Software and Tools

Scanlation wouldn't be possible without adequate software and tools. As technology progressed, graphic editing and filesharing softwares became more advanced and the art of scanlation became increasingly more sophisticated.

In the beginning, scanlation was created using MS Paint. By 2009, Adobe's Photoshop is the most used tool for cleaning and editing manga scans (we will leave it up to the readers to guess as to how most scanlators obtained a copy of Photoshop), some also used GIMP as free alternative. As for distribution tools, IRC and BitTorrent are very popular among scanlators.

Various tools have also been made to facilitate various aspects of scanlation.

GMAO (Great Manga Application Onidzuka) [ Link ]

Great Manga Application Onidzuka is a program I wrote to help with translating manga. It allows you to mark up areas (text bubbles usually) on an image (scan of a manga page) and attach translations to the bubbles. (You need to do the translation yourself.) GMAO will then take care of laying out the text in the bubbles. It also does nice stuff like export pages with javascript pop-ups when you mouse over the bubbles you've defined, or export the image with the text from the language you wrote, or generate character lists, and so on.

A software created by MangaTranslation's FuguTabetai to help with the scanslation process by open sourcing the project. The software was originally used for the GTO translation project (where Fugu hosted the Japanese pages and let other people fill in the bubbles using the program). The software was later used for Tenjou Tenge.

Pnyxtr's Scan Rotation and Scan Cropping tools [ Link | Link ]

Two handy tools created by pnyxtr to make an editor's live easier.

Scanlationshop [ Link ]

This is an application created for the purpose of gathering as many scanlation-related features into one application as possible, without overlapping features that are already so well done by other applications (such as typesetting in Photoshop being the most obvious).

An application created by Stmated that makes it easy to do a lot of editor-related tasks.

ROME [ Link ]

Rome is a collaboration site designed to meet the requirements of scanlators and fansubbers. No matter how big or small your group is or where you live, Rome can save you a lot of time. Rome lets you schedule task assigments with deadlines, manage group member accounts, create documents and milestones. The Issue Tracking System ITS will automatically inform the member about new tasks and automatically provide all necessary information like translation changes, proofreading comments, annotations, images and files.

A web-based collaboration software from Manga Underground. Demo account available (login: guest | pw: guest | project: rome).

Smith & Tinker's Balloonist [ Link ]

A sophisticated comics word balloon editor and panel layout application for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux & more. Production-quality comics layout has never been so easy!

A commercially program designed for comic creation that some use for scanlation.

Overlay [ Link ]

Overlay was designed for translation of Manga (Japanese comics). Standard translation comes through following process: scanned manga pages are opened in graphics editor, characters' dialogues being translated into another language, and then modified picture being distributed. Overlay allows to edit dialogues without modifying picture file; in other words, it adds a text layer over the picture layer. The benefits of this technology are similar to benefits of movie subtitres in text file: you may easily create and modify it, and then easily distribute it.

A software written in Russian taht overlays text from separate files onto the images.

MrDummy's Collaborative Manga Translation site [ Link ]

The site is designed and builded that you can read the raw mangascans without waiting for the final and edited pages.

Some projects are already out of scheme:
- because the editor is sick
- or has now another work and thus no time for editing pages
- editing pages costs time

Or there is nobody who want translate and edit the pages. There are so many raws pages untranslated.
You found a translator who can translate the pages for you and/or everybody?
You have no experience in good editing pages (cleaning up, good placing texts on pages, no Photoshop or another program in home, too lazy, whatever for reason you can think about it....)

Well, the site make the work more easier.
One person can upload the pages. Then the (asked) translator can add very easy and quick the balloons with translated texts to the page.
Then the one person (and public) can now read the pages with translated text.

A website project that lets translators add texts manga scans, the translation then shows up in a pop-up window when a mouse hovers over the bubble.

Null Bot Packlists Website engine [ Link ]

The Null Bot Packlists Website engine is a project initiated by Protected in February/March 2005 for the IRC website of Null, a website to display packlists for IROffer bots. Since then, it grew into a kind of wiki system with integrated support for packlists (among many other teams) for scanlation groups to create their websites on. It is written in PHP. It is used in the website of Null and the Lurker Network. Other groups that make use of it are Manga-Rain and Nipponsei. As of July 2006, the latest version number is 10. This engine's code isn't publicly available. If you want to use it, you must ask for permission.

Developed by Null's Protected, the Null Bot Packlists engine was used by groups like Lurk and Nipponsei to list their IRC bot packlists in a website interface.

ScreenTones [ Link ]

A place to get pretty screentones.

MangaNUR [ Link ]

Do you want to be kept informed of your favorite manga releases? Some of us may have known MangaNews as a reliable source for news on manga releases. They list daily updates of manga releases. In the past, being on a cable, I used to check the site a few times in a day. This routine continued until I got bored. It was really cumbersome, having to check the releases manually. So I decided to create a program that automates the task.

Created by Yohanes Aristianto, MangaNUR aggregated releases posted on Manga Jouhou through a easy-to-use interface.

CDisplay [ Link ]

The Windows Image Viewer 'CDisplay' was written to ease the viewing of images in JPEG, PNG and static GIF format. This was partly down to the existing programs currently available being too general purpose and thus awkward to use when simply wanting to view images sequentially.

One of the most popular reader used for manga. Can view .zip and .rar files.

ComicRack [ Link ]

As a reader ComicRack supports all the state of the art features you can expect: different display modes, full screen, information overlays, magnifier, color adjustments, automatic backcolor matching and a multi tab interface to quickly switch between eComics.

As a manager you can browse and search your eComics in the library, create folders and lists to organize them. You can customize the lists to show just the information you need and use advanced tools to tag and edit the information for your eComics. Or create Smart lists to display dynamic lists based on eComic info (never read, author, series etc.)

Like with iTunes you can share your library across your home network and read your eComics on your Tablet/Notebook via wireless.

And of course, it is your swiss army knife when batch converting between different formats. Ever wanted to create CBZs from your PDFs - now it is just a click away.

ComicRack is multilingual: English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and other language packs are available.

A powerful comic/manga reader and advanced library manager. It reads and converts CBR, CBZ, RAR, ZIP, 7z, PDF, it has custom filters, smart search, view modes, library sharing, scripting plugins, and more.

Simple Comic [ Link ]

Simple Comic is my gift to the manga and scanlation community. I wrote it for myself originally after becoming fed up with the lack of decent comic viewers under OS X save for FFView.

An OS-X manga viewer created by arau. Was heavily advertised by Manga Jouhou when it came out.

MangaMeeya [ Link | Link ]

A popular manga reader. The original developer of the software included PDF reading capabilities in the software and was sued by Adobe and closed shop. The software is now maintained by Chinese developers and being translated into English.

Toriyama's World Manga Viewer [ Link ]

A manga viewer created by Jeff McLellan for Toriyama's World.

eManga [ Link ]

eManga is a free application for Windows, Mac OS X and soon the iPhone & iPod touch. It works as both a manga-viewer and a library organizer all-in-one. And there's the Mangacast system to allow you get Manga releases in lighting-speed. Get eManga from the App Store and read your manga right on your phone.

A "shiny" manga reader that works as a viewer as well as a manga library organizer.