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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. Let us explain how we maintain the design and layout of your text.

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 original document before translating. So you don’t have to supply a separate text to be translated, only to have to cut and paste the translation back into your formatted document.

With our translation software, we work according to our working method we mentioned before. Less time-consuming, less error-prone. After the translation is completed by the translator, the document is rebuilt by the translation software. The translated text is placed in the same place in the original documents, maintaining the layout and design.

File formats

Thanks to our translation software, we can translate most types of documents without any problems and maintain the layout. This applies, for example, to the following popular file types:

  • Word documents
  • Excel sheets
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • InDesign files (.idml)
  • HTML files

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 programmes are sometimes bound to character limits, which means that the translation of certain words, sentences or phrases 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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Translating various types of files

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