15 July 2016

Really smart workflow for .docx to .idml

Note: the Caveats listed in Workflow for .idml to .idml apply.

Case 2: Source language text in Microsoft Word formatted in strict compliance with a comprehensive Word template and target language version to be laid out using Adobe InDesign.

The following workflow is based on a post entitled Moving Text From Word to InDesign by Jamie McKee (@MacKeyComp). Although a keen user of Word styles, I have yet to have the privilege of working with a client, or a client's graphics layout team, that appreciated their benefits.

This workflow will only work well if the translation client, the translator(s) and the translation client's graphics layout team share in-depth knowledge and a commitment to continuous improvement in the use of both Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign.

Proposed workflow
1) Ask the layout team to create their InDesign Template as detailed in Moving Text From Word to InDesign and taking into account the recommendations in 8 Steps to Optimize InDesign Files for Translation.
2) Ask the layout team to export the said InDesign Template to Word so that authors and translators work consistently with the same set of styles.
3) Ask all authors and translators to exercise extreme discipline in the use of the Word template and local character attributes. From the outset authors and translators should use non-breaking spaces (NBSPs), aka hard spaces, non-breaking hyphens, and any other relevant tricks to ensure that layout and proofreading progress as smoothly and quickly as possible.
4) When the translation work proper has been completed, the translators should run Stanislav Okhvat's TransTools to ensure the consistent use of apostrophes, quotation marks, non-breaking spaces (NBSPs) and the like.
5) The layout team should now be able to import the Word file (including its template) directly into Adobe InDesign as detailed in Moving Text From Word to InDesign with maximum efficiency.
6) Ask the layout team to fine-tune the layout then generate pdfs to send to the translators and others for proofreading. Again, this step should now be far more efficient than using less sophisticated workflows.

This workflow calls for a lot of preparatory work, understanding, commitment and rigour. As a result, it may not be feasible in the case of a one-off project. In the case of regular projects using the same authors, translators and layout team, it should, however, prove a real time saver.

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Glossary. Too little research.

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