Poll: Do you work with desktop publishing software, such as Indesign?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:50
SITE STAFF
Apr 9, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you work with desktop publishing software, such as Indesign?".

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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 11:50
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Rarely Apr 9, 2016

I don't offer DTP, but I have learned how to use InDesign and actually like it

 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 18:50
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Other Apr 9, 2016

No - not one of the options



[Edited at 2016-04-09 09:04 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-04-10 08:38 GMT]


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 10:50
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other (no) Apr 9, 2016

The only services I offer are translation, revision and (very occasionally) transcreation.

P.S. Anyway, if the need arises my architect daughter (and associate) knows how to work with all that stuff...

[Edited at 2016-04-09 11:54 GMT]


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:50
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Apr 9, 2016

Before I managed to break into translation I worked as an editor and book and journal designer, having studied for a certificate in printing, layout, and design in the days of hot type. So years later when the software became available and the need to produce newsletters for various organizations coincided, I decided to take up DTP. Over the years I have done DTP on a regular basis for 5 different newsletters plus a journal.

I have also studied and used AutoCad for landscape design, which is my avocation.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:50
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Other Apr 9, 2016

Not yet, but I'm contemplating this option.

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:50
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Changing times Apr 9, 2016

I began translating professional in 1973, in the Engineering department of a large industrial machinery manufacturer. The only computer there was an IBM mainframe and, in spite of the four years I spent there, it was so locked-up that I never saw it.

I was in charge of translating technical documentation (installation, operation, maintenance, parts manuals) for such machines, initially using a pad of ruled paper, a fountain pen, and a few paper dictionaries. Gradually I began shifting quadrants (from US-3rd to BR-1st) in technical drawings, changing all measurements from in to mm, and so on. Two expert typists turned my translations into neatly typed text, and we assembled those pages using glue sticks, so that a copier would produce small-run professional looking manuals. As the largest such machine I saw ran through some five or seven industrial-height floors in a building, we didn't need so many copies printed.

In the mid-1980s I got involved with management training courses, became a freelancer, and got my first computer, an Apple II. There was a software named Multiscribe that got close to DTP, using dot-matrix printers, the state of the art then. The output looked good, since it ran the printing head four times over each line.

Undue effort for the printer. I wore off an Epson DMP in one year. Then I bought a heavy-duty BR-made Rima DMP (I still have it here, stashed away, working OK last time I checked). Where the Epson had a couple of plastic strips, this Rima has three solid 3/8" dia. stainless steel rods.

In the late 1980s I moved to the PC-XT, and switched to the "new" Page Maker v3.0, which ran under the icon-less Windows 2.01. It was a paste-up studio in virtual reality! (Yes, I had lots of translations routed to paste-up studios, visited them often, saw that they had to outsource phototypesetting, enlarge/reduce photos etc.) Page Maker had all that within itself.

So in 1980 I got my first laser printer. That Apple LaserWriter cost me US$ 7 grand for delivery in Sao Paulo, however it fully paid for itself in three months! (Eat that cost/benefit ratio, Trados!)

So I have been using PageMaker ever since, upgrading every time until v6.52 in 1997. I still have it installed, and still use it whenever I can instead of the immensely worse Microsoft Word for anything neatly laid out.

They did launch v7, but it was a bummer. My take is that Adobe was desperate, as very few people liked PM7. So they bundled all they had together and launched InDesign.

I tried InDesign, and it seemed like a massive overkill. I felt like a Formula I pilot who had to drive a couple of people somewhere nearby, and was given a Boeing 737 to do it. I never went for that upgrade.

As a TRANSLATOR - and not a graphic artist - I don't need those myriad features. I'm not creating anything visually new, just translating TEXT. Plain-vanilla Page Maker enables me to translate and very accurately lay out any existing publication, even if the original is on hard copy (I can re-create anything quickly with PM and a scanner).

On another front, in all these years I had to turn down job offers involving translation directly within Frame Maker, QuarkXpress, and the low-end MS Publisher, Serif PagePlus, and Scribus.

One day I saw an Infix - a "live" PDF editor - ad here on Proz. I tried it, and it was quite powerful. So I contacted their developer, Iceni, and suggested them the development of a PDF translation-enabling feature. Not sure if I was the only one to suggest it, but they did it! I became a beta-tester, but have stopped filing my long bug reports for a few years already. Most of the bugs left stem from the very nature of PDF files themselves.

This procedure gave me freedom. Since all DTP translation clients need is a translated PDF, it doesn't matter what software was used to create such files. Just distill them into a PDF, and I'll take over! I've published a walk-through of the process here.

One great advantage is that it can be used to translate pesky-layout MS Word files, if the client will accept the output as a PDF file. If they don't, in the worst case, I can work in PDF, and then convert it back into DOC(X) using AVS4YOU Document Converter.


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:50
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Increasing demand Apr 9, 2016

I don't have InDesign and I don't really know how to use it. But I noticed the demand for jobs using the software is increasing. I received a few already, and used a free read-only version to read the files. I guess it's one of the upgrades we'll all have to do one day in our professional life.

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:50
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Good point! Apr 9, 2016

Mario Freitas wrote:

I don't have InDesign and I don't really know how to use it. But I noticed the demand for jobs using the software is increasing. I received a few already, and used a free read-only version to read the files. I guess it's one of the upgrades we'll all have to do one day in our professional life.


Indeed, I see many job requests for translating within InDesign, which leads me to some questions.

Apparently Trados (and maybe MemoQ and others) can trespass into InDesign files to get their TEXT translated. Bottom line is that the translator does not have to buy ($700) and learn to use InDesign.

