Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Poll: What font do you use when translating scanned documents / non-standard formats?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 12:32
Oct 30, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What font do you use when translating scanned documents / non-standard formats?".

This poll was originally submitted by Marie-Hélène Hayles

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see:


Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:32
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Times New Roman is my default. Oct 30, 2007

It's not always my client's, and their default always trumps my default.


Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:32
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Verdana Oct 30, 2007

Verdana is definitely my favourite font, and I normally use size 11 or 12. Of course, if the text asks to keep the original font, I do.

Regarding popular fonts, Verdana and Arial are quite pleasing to the eye, but I don't think too much of Times New Roman.


Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Anything rather than Courier... Oct 30, 2007

...which makes me feel I'm producing an inferior piece of work!


Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:32
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I try to approximate the client's fonts and general layout Oct 30, 2007

It makes editing and proofreading much easier.

[Edited at 2007-10-30 15:15]


Deborah do Carmo  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:32
Dutch to English
+ ...
Same here Oct 30, 2007

Steven Capsuto wrote:

It makes editing and proofreading much easier.

[Edited at 2007-10-30 15:15]

But there are limits, I'm quick to draw the line if I feel I'm really crossing into the realm of DTP.

After all, at the end of the day we're selling our time. If I was that interested in charity work, I'd find a better cause.

[Edited at 2007-10-30 15:25]


Christiane Boehme  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:32
English to German
+ ...
Close to original document Oct 30, 2007

I always try to match fonts and layout with the original document.
Otherwise my favorite font is Arial size 11. I use it for all my letters and invoices. But Times New Roman I don't like at all.


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:32
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Times for proofreading, then the client's font Oct 30, 2007

I find proofreading much easier in Times New Roman.

Somehow typos slip through in Arial, and you can't trust the spellchecker ... Other fonts are tricky too, but it is largely a matter of habit. I find italics especially difficult, but changing the format makes errors stand out.

I do follow the client's formatting in big, complicated jobs, but I sometimes save a backup with the original formatting, then convert to a proofing-friendly format to make sure I have caught ALL the errors. I correct them in the original formatting version, of course!

It's worth it!


Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:32
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Verdana, more often than not Oct 30, 2007

If the font seems immaterial, I use Verdana, but in some cases (legal documents, certificates etc.) Times New Roman seems more appropriate, or I may match the original font if I can.
My rather curious preference for Verdana font size is 9.5. The reason for this is historical: I was doing a regular job with a title line on each sheet which had limits on the maximum and minimum number of words.
While still using a typewriter (no, I don't go back as far as quill pens),
I knew that a certain number of characters produced a line of a certain size, and to match what I was used to in Verdana, 9.5 was about right.

[Edited at 2007-10-30 21:20]


Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:32
Italian to English
+ ...
Times New Roman Oct 30, 2007

I suggested this poll because I get quite a few scanned letters to translate which were written in Comic Sans MS, which I find somewhat disconcerting - to me it looks completely unprofessional. So I refuse to use it (although I would if I were specifically asked to, of course!). I've also revised translations written in Courier New, which I find literally unreadable - I have to change it all to another font before I can work on it.

My preference is TNR in 11 or 12, but I'm OK with Arial (10) or Tahoma or Verdana.


Kristaps Otrups
Local time: 22:32
English to Latvian
+ ...
Comic Sans MS Oct 30, 2007

I use Comic Sans whenever I can, especially when translating legal documents. I think it really lightens up their serious tone a lot.
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:32
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Verdana Oct 30, 2007

I also use Verdana, it's just a personal preference.


esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:32
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
DejaVu Fonts are my choice Oct 30, 2007

Normally, it's DejaVu Mono. Those fonts are far superior to Microsoft's by script/language coverage.


Andres & Leticia Enjuto  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:32
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Off topic Oct 30, 2007

I hereby state that I hate, detest and despise Times New Roman font.
I am not sure about the reasons, though.

That is all I have to say now, and my apologies for diverting this honorable thread.

Good day!



Tamer Elzein (X)
Local time: 22:32
English to Arabic
+ ...
Arial Unicode MS Oct 30, 2007

Since most of the work I handle needs to be translated into Arabic, using Verdana is a luxury I can't afford.

Actually, I probably wouldn't use Verdana, anyway. It's an amazing font for the Web, but since I started using the ClearType technology, I've come to love the way Serif fonts appear on my laptop screen.

Sometimes, I might use a certain font for proofreading then, when I'm done, I convert the font to my client's preference.

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >

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: What font do you use when translating scanned documents / non-standard formats?

Advanced search

PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2019
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2019 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2019 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search