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Wordfast Pro 4 and InDesign files
Thread poster: Paul Sinfield

Paul Sinfield  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:31
French to English
Jul 8, 2016


Does anyone have experience of this? I don't have InDesign but am trying to make things easier for a design agency client by translating the InDesign file directly. INDD file didn't work so they sent me an IDML file. It loaded into WP 4 OK so I translated a couple of (short!) pages as a test and sent it back to the client but they can't open it (in CS6).

Am I missing a trick? Do I need InDesign for this to work?

Any hints/suggestions gratefully received.



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United Kingdom
Local time: 14:31
French to English
InDesign trial version? Jul 8, 2016

Hello Paul,
When I was in a similar situation, I found that you can get a free trial of InDesign that lasts a few weeks, and you can look at what you have produced and check that it opens. From my experience, WFP 3 had no problem with InDesign output. (Not tried with WFP 4 yet.) At least there were no complaints!

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Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:31
German to Swedish
+ ...
Unhelpful Jul 8, 2016

"Can't open it" isn't a very helpful description.

IDML is an XML format specifically designed to facilitate file interchange between different versions of Indesign. (The XML then becomes an attractive CAT format, but that's only incidental.) So if the document is properly formed, the prospects of opening it in any Indesign version should be very good.

You don't need Indesign to CAT-translate an IDML file.
(However, you do need Indesign if the customer expects to receive a perfect, printable Indesign layout. In that case, there's lots of hand-honing to be done in all but the simplest documents.)

If it's a short file, you could compare the before-and-after IDML files in a plaintext editor and see if you spot anything odd. The tags should be near-identical.

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John Di Rico  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:31
Member (2006)
French to English
Tags Jul 11, 2016

Hi Paul,

In WFP4 Quicktools (under main Wordfast 4 menu), you can pseudotranslate "complicated" files like this, just to be sure that they won't present any problems after translation. This is standard practice for translation agencies.

Hope this helps!


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