Productive tool for adding translation labels to a picture
Thread poster: Neil Coffey

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:25
French to English
+ ...
May 27, 2015

Dear all,

I have a situation that I'm sure you've all come up against where for miscellaneous reasons, a client is only able to supply the source as images, including intricate diagrams that need to be translated. An acceptable, but time consuming, solution is to paste said diagrams into the word document then add text boxes over the top for the caption translations. But doing this in Word is an utter pain in the nether regions due to the fiddling of sizing the text boxes, sizing the font, making sure one doesn't accidentally click in the wrong place and create mayhem with one's erroneous dragging...

So: can anyone recommend a *productive* tool for achieving a similar result, either on a desktop or iPad? The idea would be able to quickly drag a rectangle around an existing area of the image, quickly enter the translation text, and then have the text magically sized to fill the area. All without any clunking around. Then save the result as an image that can be added to a Word document.

Many thanks for your suggestions!


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JL01  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:25
English to French
+ ...
Make a table May 27, 2015

My solution to this old and recurring problem has been to create a 2-column table, whereby the source and target terms are entered manually.

Yes, agreed, it is slow and tedious, but it still beats all other attempts at tearing one's hair.


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 04:25
English to German
A tricky Word macro could do that May 28, 2015

The macro would create an empty text box that is resizable & repositionable by the user.
Then it would open a small standard dialog window for entering the text.
After the text has been entered, it would copy the text into the textbox. All this is rather straightforward.

Now comes the tricky part:
The macro assigns a paragraph style to the text in the text box. Then the macro calculates the height & width of the text inside the text box (based on the paragraph style and on the queryable properties of the text box). If the result shows that the text is too "large", the paragraph style is set to a smaller font, this new font is assigned to the text in the text box and the size check is repeated until the text fits into the unchanged text box.

Volunteers, one pace forwards!


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xxx2nl  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:25
The Preview app May 28, 2015

Hi Neil,

If you have access to a Mac, you could have a look at the Preview app. It's quite intuitive and you don't have to be afraid that you suddenly click into another level, losing your orientation etc. Adding captions and filling them with text is pretty straight forward.

Here is a demonstration:

https://youtu.be/Sp6x_vKPQE8

And an example:



Many frame styles are available.

Cheers,

Hans

[Edited at 2015-05-28 11:43 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:25
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Anything BUT MS Word May 28, 2015

Microsoft Word, as it name implies, is a word (actually text) processor. Its original paradigm is the now obsolete typewriter. From time to time, it was bloated with thousands of features, but remains a word processor, hence not good for graphics.

It's like comparing the T-Model Ford and the Tesla S70D. Both are 4-wheel automobiles, designed to transport people & luggage on fair ground. Neither is good for hauling heavy cargo, off-road situations, or crossing waist-deep water, yet you can try, with possibly similar results.

I use "vintage" software to do this kind of work. Either PageMaker or PhotoImpact - both dead and buried - work well, and quite efficiently. You can use the latest InDesign or Photoshop, and they'll work fine. Merely cover or blank out the written area, rebuild/paint the background if needed, and write your translation there.

Photo* will render you a graphic file directly. DTP apps will require distilling into a PDF. No big deal. In both cases, you may keep a layered file for editing, if eventually required, and flatten/merge the layers into one for delivery.

No chance for CAT tools though. As I understand it, the text is embedded in the graphics, and doing selective-area OCR would involve more labor than translating in the old read, translate & write manner.


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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:25
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Visio May 28, 2015

Neil Coffey wrote:
So: can anyone recommend a *productive* tool for achieving a similar result, either on a desktop or iPad? The idea would be able to quickly drag a rectangle around an existing area of the image, quickly enter the translation text, and then have the text magically sized to fill the area. All without any clunking around. Then save the result as an image that can be added to a Word document.

Microsoft Visio is in a sense more than you need, as you can do everything from basic business diagrams to complex flowcharts and other assemblies. The point is that it is easy to get into and intuitive to use. My version (2007) will certainly resize and reshape text in a text box and if - heaven forbid - you actually need to create a diagram from scratch, it behaves as one would expect and plays nicely with other MS applications. Copy and paste is no problem.

Unfortunately it does cost a fair bit of money. I have used Visio for many, many years so I have got more than my money's worth out of it. And if it saves you a few hours of mucking around every year it will pay for itself. It is included in some versions of Office, I think.

There's a competing application called SmartDraw, but I have no personal experience of that.

Regards
Dan


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 04:25
English to German
A tricky Word macro could do that #2 May 28, 2015

I've just looked into Word's macro editor and found that it is even more simple. In order to find the appropriate font size, you need only 3 lines:

MYTEXTRANGE.Font.Size = 30

While MYSHAPE.TextFrame.Overflowing
MYTEXTRANGE.Font.Size = MYTEXTRANGE.Font.Size - 0.3
Wend

The Overflowing property relieves you from the tricky computation. Nevertheless it's a laborious task to integrate all necessary details into a handy macro.


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