DTP or Desktop Publishing can be understood as the creation of documents using page layout software on a personal computer or desktop. Thanks to DTP, any document can become more attractive.
We interviewed our Project Manager and DTP specialist Gerardo Asaduroglu, to talk about why DTP is so important for the translation industry.
What is DTP and what is it used for?
DTP is related to the formatting and layout of a project. This can be done before translation (commonly called ¨file prep¨) or after translation (which I call ¨final formatting¨).
This is a key process in the translation industry. The main objective of DTP is that the target language matches the general formatting of the original file, such as titles, paragraphs, alignment, page size, bold text, colors, etc. When this is done, any target audience can read or see the same in terms of format.
It is an extremely important process because it can help to avoid issues like segmentation, missing information, incorrect order, and many others, before sending the files to translate. Doing the DTP after translation might even help to spot issues that may occur during the translation itself, like missing paragraphs, bulleting, different font types, and other key aspects that help in the quality process and final checking steps.
What type of software is used for DTP
Some companies only call ¨DTP¨ all related projects that are managed using InDesign (Adobe). However, any the design, graphic, web, editorial, and/or text software is useful.
DTP can be carried out in different ways, largely depending on the person’s expertise. For example, if you are working with a Designer, they would prefer using Adobe tools (like Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator) to recreate an image or to set a proper layout. However, if you are just a translator and you do not have those tools, sometimes you can recreate an image using Microsoft Paint (for cleaning up the image) and Microsoft Word in order to translate the content.
Professionals in the matter usually work with InDesign, Framework, HTML tools, Microsoft Publisher, Word and PowerPoint.
We cannot skip the OCR tools. In the prep step, sometimes (if not most of the times) we need to use tools to extract the text from the original files when they are not editable, in order to be recreated. In that cases we use OCRs. You can find a lot in the market: Abbyy is the most used and also Acrobat, and you can also use some internet-based ones. However, be very careful with those, because they may incur in violations of the NDAs you have signed with your clients.
What its advantages?
The main advantage of this process is to match the layout from the source in all the languages the project has been translated to. This is done to make all of the audiences see the same content in the final product, and to make the overall communication of the piece work in the same way, independently of the language used.
If you are a Project Manager or a Linguist, this process can definitely make your life better. For example, if you run a DTP process in order to recreate a non-editable file, you can access to the TMs, Termbases or all the gadgets the CAT tools use in order to complete the translation faster, consistent and having the chance to have a software check.
Also, adding a step in the translation process can be useful in order to spot possible issues and to fix them.
Finally, having the project checked by a designer can add a new perspective to the piece, outside from the linguistic point of view. It’s important that anyone can read the text and comprehend the message.
How can DTP help business grow in the global market?
DTP has already spread among businesses. Most large companies in the industry pay a lot of attention to this process. If there are more eyes checking the files before they are printed or distributed, the message will most likely be better received.
Business can take advantage of DTP to position themselves better in the global market, as the resulting designs can influence the way people feel about the brand.