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How we preserve the design and layout of translated texts

As a translation agency, our expertise is translating your texts, but our services also aim to take as much off your hands as possible. Take design and layout, for example. It surely took a lot of time and effort to give your document a great layout and design. The last thing you want is to receive the translated document in a completely different layout and design.

An important role for our translation technology

Our translation technology plays an important role in maintaining the layout and design of your document. The translation software we use has been designed to extract the text from your document and divide it into segments to ensure that the translator doesn’t have to work in two versions of a document while translating.

That procedure would be very prone to errors; it often leads to shifts in the design and layout of the translated document. That is why we work with our translation software according to the first mentioned procedure. After the translation has been finished, the document is rebuilt by the translation software, which places the translated text in the same place in the original document without touching the layout and design.

File formats

Our translation software allows us to effortlessly translate almost any file format while preserving the design and layout. For example, it works for the following popular file formats:

We are always able to ensure that the design and layout of such files are preserved. This is a little more complicated for some other file formats. PDF files are a well-known example of this. The text in these files is literally ‘stuck’. However, we would be able to convert a PDF file into a different file format, e.g. Word. Would you like us to translate a PDF file? If possible, make sure to preserve the document in its original file format (e.g. Word, Excel or InDesign). These documents can be easily translated while preserving the design and layout.

Is any desktop publishing necessary?

Usually the translated document is immediately ready to deliver to you. However, sometimes the text has shifted, e.g. because the translated text is shorter or longer than the original text.

In most language combinations, the translated text turns out longer than the original text. This might not be an issue for Word files that consist of text only, but a PowerPoint presentation that was completely designed to fit in all information, might not look as good when it turns out that the translated text no longer fits in the designated fields. Or how about translating the buttons on your website or in a software system?

Are you writing such a document and does it need to be translated afterwards? Then we recommend leaving enough space in case the translated text turns out longer. The length difference between the original text and the translation might be quite substantial. This especially applies to individual words, and short phrases such as slogans.

Translations of websites and software programs are sometimes bound to character limits, which means that the translation of certain words, sentences or text sections is not allowed to be longer than a specific amount of characters. In such cases we will keep the length of the translations in mind.

Desktop publishing (DTP)

Editing the layout of a document is also called desktop publishing (DTP). This is mostly relevant in the following cases:

Translating a document with a complicated layout

Some documents entail many different layout elements. Before delivering the translation, we will always check the layout of the translated document. If little/simple DTP is required, we will correct it as part of our service and then deliver your translation with the same formatting and layout as the original document. If necessary, we can also carry out complex DTP thanks to our broad network of specialists in that field.

Translating your document to specific languages

Some languages have different reading directions and position the text differently, e.g. Arabic, Japanese and Chinese. Obviously, DTP is often necessary for these languages. We have a broad network of DTP specialists for all languages who will be able to sort you out. If you want your texts translated to these languages, you don’t have to worry about the design and layout of the documents: we can take care of this for you.

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