Poll: Do you offer Desktop Publishing (DTP) services?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:52
SITE STAFF
Jul 8, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you offer Desktop Publishing (DTP) services?".

View the poll results »



 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:52
Member (2006)
German to English
No Jul 8, 2012

but if requested by a regular customer, then why not?

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:52
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hmmm.... It's not an easy skill Jul 8, 2012

I do offer DTP. To do it right, you have to know your onions. I worked in publications for many years and earned a certificate in printing, layout, and design. Then when DTP came along, I learned the new skills. IMO, much of what passes for DTP is pretty pathetic.

 

suraj jaiswal
India
Local time: 08:22
English to French
+ ...
Yes, I offer Multilingual Desktop Publishing (DTP) services. Jul 8, 2012

Yes, I offer Multilingual Desktop Publishing (DTP) services. Any Software, Any Language - This is my specialty. I always ready to take tough jobs like DTP in Photoshop or Flash Files when original source files not available.

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:52
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A change in methods Jul 8, 2012

For over two decades, I did DTP bundled with translation using successive versions of Page Maker. I never bothered to have/learn to use any of the other pro-level packages (FrameMaker, QuarkXpress, and PM's "son" InDesign), nor the amateur-level ones, (MS Publisher, Serif PagePlus). Of course, DTP always meant an additional charge. It still means an extra cost, however much lower nowadays.

Some facts must be considered.


First, a paradigms issue.

Microsoft Word, as it name implies, is not a DTP app, but a word processor instead. It is the contemporary version of the typewriter paradigm. No matter how much it gets bloated with features, it is still based on the typewriter. Doing DTP work with MS Word makes about as much sense as using PowerPoint to subtitle video.

PageMaker was based on the paste-up art studio paradigm, and so is its successor InDesign. The others developed their own paradigms, based on "virtual" concepts that have no equivalent in the real world.

Each DTP app has its own proprietary file format, which requires the original software used for its development to open. However all these programs, including Word, plus many others, generate PDF files, that have become a kind of universal output.


Second, a translator translates.

This is supposed to mean that most translators, at best, develop a version of some publication that already exists in another language. So a translator is seldom expected to create any new graphic design.


Third, translation often changes text length.

The same publication in a different language will have a slightly different layout. Text often swells or shrinks in the process. Though modern CAT tools are able to penetrate most DTP apps proprietary files to do their job, a DTP operator will have to later fix all layout issues. Some paragraphs overflow their assigned space, labels get out of alignment, tables get crooked, and so on.


A few years ago I saw a powerful PDF editor named InFix. I - and maybe other translators too - suggested their developers enhance it to facilitate the translation of PDF files, and they did it, creating InFix Pro. The process is described on this page.

Yes, InFix Pro will require a translator to learn some DTP to do it on PDF files, however it will be one software package to buy & learn, to translate any (distilled, not scanned) PDF. Anyway, it only costs a fraction of any pro-level single DTP app.

Hence nowadays it no longer makes sense to demand translation using one specific DTP app, if the desired output will most likely be a PDF file that everbody can open. It is now possible - and a lot cheaper - to work directly on a PDF. DTP work is only required to translate hardcopy/scanned publications.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:52
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Other Jul 8, 2012

Michael Harris wrote:

but if requested by a regular customer, then why not?


Yes, it all depends on the customers' requests. I'm not opposing offering this service in the future.


 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
I do InDesign and Quark Jul 8, 2012

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

I do offer DTP. To do it right, you have to know your onions. I worked in publications for many years and earned a certificate in printing, layout, and design. Then when DTP came along, I learned the new skills. IMO, much of what passes for DTP is pretty pathetic.


I agree with Muriel. Some of the original files in InDesign are poorly designed, with little white space, too many fonts (the rule of 3 fonts max should apply), garish color combinations and an overcrowding of graphics that add little to the information. In short, little balance, poor alignment and an asymmetrical result = as ugly as a two-headed duck that sings.

I agree with José Henrique about the pseudo DTP packages such as Word and PowerPoint. Believe it or not, I have had to work with 92-slide PowerPoint documents that are just horrendous. Why 92, I always asked myself?

As for MS Publisher, I absolutely and remorselessly hate it. It's the worst program ever for composing documents with any hint of desktop publishing. That's one of the bad eggs created by Microsoft...but some organizations still use it. Bleh!

I have a couple clients for whom I do DTP on the translated documents. Both give me free rein in moving elements around to preserve (or restore) symmetry, alignment and balance. As an added service, I charge extra.


 

Dinny  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 05:52
Italian to Danish
+ ...
In some way most of us do... Jul 8, 2012

When a client impose on you to use Trados, you are already offering DTP, having to work your way around all the tags and figure out where it is best to put them. But you don´t charge extra for that, do you? You are actually supposed to give a discount!

It beats me how this was ever introduced and accepted by most translators! You invest in an expensive CAT tool with your own money, then you have to give discounts because you have it... because the end client wants a ready-set DTP included in the price.

Sgrunt! I try to fight it as much as I can.
But sometimes it is either this or forget it.

Most of the times, I choose to forget it!

Dinny


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:52
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
@José Jul 8, 2012

Thanks for the thorough update on DTP software. I found it very informative.

I have been using Page Maker and MS Publisher for about 16 years and more recently started to use InDesign. (When MS Publisher first came out, it was a lot more difficult than it is now, and it was also easier to tweak and take to a higher level because it didn't have so many user-friendly macros that cover up how the system works.)

The question was, Do you offer desktop publishing "*services*? This implies creating a publication.
Comparing DTP software to Trados makes no sense. One has to have tried DTP to understand the difference.

I never considered DTP to be part of my translation business. I do newsletters for a number of clients, some of them in foreign languages, and sometimes I have translated a publication already in DTP. But *creating* a desktop publication is another business entirely.

By the way, as a landscape designer I also draw plans in AutoCad. When I started AutoCad, I thought some of my experience with DTP would be transferable, but I was so *wrong*. I also do designs in SmartDraw and 3-D models in SketchUp.

But to repeat myself, we're talking about entirely different services and different businesses. I have business cards for all three.

[Edited at 2012-07-08 21:38 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Jul 9, 2012

That's why I'm happy with a basic rate for a basic, "no-frills" service.
Wikipedia offers this definition:
"Desktop publishing software (abbreviated DTP) is the creation of printed materials using page layout on a personal computer. When used skilfully, desktop publishing software can produce printed literature with attractive layouts and typographic quality comparable to traditional typography and printing."

I CONSIDER THIS A"FRILL" AND THESE PRETTY-PRETTY FILES ARE USUALLY A TIME-CONSUMING MINEFIELD FOR ME. So thanks but no thanks. I pefer to stick to what I do best and leave the tarting-up to more expert tarter-uppers.


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:52
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Tarting up Jul 9, 2012

neilmac wrote:
Thanks but no thanks. I prefer to stick to what I do best and leave the tarting-up to more expert tarter-uppers.


I totally agree that translation should be about translation. It annoys me no end when I deliver a 90-page PowerPoint and the only feedback I get is about the format.


 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: Do you offer Desktop Publishing (DTP) services?

Advanced search






Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
WordFinder Unlimited
For clarity and excellence

WordFinder is the leading dictionary service that gives you the words you want anywhere, anytime. Access 260+ dictionaries from the world's leading dictionary publishers in virtually any device. Find the right word anywhere, anytime - online or offline.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search