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Blog by Marissa: How to translate InDesign files without copy-pasting

20 July 2021

Let’s say you are about to launch a new product on the market. You have undoubtedly put in a lot of effort into the design of the brochures. Aside from your home country, you are planning to sell the product abroad, such as in Germany or France. You want your brochures to appeal to your target group in those countries as well. Our colleague Marissa is happy to explain how we can be of assistance here.

All images and texts in your brochure are perfectly aligned. You have chosen a nice font and an effective colour theme. Your PDF is ready to be printed. When you have your brochures translated, you obviously do not want to lose these layout elements. Our clients will often submit the PDF version to us. It is possible to extract the text from the PDF and translate it, but that will cause the layout to shift and let all your hard work go to waste.

Luckily, there is a better option. You or your designer has probably created the brochure using the application InDesign, which uses INDD as the standard file format. However, for easy processing of the texts in our translation software, we need an IDML file. You can easily create one by using the ‘Save as’ or ‘Export’ options and then selecting IDML as the file type. You can send this IDML file to us and then our translators can get to work. Afterwards we will return the translated IDML file to you. With this method, all texts will be placed back in the correct spots and the layout will be preserved. No copy-pasting is needed.

On a side note: the InDesign file will usually need some editing because the translated text sometimes turns out longer or shorter than the source text. For example, German uses longer words than English. This may cause text boxes and images to shift. It is also important to take into account the different reading directions of certain languages, such as Arabic. Your graphic designer will be able to edit the translated IDML file in no time, producing a beautifully laid out PDF file.

Would you like us to deliver your brochure fully laid out as a PDF file? No problem! In that case you only need to submit the full InDesign package (File -> Package) to us, including the fonts and images. We will deliver your brochure print-ready.

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