The importance of desktop publishing

It’s a given that we live in an increasingly globalized world with shrinking borders. In terms of language and translations, both are becoming very important components of doing business as many enterprises are shifting across borders, penetrating new markets, and trying to overcome cultural barriers when selling products and services to a brand new clientele. One aspect of a company’s marketing strategy when it comes to language and translation for an overseas audience is the importance of desktop publishing. Also referred to as DTP for short, it’s the way one lays out a document, presentation, newsletter, PDF, flyers, brochures etc. This blog post will explore the importance of desktop publishing in the context of language and translation.

The importance of desktop publishing

If you think that desktop publishing is limited to the confines of graphic designers who look at how to make web and print material pretty, you’re wrong. Desktop publishing is crucial for translation services especially due to the language factor that comes into play. For example, you might have a text of 500 words in English, but this, once translated, will turn out to be about 600 words in the final translated text. If this is a presentation, newsletter, website content, or something else, it will mean knowing when to move certain words to a new line so that the word isn’t broken up incorrectly in the target language, shifting images and using the right colors so as not to offend, revising the layout of the document in a completely new way, and various other factors.

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Desktop publishing & software

There is a wide variety of software involved in desktop publishing ranging from Word, PDF, Powerpoint, to software with more complex requirements on knowledge such as Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Photoshop, and InDesign. It is critical to ensure that your language translator either works very closely with the desktop publisher or graphic designer or that they have the right skill set to address some of the desktop publishing challenges mentioned above.

Here are a few examples of this:

DTP and Microsoft Word: When it comes to documents in Word format and their overall simplicity, some clients may even ask whether a DTP service is even necessary. However, this is why DTP is often added on as a separate service fee. In this case, if you choose not to opt for DTP with a Word file, your translator will simply offer you the translated text in a raw, unformatted file.

Microsoft Powerpoint: These types of documents are a bit harder than Word files to format. One of the reasons for this issue with layout is the fact that such files are not well suited for text expansion. If your translation ends up being longer than the original text, this will expand past the initial boundaries and will display incorrectly.

Images: Whether in Powerpoint or word, images present a separate DTP problem. Some text images simply cannot be edited. With translation and DTP services, however, the text from an image can be extracted, translated, and then inserted back into the main image.

InDesign: This type of program is usually referred to as “the industry standard app for publishing projects”. While it enables you to create a whole plethora of printed and web materials, they are usually much more challenging for translators. This is why when ordering your translation service, you should request that your translation, editing, DTP, and proofreading are taken care of in one go.

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Multilingual DTP

Languages are so broad and varied across the world. From Arabic and Hebrew, which read from left to right to Korean or Chinese, which are character-based, you will need to hire the right translation company to help you with multilingual DTP and accurate translations. Multilingual DTP is exactly what it implies – many languages that are translated and formatted according to the specific layout or formatting required in the original document.

Benefits of desktop publishing

the importance of desktop publishing

  • Work in any type of file and format: Such professionals are usually well-skilled in both translations and DTP and can work with a wide range of file formats so that the end client is satisfied.
  • Complex languages and complicated characters: By combining a strong translator with a well-functioning DTP service, you’ll be able to overcome some of the main challenges in terms of translating and publishing complex languages and dealing with complicated characters, which, for example, may not fit onto a line but can’t be broken up in order not to lose the original meaning.
  • Optimize your project’s look and feel: Cultural components such as the impact of color or certain word usage may offend in some cases. This is why when you outsource desktop publishing, translators who work with DTP can help avoid and reduce any gaffes that might arise during the project.
  • A critical impact on your translation or localization project: Think of it this way – if you use improper desktop publishing, your layout and typos can lead to a poor impression of your company, a rejection of your product, and in some cases may lead to lawsuits if your information has mistakes due to incorrect formatting. By using a professional language service provider, you’ll be able to have more confidence in the final product.
  • Save on time, money, and resources: By opting for a company to do both your translation and localization project, as well as your DTP, you’ll have a stronger product and will need fewer revisions. By killing two birds with one stone, you’ll also save yourself a lot of time, money, and resources.
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Desktop publishing is becoming an ever-important field in the space of translation and localization. It is a critical component of any translation job and more and more customers are seeking web and print content that will be effectively taken up by the target audience in the new country. There are many benefits of desktop publishing and you should not hesitate to outsource your projects to companies that offer both translation and DTP services.