Formatting Rates, If Charge at All
Thread poster: jaschaumburg

French to English
+ ...
Aug 8, 2012

Hi everyone,

I have been contacted to do a review job for a regular client. It consists of several PowerPoint presentations. I will do the review in Trados (their request). At the end of the review they want me to export the presentations into .ppt files and go through and check that the formatting is fine. That the text fits on the slides, the fonts are correct, etc. What should I charge for this if anything? Do I charge by the hour or one flat fee? It is really annoying work to do, but I almost feel like it is part of my job. If it were a simple text translation in Word, I'd check it for free. The formatting isn't difficult. There are no tables or strange text boxes or graphics.

I look forward to your opinions. Thanks.

I'm sorry if this has been answered before, but I couldn't find it anywhere.


Andy Lemminger  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:10
Member (2002)
English to German
Charge by the hour Aug 8, 2012

Hi there,

This is layout work and it's definitely not your job.
Worst case you might have to go back and forth with the ttx and the ppt (if things don't match at all).
The only way to do QAs/reviews cost-efficiently is charging by the hour (since you never know what the quality will be) and you should keep charging by the hour while you fix the layout.

Best regards



Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:10
Member (2008)
English to French
Agree - charge by the hour Aug 9, 2012

Whenever I quote for a ppt file I quote for the word count that was extracted into my CAT tool.

I then warn/tell the client that oftentimes text boxes will have to be resized and/or font size will have to be shrunk since French takes up more space than English.

I then quote for the formatting based on my hourly rate - I figure 20 pages an hour for formatting when I quote (basic stuff- a few text boxes per page - if they have a million text boxes with arrows pointing to one another and they'll all have to be resized and replaced, I would estimate much more time).

This way clients can choose the service(s) they want and know exactly what they're getting.


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:10
Member (2007)
+ ...
Set the precedence Aug 9, 2012

You may feel it's appropriate to do this for free, depending on how long it takes, but you should give your client a fee for it. Maybe you might like to give him a 100% discount in this one case, as a business gesture, but he must know that it cost you time, and therefore money.

Otherwise, he'll expect the next, much bigger, file to be done for free.


Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:10
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
By the hour! Aug 9, 2012

Give them an estimate of hours based on the total number of slides in the source files, and make sure they accept that extra charge. If they do not... inform them that you will only do the review and that any formatting should be their task.


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:10
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A different view Aug 9, 2012

I avoid charging by the hour as much as I can.

For interpreting jobs, that's the only option. I must be there, available, during a specific period of time, regardless of how much work there is to do.

However when the time span is not specified, the likelihood of the system being unfair is quite high. I see many people charging for DTP work by the hour. I don't. If a client asked me to do a DTP job with PageMaker, after my 20+ years' experience with it, I'd do anything very quickly. I'd get grossly underpaid for all my investment in mastering that software. Conversely, if the same client requested me to do the very same job using QuarkXpress, they'd get grossly overcharged by the many hours I'd spend reading manuals and help screens.

Post-translation reformatting of PPT files is a boring job, prone to cause a lot of frustration. So I never give it for free. However as this work involves mostly text, the text that I translated, I charge 30% extra on the translation cost to tidy it up wherever needed.

Some clients tell me, "My secretary is a PowerPoint wizard. She has taken several courses, will fix it in no time." Excellent! So let her do it, and the client can save those 30%, as she is getting a salary anyway.


French to English
+ ...
Thanks Aug 10, 2012

Thanks for all of your replies and advice!


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Formatting Rates, If Charge at All

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