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Translating/converting a PDF file based on InDesign
Thread poster: Birthe Omark

Birthe Omark  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:56
Member (2006)
French to Danish
+ ...
Dec 13, 2008

It is not uncommon to receive PDF-files created from InDesign for translation.
Typically such a file is converted into a translatable Word file using one of the many conversion applications.
But the result is not always too good and the resulting word file is often very different from the original PDF file.
The word or rtf-file can mostly be translated in TagEditor. Some times, however, there are problems with text boxes, fonts etc.
TagEditor allows translation of InDesign .. but of course not PDF. How do you work around this ?
Is there a light version of InDesign which allows the conversion for use by translators ?

I would have thought that this issue has been treated i a thread, but I cannot find one.

Looking forward to good advise
Birthe


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Miroslav Jeftic  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:56
English to Serbian
+ ...
Not sure... Dec 13, 2008

I think there's very little that you can do with a PDF file (no matter which application originally created it) and the result of conversions/OCR is almost never good enough. InDesign can also export to .rtf as I remeber, but not sure how is the result, that is, whether something is lost in the process.

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Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 09:56
English to Indonesian
+ ...
ask for indesign file Dec 13, 2008

why not ask your client to provide you with the indesign file? this way, you can translate it directly in tageditor.
in dealing with pdf, i usually just grab the text, i.e., extract the text to txt, not word. this way, i don't have to deal with text boxes.
as translator, i don't think we have to deal with layout unless we are paid for it. my two cents.


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:56
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
INX Dec 13, 2008

Your comment surprises me:
"It is not uncommon to receive PDF-files created from InDesign for translation."

I have translated many InDesign files, but they have never been supplied as PDF files, always as InDesign export files, with the ending .INX, and these can easily be translated in TagEditor. That way the text to be translated is displayed, while the formatting is in protected tags which you can see but not edit. You deliver your translated INX file to the customer, who can easily import it, with all the formatting intact.

Ask your customer to supply an export file -- easily done in InDesign.


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 03:56
English to German
+ ...
pdf2dtp is one such tool I found on the net. Dec 13, 2008

Hi! May be you should try it. It supports only file based .pdfs and goes only till Indesign CS2 edition. This means you can convert the .pdf to ms-word file via OCR or other methods, maintain the format and save as .pdf again then convert back to InDesign. I do not have the link though, but there is a trial edition with 3-5 page limitation. BR Brandis

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Ángel Domínguez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:56
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
PDFs are just intended for reading or printing Dec 13, 2008

Hi,

I've worked as a graphic designer for many years, and I'm afraid what you mentioned is yet another thing that clients have to learn: the original layout files are needed.

PDFs are, most of the time, FINAL files that cannot be worked upon. They're intended for reading or printing, and it happens that the text inside them is broken up, so exporting to a text or Word file doesn't help, as the text paragraphs are fragmented. The original InDesign files are mandatory in order to produce the desired result.
It happened to me recently, an agency sent me several PDF files stating that the output files should be PDF files, with the same format and layout as the original ones. So I wrote back explaining that the original files were needed in order to keep the layout, be it InDesign, QuarkXPress or even Word files. They didn't bother to reply, which I felt very impolite after I took the time to explain the reason of it.

And of course, something like this also happens in the design field; you ask the client to send you the logo in a vector format, and then you get a terribly compressed and low-res JPEG file, with pixels the size of your hands.

There is a slim trace of hope with the PDF file, though... If the file was directly saved from Adobe Illustrator with a default option enabled (preserve Illustrator's editing capabilities), opening it in Illustrator will give you the original layout, with complete text boxes and paragraphs, so it may be worth trying to open it with Illustrator. But the PDF would have to have only 1 page.

And, of course, there's still that pdf2dtp Brandis suggested, but I haven't tried it.

Good luck!

O:-)
Ángel


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Birthe Omark  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:56
Member (2006)
French to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you .. Dec 13, 2008

Thank you especially to Brandis and Angél for your comprehensive replies to a question I already felt had no 'good' answer.
I have in fact received a converted word /rtf file from the customer (agency) along with the PDF (properties page shows that the origin was InDesign). But the Word file has all the deficencies that follow from a conversion from PDF, it annoyed me, and I had hoped that there might be a better solution.
The word files are not particularly well suited for translation in Trados (one of the files cannot be done in TagEditor) and by the way, the customer advises agains using TagEditor for the others.
Each of the files are rather heavy due to illustrations, text boxes and what-not, so I intend to carry on using TE.
When I get more time I will investigate the pdf2dtp solution.

Thank you all so far.
Smiles to all.
Birthe


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 03:56
English to German
+ ...
ttx as many have indicated already.. Dec 13, 2008

Hi! Ask your customer to send you tagged files. It is then easy for you to process the file and clean and send back along with the unclean files. This way you would be processing version independent. This saves you infact a loading a fat program like InDesign. The latest edition eats away all the memory. BR Brandis

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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:56
English to Czech
+ ...
@ Ángel Dec 14, 2008

I couldn't agree more. I wish PMs at translation agencies knew it too...

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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 09:56
Partial member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
PDF editor software Dec 14, 2008

These days we have a number of PDF editing software to use. Some of them are freeware.
We can replace or edit texts [as well as graphic] in PDF files. Most of them work in many Unicord or special fonts.
I will use them as the last resort if I need to [due to its complicate handling of texts].
Adobe Acrobat, RTF, OCR, INX, IDD are also editable files in this instance.

Soonthon L.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 04:56
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
inx without line-breaks Dec 14, 2008

The customer should remove the forced line-breaks prior to exporting into inx, otherwise you get unnecessary tags or segmentation problems.
With large files text if you can save to target from within Tageditor. Sometimes TE is not able to produce the translation, so you must make sure this before you start. Never remove text between tags completely but leave a space.

Good luck!
Heinrich


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:56
English to Czech
+ ...
Really? Dec 16, 2008

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.) wrote:

These days we have a number of PDF editing software to use. Some of them are freeware.
We can replace or edit texts [as well as graphic] in PDF files. Most of them work in many Unicord or special fonts.
I will use them as the last resort if I need to [due to its complicate handling of texts].
Adobe Acrobat, RTF, OCR, INX, IDD are also editable files in this instance.

Soonthon L.


Hi Soonthon,
thank you very much for your information. I've tried Infix PDF Editor, but the result was less than satisfactory with CE characters, such as "č, š, ď, ť, ň, ě, é". I've tried using unicode fonts, but to no avail.


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