Tweaking the layout of a document, by adjusting the font size and spacing, to accommodate the text length is a very simple and basic explanation of what Desktop Publishing is all about.
Multilingual Desktop Publishing covers all languages (from English and other European languages to African, Asian, and Middle Eastern languages and vice versa), so that your target language document looks the same as your native (original) language document.
Google search will connect Desktop Publishing services to file preparation, localizing images, converting scanned documents and content localization strategy. All of this is correct.
However, from a translation aspect, Desktop publishing is an integral part of the full translation process. It uses a combination of tools (Adobe programs, Auto CAD, Microsoft Office programs, FrameMaker, OCR) to extract and prepare text prior to translation, allowing translators to focus solely on the language. This saves on time and money.
Various documents and images, such as certain marketing materials (brochures, flyers, booklets, and other promotional material), websites, complex technical drawings, technical manuals, and process flowcharts deserve careful attention both before and after translation. Otherwise, you will end up with unreadable content, bad looking and messy layouts that look unprofessional, giving a very poor first impression. And this is not good for your business.
When it comes to images, Desktop Publishing can assist Language Service Providers in extracting native language text from images so that they can be localized for the target market, depending on cultural influences.
Desktop Publishing is also used at the post-translation stage for final formatting of translated files, making a document look as good as the original file, in any language (Multilingual Desktop Publishing)
At the final proofreading stage, linguistic and layout mistakes are corrected to ensure quality and the overall flow (content and layout).
Translation and Desktop Publishing go hand in hand to provide a perfect and professional looking document that can be used for printing or web purposes.
Conversion of PDF file(s) with editable text (selectable in the PDF). Usually we extract the texts from Acrobat DC then prepare them for translation in Word by removing split phrases, tabulators and double spaces which ruin the segmentation and which are often found in converted files. / We reconstruct the file(s) in a blank InDesign file, extracting the images from the PDF with Illustrator and the text by passing it first in Word. The actual conversion tools in InDesign do not have a satisfactory output.
Conversion of PDF file(s) with non-editable text (eg. Fax or scanned files). Usually we extract the text using ABBYY Fine Reader (OCR).
Before sending files into translation, we verify that the text is not split by line breaks, tabulators, end paragraph marks, etc in order to have a clean TM and facilitate the translator's work.
File(s) with a basic structure (full pages, without cross references or fields). / Powerpoint without animations and not filled with text or embedded translatable content (in images or Excel files). / Excel with tables or text not in simple columns where adjustment is necessary to correctly visualize the content.
Files with a complex structure in Word (layout in more than one column, cross references, full page horizontal tables, or files extracted from PDF without preparation). Lay out of right to left languages. / Powerpoint file(s) with animations which are more complicated to handle because within the same slide there are multiple text frames or images that need to maintain the same time sequence as the source. Sometimes the CAT tools mess them up making it necessary to reset manually. / Verify layout by a "compare" with the source for eventual errors introduced by the CAT/translator (graphic tags, spacing etc).
SGML structured FrameMaker documents. Not a normal layout as there is a SGML tree structure to respect and validate.
*Higher price applied for RTL languages requiring layout in FrameMaker
Few texts on a monocolor background.
Uneditable tables with lots of text, electrical schematics or texts on complex backgrounds (drawings on a background to reconstruct)
The images to localize need to be verified for each single project and are object of a separate count whether or not only pdfs or also the native file(s) are available.
*For eventual layout requests in Mac (not compatible with Windows), we are available for ad hoc quotes.
We are able to provide our clients desktop publishing services in a variety of software, for simple and complex documents in multiple languages, preparing digital or print ready files that accurately reflect the original.
Through professional use of specific software, our experienced desktop publishing specialists not only make sure the paging matches the original, but also meets the target language(s) typographic conventions.
We dedicate particular attention to analyzing and preparing the source layout files for translation with or without CAT tools. We call this the preprocessing step and consider it fundamental to ensuring a smooth and successful project.