DTP (Desktop Publishing) is a service involving our graphic designer preparing your unformatted translated or written materials for printing or publishing online. The more difficult the formatting is, the more essential it is to buy DTP. A plain Microsoft Word document with no images or charts requires little effort in terms of DTP, whereas a 100-page Adobe InDesign file full of images, tables, charts, and cross references will cost you much more.
When do you need DTP?
DTP typically goes hand in hand with translation, because even though translated texts retain the original formatting, they tend to get longer or shorter depending on the language combination and do not fit in the original layout as a result.
DTP is also required for texts within images, as these cannot be translated directly. They are usually extracted into a separate file for translation. Afterwards, a DTP specialist inserts the translations from this file into the actual images.
You may also need DTP when you have crafted the materials yourself and now want a graphic designer to lay out the materials nicely. These materials can be anything from flyers and marketing brochures to user manuals.
Do not underestimate the importance of DTP. When a document looks terrible, it does not matter how good the actual text is.
DTP makes translated content look professional, reflecting the professionalism of your business.
Great layout makes a big difference in terms of the impact your materials have on end users. The translation can be perfect, but if it does not fit the page well, it appears flawed to the person reading it.
Outsourcing DTP is a very cost-effective solution, because the outsourcing is cheap compared to doing DTP yourself, not to mention the frustration that you will invariably experience because of spending too much time on what should have been outsourced to a professional who would have done it faster and better.
If you are translating a text into multiple languages, assigning DTP of all language translations to just one vendor is the best strategy to ensure effectiveness, cost-efficiency, and consistency.
If you wonder whether something sounding as serious as DTP is really necessary for a seemingly simple translation, the good news is that it is not included in the translation rate. Since this is a separate service, you are free to receive raw, unformatted translated files from us and do DTP yourself.
When can you do without DTP?
Not all texts require DTP. These include:
Unformatted texts, such as intermediate files created exclusively for the purpose of providing the text to a vendor in a translatable format.
Plain Microsoft Word files with texts flowing from one page to another, without complex formatting.
It is absolutely essential to have the materials proofread after DTP for formatting problems, such as out-of-place text, hyphenation problems. A small typo, when typeset in 40-point type for publication, can be a disaster. Without proofreading, formatting blunders will go unnoticed until end users start complaining about them. As with DTP itself, this service is not included in the translation rate: you can let us do this proofreading or choose to do it on your end.
A word on re-creation of formatting
DTP is not to be confused with re-creation of formatting, which happens before translation, not after it, as DTP does. Re-creation of formatting is a service involving a DTP specialist extracting the text from your uneditable files, such as images or PDFs, to make it possible for the translation team to work on editable text. For instance, if you send a multiple-page PDF file with many images, tables, and graphs, it will require extensive preparation, which is listed on the quote under the name “Re-creation of formatting.”
We have been providing DTP services both for translations we do ourselves and for translation agencies doing projects into multiple languages. Contact us to tap this experience and make your materials look professional.
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