company needed a cloud-based solution for seamless collaboration between Trimble’s headquarters located in San Jose, California and the SketchUp workforce, located in Westminster, Colorado.

Further, Trimble chose Lingotek to help establish SketchUp in new markets, starting by translating content into nine languages. Initially, SketchUp used Lingotek to translate 569 files to test the capabilities of the TMS. As it turned out, Lingotek translated content with surprisingly high accuracy within a short time-frame. Manual translation simply couldn’t keep pace with translation projects for which high accuracy and aggressive turnaround time is crucial.

Machine Translation and Post Edit Workflow

Today, Trimble uses the Drupal CMS for SketchUp websites and desktop software. Lingotek Machine Translation and post editing features are accessible from within Drupal. Additional logins are not required to run the TMS outside of Drupal. The stored and edited content lives in the cloud, and the project manager is automatically notified upon completion of a translation process.

The project manager then forwards the translated content to a review team that specializes in machine translation and recommends post edits if necessary. The project manager then publishes the content in a new language. All in all, the workflow process has been expedited significantly.

Instant Success

For starters, Lingotek enabled Trimble to translate a batch of 569 files automatically in a single process. Trimble is now using Lingotek to handle all translation tasks for SketchUp websites and desktop software. Because Lingotek eliminates the need for manual translation processes and the delays caused by translating each file individually, it out performs SketchUp’s previous TMS solution. Trimble’s proof of concept for the Lingotek Inside-Drupal solution concluded that Lingotek’s TMS reduces translation processing dramatically while maintaining high accuracy of the translated content.

About Lingotek

Lingotek | The Translation Network helps your business access new markets and customers. We do this by providing Inside Content Management System modules, a sophisticated translation management system and a professional translation services network. More information is available at

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