Desktop publishing (DTP) is the process of creating visual documents, such as magazines, posters, product packages and signs. Whenever text and visual design meet, desktop publishing brings them together by creating the perfect layout and allowing you to adjust styles, sizes and various other factors to create the visual look you need.
Things get a lot more complicated when you take a single document and translate it for different languages, though – and this is where our DTP services can help you maintain the look you want without making compromises on your translated content.
Making design and translation work together
If you have spent hours, days or weeks creating the perfect document in a programme like Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress, you are going to hit a snag once you translate your document into other languages.
You will find the text in your document changes length and completely breaks your layout. Some sentences will be too long, others might be too short and what takes two lines of text in your original document can suddenly require three or four lines.
Your document quickly ends up in a mess and all that hard work you put into designing it falls apart, right in front of your eyes.
This problem is precisely what our DTP services solve by taking your original document and fitting the translation you need into it without breaking the visual design you worked so hard to create.
What specific problems do these DTP services solve?
As we have already mentioned, the length of text in your documents can change quite drastically when you translate them into other languages, but there are various factors causing this and other issues that can arise from translating DTP documents.
- Text expansion: Words become longer through translation and break the visual layout of your text – the length of lines, the number of lines, where line breaks appear and how your text aligns with other elements.
- Text contraction: Where words become shorter through translation, which affects the same issues as text expansion. Most translations will have both of these phenomena taking place, which can lead to highly unpredictable results.
- Special characters: You may find the font you are using does not have the special characters required for some of your target languages.
- Writing systems: You may also find fonts available in other writing systems (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, etc.) do not fit particularly well with your original design.
- Layout breaks: The most common result of these DTP translation issues is the layout of your documents falls apart and this is particularly problematic when you end up with too much content to fit into the same space.
Most of these issues are unforeseeable if you have no experience with translating digital documents, but our language pros can help you put things right. By changing the odd word, subtly adjusting font sizes/spacing and combining various other tweaks, your translations will maintain the look and feel of your original document.
All you need to do is send over your document in its original format and we will use the same programme you did to make the necessary changes, whether it is InDesign, QuarkXPress, Microsoft Publisher or whatever else.
Better yet, we can work with you on an ongoing basis and help you create documents that are easier to translate. This might consist of advising you on how much text expansion/contraction to expect, helping you choose fonts to support all of your target languages or translating your content before you reach the design stage, so you have a better idea of what you are dealing with – it all depends on your workflow.
Get in touch with our team of dedicated DTP professionals today to learn more.