Aligning and Translating InDesign Files
Thread poster: Melina C.M.

Melina C.M.
Local time: 06:32
English to Spanish
May 16, 2013

Hi everyone,

There´s a potential project I might get in InDesign and the client does not have a TM but pdfs (generated from InDesign) both in English and Spanish. The clients wants us to generate a TM from existing texts so that the incoming translations will be consistent with the existing texts.

The question is, what is the best tool to handle this file format? Both translation and alignment?

And last, but not least, can I deliver translated texts in InDesign after processing them with a CAT tool or will they need DTP or conversion with another software?

Any help will be much appreciated!



John Fossey  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:32
Member (2008)
French to English
What file format? May 16, 2013

You say you might get the project in InDesign but the client has pdfs. These are 2 different things - InDesign can produce a pdf but a pdf is not an InDesign file and is not straightforward to translate (many threads on this).

There are many CAT tools that can work on InDesign IDML files - I use SDL Studio myself. If the client can supply you with IDML files and you have a compatible CAT tool you won't need to do any conversion afterwards.


Melina C.M.
Local time: 06:32
English to Spanish
My mistake- InDesign files May 16, 2013

Hi John,

Thanks for your input. Sorry, I mixed up. What I meant is that the client has the InDesign files both in English and Spanish but does not have a TM.

They want to produce a TM from the existing translated InDesign files and later on use this new TM to translate new texts in InDesign as well.

The question is, should I request that the files be sent in IDML or is it the default extension?

Do you need extensive pre-processing of InDesign files before alignment? Do you use Studio for this too?



Roy Williams  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:32
Member (2011)
German to English
IDML files May 17, 2013

I use MemoQ for both translation and alignment of Indesign files, however it can only process the IDML or INX versions thereof.

If you have InDesign you can simply export the file to either format, depending on your version of course. After that importing and processing the files functions normally.

If you don't have Indesign, I suggest you request an IDML/INX file. Most CAT tools are able to handle those formats without a problem.


István Lengyel
Local time: 11:32
English to Hungarian
+ ... May 17, 2013

Excuse my blatant advertising, but I think it's worth looking into It is a free service that also facilitates the use of InDesign files, and if you have INDD, you can convert it to IDML or if you use memoQ, a memoQ XLIFF with preview, without having InDesign on your computer. What's more, you can also use it for back-conversion and see the layout of your translations without having InDesign.


Melina C.M.
Local time: 06:32
English to Spanish
Thanks! May 18, 2013

Thank you István, Roy and John for your contributions!


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