How to Translate Foreign Languages ​​With Hotkeys in Windows 10 & 11

Sometimes you may need to translate content from foreign websites or documents to your native language; Most users probably rely on translation features integrated within Google and Microsoft software. The MS Office apps incorporate a built-in translator feature, and you can use cloud-based Microsoft and Google translators in Edge and Chrome.

However, there are also some good alternative translator tools you can use across all Windows software. QTranslate and DeepL are two utilities with which you can translate text by pressing hotkeys. This is how you can add translate text passages with those apps’ hotkeys in Windows 11/10.

How to Translate Text in Windows Software With QTranslate

QTranslate is among the best free translation apps for Windows platforms dating back to XP. It enables you to translate text in all Windows software with nine cloud-based translator services (including Microsoft and Google). However, the best thing about this software is its hotkey functionality for translating selected text. You can translate text passages with QTranslate like this:

  1. Open the QTranslate website.
  2. Click the Download QTranslate button.
  3. Press File Explorer’s button (the one with a folder library icon) on your taskbar.
  4. Go to whatever folder has the QTranslate setup file in it.
  5. Double-click the Qtranslate.6.10.0.exe installer file.
  6. Select the I agree and install options for QTranslate. The software will then automatically start after installation so long as you kept the Run QTranslate checkbox selected.

  7. Open a website in a foreign language to try out the translator. For the sake of example, this German Microsoft Store page will do.
  8. Select some text to translate on the website, and press the Ctrl + Q hotkey. A popup window with an English translation for your selected foreign text will open.
    The QTranslate popup window for translations

The popup window that opens includes a few options. You can select different translation services at the bottom of the window. Click the star button to save it to your favourites. Add the translated text to the clipboard by selecting the Copy selection to clipboard option.

You can view the main QTranslate translation window by selecting text and pressing the Ctrl key twice. That window displays the selected foreign text alongside the translated content. There you can change the translation by choosing a different language on the drop-down menu and clicking translate. Click the Listen to text (headphone) buttons to play an audio text-to-speech translation.

The main QTranslate translation window

To view your translation history, press the Ctrl + h hotkey. That keyboard shortcut opens a window that displays a list of text passages you’ve translated in QTranslate. There you can select to save translations or clear the list.

How to Customize QTranslate

You can reconfigure QTranslate’s hotkeys via its Options window. Right-click the QTranslate system tray icon and select Options. Select the Hotkeys tab on the setting window. Then double-click an action there to bring up a keyboard shortcut window for it. Press a different key combination, and click the okay > apply buttons.

The Hotkey tab in QTranslate

If you want the software to start with Windows, click the Basics tab. Selecting the Start with Windows checkbox will add QTranslate to the startup apps. You can also change the software’s first, second, and interface languages ​​from that tab.

QTranslate also incorporates some appearance settings with which you can customize its user interface. Click the theme drop-down menu there to choose a different window style. You can customize the software’s colors by clicking the Text and Frame Color options.

The Theme drop-down menu in DeepL

If you like translating text on the web, check out the best browser tools to translate web pages.

How to Translate Text in Windows Software With DeepL

DeepL is the online translator service’s official Windows desktop program. That software has freemium, starter, advanced, and ultimate versions. The freemium version has a 5,000-word character translation limit. DeepL has similar hotkey functionality to QTranslate with which you can translate text passages as follows:

  1. Open the DeepL Softpedia download page.
  2. Select Download Now on that page, and click the Softpedia Secure Download (US) option.
  3. double click DeepLSetup.exe to install the software.
  4. After installing, DeepL will automatically start and prompt you to set up an account. However, you can skip it, as having one is not essential.
  5. Now open up this French Microsoft page to try out DeepL.
  6. Select a text passage to translate.
  7. Press the Ctrl + C. hotkey twice to bring up the DeepL translation window. That window shows the selected text alongside an English translation for it.
    The DeepL translation window

There you can select different languages ​​to translate by clicking the drop-down menu on the right side of the DeepL window. You can also look up translations for specific words. Select a word with the cursor and click Dictionary entries at the bottom of the window to look it up.

How to Translate Files With DeepL

DeepL also enables you to select files to translate. Click the Translate Files tab at the top of its window. Then press the Browse button to select a file for translation and click the open.

The Translate files tab

Ctrl + F9 is an alternative hotkey you can press for DeepL translations. Selecting text and pressing Ctrl + F9 will bring up a smaller quick translate window. There you can click a Copy option to add the translation to your clipboard for pasting elsewhere.

The main QTranslate translation window

If you would like to change the keyboard shortcuts, click the menu button at the top right of DeepL’s window. Select Settings to view hotkey options for the software. There you can select alternative alt, Ctrl, keyand Shift keys for each hotkey. Click in the boxes to set combination keys by pressing them.

DeepL has a hotkey for a text-capturing translation feature that isn’t enabled by default. Click the Capture text on screen option in the settings to enable that feature. pressing Ctrl + F8 will activate a tool with which you can select text for translation by dragging a gray box over it.

DeepL matches your system’s dark or light mode by default. However, you can select for the app to be dark or light. Click the Select dark or light mode drop-down menu to choose your preference.

Translate Text With Handy Hotkeys in Windows

QTranslate’s and DeepL’s hotkeys enable you to quickly and easily translate in Windows 11 and 10. You can press those convenient keyboard shortcuts to translate text on websites and documents across all Windows software whenever needed. The hotkey functionality those software packages provide makes them preferable alternatives to the Google and Microsoft translation tools.

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