Foliage Solutions

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Guide for your DTP requests

We’d like to make our collaboration as simple as possible. With that aim, we’ve created a brief guide to make managing different desktop publishing requests easier.

The more information and details you can provide, the more accurate our estimates,
and the better the end results will be.

Also, providing all necessary project files upon confirming the request will save everyone time and effort.

When requesting any of our services, please:

  • Send all necessary source material (including a source pdf file).
  • Provide clear instructions and share any specific instruction, guideline or requirement from the end client.
  • Clearly indicate the source and target language(s).
  • Set reasonable delivery deadlines.


If you request our multilingual desktop publishing services, we will ask you for the native source design files.

IMPORTANT: In order to avoid missing files in any desktop publishing projects, kindly ask the end client to create a “package” of the final version of the native design files with all the linked elements and fonts used contained in a ready-to-send folder.

Packaging the files ensures we get all the necessary files and your client’s hard work is preserved.

Please note that we cannot provide a definitive estimate of time needed based only on PDF files. All source material needs to be checked before accurately quoting the desktop publishing tasks.

A typical source package for InDesign projects includes:

  • The source .indd file (native InDesign format)
  • The corresponding .idml file (InDesign interchange format)
  • A folder(s) containing the images (links)
  • A folder containing the original fonts used in the source .indd file
  • A source pdf file to use for layout reference.

A typical source package for FrameMaker projects includes:

  • The source .fm files (native FrameMaker format). These are usually contained in a main .book file
  • The corresponding .mif files (FrameMaker interchange format)
  • A folder(s) containing the images (linked files)
  • The fonts used in the source .fm files
  • A source pdf file to use for layout reference.

IMPORTANT! Localization of images (links)

If the documents in question contain graphics, diagrams or images that will require localization/translation, we can proceed in two ways:

  1. If the image text is present in the InDesign or FrameMaker file (not embedded in the images), it will come out in the IDML/mif file(s) exported for translation. No extra action should be necessary.
  2. If the image text is embedded in the native image format, it is essential that the client supplies the image files in their native format (Illustrator (.ai) for example). That way we can extract the text from the native source files into a translatable format such as .docx, .xls, .xml. If the original artwork with editable text is no longer available, and only derivative files (like PNG or JPG) are, the task will be more time-consuming and require more resources. During either preprocessing or post-translation desktop publishing, the existing image text must first be removed and a new text layer must be created in Illustrator, Photoshop or other software.

In any case, if the end client doesn’t supply the images (links), please inform them that we can only deliver low resolution pdf files and not final high resolution print ready versions.

If the material will be translated into the Latin languages such as Italian, French, German etc., the fonts used for the source files will work and can be used. However, if the material will be translated into any or all of the following: double-byte character languages (ex. Chinese, Japanese, Korean), right to left languages (ex. Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi), or languages which use non-Latin-based characters (Czech, Russian, Turkish etc), then a font replacement is necessary.

We can suggest standard fonts typically used for any of these languages. However, before proceeding with the desktop publishing task, we will need the end client’s approval.  It is very important that you get back to us confirming our suggested fonts or with the end client’s desired replacement fonts.

If no special print settings are specified or no Adobe Distiller job options configurations are provided, we will deliver standard high-resolution pdf files.


If you are requesting a pdf file conversion to Word or InDesign, please let us know the following:

  • Source and target language(s)
  • Type of conversion needed and purpose of the final file.

Our main two types of conversion are:

  • Text only extraction (Word only): Only text gets extracted, no images, without reproducing the layout. Intended for word count or translation only purposes. Only basic formatting such as bold, italic etc would be applied, but no indentation (all text aligned to left) and no paragraph styles. Can also include creating a two column table (Source/Target) with the text to translate.
  • We re-produce the layout from the source pdf file, including images, as closely as possible. This is usually used for translation as an editable source version, and where layout of the translation may also be requested. Paragraph styles and TOC would be applied. Can include images with text boxes or recreated in Illustrator in order to match the layout of the pdf file.

If special requirements are needed, such as all text must be extracted but the layout doesn’t need to exactly match the original or the files will be legalized, we can adapt our workflow according to your client’s needs by offering tailored versions. Please indicate all requirements when sending us the request so we can consider them in the quote.

Please consider and specify:

  1. If image text needs to be editable or not – either with text boxes, in Illustrator or as a double column table.
  2. If handwritten text should be included or not.
  3. If the header(s) and footer(s) needs to be automatically updatable or not.
  4. If Table of Contents (TOC) should be automatically updatable or not.
  5. If stamps or signatures need to be inserted as images or not. Also if the stamps need to be translated or not.
  • Fonts: We will use system fonts such as Arial or Times. Should other, particular fonts be required, please supply them or let us know what the desired fonts are.
  • Multilingual pdf files: If the pdf file contains multiple languages please indicate which is the source language that needs to be extracted/recreated in Word/InDesign.

If you require post translation desktop publishing services in any format, please:

  • Provide the source pdf file as reference: This will ensure we see the correct layout when opening the files for layout fixing. This is especially important for MS Office files (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc).
  • Indicate the target language(s): As some languages expand and others contract, knowing the target language(s) in advance will allow us to better plan the time and resources needed for layout fixing.
  • Indicate desired replacement fonts for target languages with special scripts such as Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Czech, Turkish, Greek etc. We will always suggest our standard replacement fonts, but we will also ask for your approval before replacing them.
  • Give us a heads-up and set desired and reasonable deadlines: It is very helpful for us to know from the start what the project timeline is and when desktop publishing is expected to be completed. If you let us know in advance (ideally when translation of the document starts) that desktop publishing tasks will be needed after translation, this would allow us to book and better organize our resources for the desktop publishing phase.

Got other questions?

Send us a message by using the form below.

About Foliage Solutions SRL

We are a new company built on the collaboration between a former translation project manager with over a decade’s worth of experience at a multinational translation provider and a group of Desktop Publishing (DTP) professionals to provide specialized solutions associated with multilingual DTP to other Language Service Providers (LSP).

Foliage Solutions SRLS
Via Vincenzo Monti, 32
20123 Milano