However who will handle the reflowing effects of text swelling/shrinking during translation?

Are these clients considering the additional cost of having a DTP operator with InDesign fixing the layout shifts later, possibly in a language unknown to them?

I had this case with a Canadian agency. They converted an InDesign 200-pp book to DOC format, I translated EN-PT, and a colleague proofread. Then they got a FR-speaking monoglot DTP operator to put it back into InDesign. As the layout involved many "thin" columns, and most PT syllables are 2-3 chars long, hyphenation was a must. She (the DTP-ist) didn't have a hyphenating dictionary for PT in InDesign, so (my guess, from what I saw) she used the Italian one. Altogether I and the proofreader had to carefully re-check the entire book (on PDF - neither of us has InDesign) EIGHT times from cover to cover for badly-placed hyphens! Every time we fixed one bad hyphen in a paragraph, as it was fixed, a new one came up down below. Until we had run this iterative progress to the end of the longest paragraph, it wasn't over.

The client wants the translation done on a DTP file, so they'll be able to make changes to it in the future. Heck, if they need a translator, how will they implement such future changes in an unknown language? Anyway, nowadays they CAN do that in a PDF file.

I had this case with one client that absolutely demanded the translation done within Frame Maker files. I tried to team up with a local Frame Maker DTP operator. He wanted to charge me - only for the extract text & implement translation - more that I would charge for rebuilding the entire translated publication using Page Maker. His allegation was that Frame Maker is such a pain to use that he'd want adequate compensation for that. He could make it very affordable using InDesign instead.

That's why I defend translating on PDF files. I do it with Infix/Iceni, but there are several other options around, some among these: http://convert-pdf-software-review.toptenreviews.com/


 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, and you should learn how to use it Apr 9, 2016

Sure, almost every CAT and TEnT tool, from SDL Trados to Deja Vu X3, have InDesign filters. I think they also have Quark Xpress filters too. As José Henrique pointed out in his excruciatingly detailed postings, they extract the text to be translated, and that's what most translators are concerned with.

I've been using Quark Xpress since 2003 (learned to use it at work) and InDesign since 2006-2007, both on Mac and Windows environments. I'm glad I followed the advice of a client on that. Soon I started using Illustrator, Photoshop and AutoCAD.

If a translator thinks that translation is just about text, he needs to revisit his approach to translation because text does not exist in a vacuum. In graphic design and typography, we can learn that text coexists with negative space, horizontal and vertical symmetries, contrast and balance considerations. Just grab a book prepared professionally and compare it to a book self-published by someone with a blog.

I have been offering multilingual desktop publishing and typesetting services for years and I have clients who come to me because I translate and typeset in tandem. I'm currently involved in a typesetting project on InDesign, which requires changing the text in some Illustrator files (graphics) and .eps files, then setting the Spanish and French texts on two different versions of the same document.

My namesake Mario Freitas indicated that there's a growing trend of requests for InDesign projects. That's true, but I stay away from prospects who don't know what they're asking and don't know how to price DTP services (they're expensive, especially if you work with multiple languages).


 

Platon Danilov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 12:50
English to Russian
+ ...
Other Apr 9, 2016

I don't offer DTP, but I have learned recently how to use AutoCAD Mechanical. However, I have done it not for translation purposes. Though, some day I may need to include it in my service offer, too - God knows...

 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
Upgrade Apr 9, 2016

Mario Freitas wrote:

I don't have InDesign and I don't really know how to use it. But I noticed the demand for jobs using the software is increasing. I received a few already, and used a free read-only version to read the files. I guess it's one of the upgrades we'll all have to do one day in our professional life.


Tip: If you want to buy InDesign now or in the future, try qualifying for the educational discount and buy the standard suite (InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop). Unless you're working in animation and/or web design, you don't need the other applications.

Tip 2: Another way to work with InDesign is by a) opening an Adobe account (free) and b) give the 30-day trial of Adobe InDesign CC a spin.


 

Melissa McMahon  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 20:50
Member (2006)
French to English
Yes, as a translator Apr 10, 2016

I translate a lot of commercial publications such as cookbooks. Being able to work in InDesign means the client can send me the existing files of the French publication and I can work directly within the layout. I am not doing layout or design myself, I am using the existing format, fonts. Inevitably the translation can look different to the original and will need to be adjusted - this is something the art department of the English publisher will do.

The alternative would be for me to translate the text in a word file and the client's art department would have to do much more than tweak a few text boxes, they would have to cut, paste and format the whole text. So I am saving them a great deal of time just by owning the software, even though I do not offer DTP services.

Someone suggested that a translator with a CAT tool that reads InDesign files does not need InDesign. I know of translators who only work with InDesign via a CAT tool, but there are a few drawbacks: there will always be formatting things to adjust in the exported file due to tag reordering etc. Plus I can never really finish a translation until I see how it looks as an end product. If you work with the files but don't see them in InDesign, you are working blind.

I don't specifically offer DTP services, but owning InDesign is still a big bonus for me and the client in the field I work in.

Melissa


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:50
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Adobe Suite Apr 10, 2016

Mario Chavez wrote:

Mario Freitas wrote:

I don't have InDesign...


Tip: If you want to buy InDesign now or in the future, try qualifying for the educational discount and buy the standard suite (InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop). Unless you're working in animation and/or web design, you don't need the other applications.

Tip 2: Another way to work with InDesign is by a) opening an Adobe account (free) and b) give the 30-day trial of Adobe InDesign CC a spin.


Thanks for the tips, Mario. I'm still not thinking about spending that money. I'll probably have to do it in the future, as soon as I can consider it an investment. For the moment being, it would still be an extra expense only.


 


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