14 Replies Latest reply on Aug 7, 2013 12:03 PM by MarcMcDuffie

    Alternate Layouts for Translations?  Easier way to handle multi Languages inside of a Book?

    MarcMcDuffie

      I thought that I would be able to use the new Alternate Layouts and create pages with multi languages all in one document and then when creating the book and importing the pages to the book, be able to pick what layouts I wanted to use.  However apparently this doesn't work.  Anyone know a better way to handle translations when you aren't looking for a multi language book, but wanting books in single language but 1 file?

        • 1. Re: Alternate Layouts for Translations?  Easier way to handle multi Languages inside of a Book?
          Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Anyone know a better way to handle translations when you aren't looking for a multi language book, but wanting books in single language but 1 file?

           

          Alternate layouts are intended for tablet publishing. Is that what you're doing? I would guess not, which is probably why it didn't work for you.

           

          I always advise against trying to have all translations of a given document housed in a single file. When I recieve something like that for revision, my first act is always to break it apart into multiple single-language documents. I've read about people using layers (both in ID and in Acrobat) to distribute a single PDF that allows the user to switch languages by activating or deactivating layers. I've done it myself a few times, but I have never heard a good reason why. (Besides "The client wants it that way," of course. And those clients have typically paid for that preference, in the form of my hourly rate times n, when revisions came around.) I've also seen conditional text used more than once - but I've never built one myself, I've only needed to dismantle files built with conditional text for review or revision or inclusion in translation memory or inclusion in content management systems or any of the thousand other things we do in the translation biz when we repurpose text.

          • 2. Re: Alternate Layouts for Translations?  Easier way to handle multi Languages inside of a Book?
            MarcMcDuffie Level 1

            Joel Cherney wrote:

             

            Anyone know a better way to handle translations when you aren't looking for a multi language book, but wanting books in single language but 1 file?

             

            Alternate layouts are intended for tablet publishing. Is that what you're doing? I would guess not, which is probably why it didn't work for you.

             

             

            Yes this is true.  I knew that they were meant for this purpose, but I thought that I would be able to use it for my own benefit regardless until I realized there aren't Import options for Documents into Books. 

             

            So if I have multiple documents (each with multiple translations in them) compiled into 1 Book, what would be the easiest way to get these to work?  Create a different document for each language and recompile them each to their own Book?

             

            Basically I will lay it out a bit more:

             

            Page 1-2/Document 1 - Cover & Back of Cover (First layout is English, Second Layout Spanish, German, French, Japanese)

            Page 3/Document 2 - ToC (First layout is English, Second Layout Spanish, German, French, Japanese)

             

            Etc

             

            It's around a 45 page Machine Operation Manual that has Images and Text.

             

            Hoping there is a better way to manage all of them without having each translation be their own document.

            • 3. Re: Alternate Layouts for Translations?  Easier way to handle multi Languages inside of a Book?
              peter minneapolis Level 4

              Without seeing your layout, I can't say if InDesign's conditional text feature would work for your needs. It's worth the time to create a copy of your document and learn to apply a specific text condition to the content of each language. Search Google for terms like "InDesign conditional text tutorial," without quotes for details.

               

               

              HTH

               

               

              Regards,

               

               

              Peter

              _______________________

              Peter Gold

              KnowHow ProServices

              • 4. Re: Alternate Layouts for Translations?  Easier way to handle multi Languages inside of a Book?
                MarcMcDuffie Level 1

                http://www.tomcatequip.com/docs/manualsOp/EDGESTICK-OP-EN-WEB.pdf

                 

                Here is an example of the layout.  Looked through a couple tutorials about Conditional Text and I don't feel that it would work with my layout.  Definitely could see how this would be beneficial though.

                 

                I'm thinking I may need to take a step back and rethink the way I have organized these books to better accomplish the task.  I originally made template "chapter" documents that while each one may only be 3-4 pages long, they were each to a specific area of the Operator Manual that needed to be reused between multiple machines.  I've been going off those templates and making each Document into it's individualized machine.  Then once all those documents have been finalized for the machine organizing a Book with all of them.

                 

                However, because each total Book is only around 45-60 pages, and I would like to do translations, probably the easiest way to manage would be to create these entire Books into single Documents and that way I would have 1 document per language rather than a folder of Documents and a Book per language.

                 

                Can anyone confirm or suggest anything else?

                • 5. Re: Alternate Layouts for Translations?  Easier way to handle multi Languages inside of a Book?
                  peter minneapolis Level 4

                  With the conditional content approach, you'd need to have all content of all languages in each text frame, with each language's content marked with its unique condition. Then, you'd use the conditional text panel to expose one language and hide the others. Simple concept, but I think you're correct that it probably would be complicated to employ it for your layout. 

                   

                  I'd suggest searching Google for translations forums and posting your question there. Also, consider posting on the technical writers forum, techwr-.com. Many folks here have to deal translations. Most of the folks on translation and techwriter forums won't be ID users, so make it clear that you're not asking for solutions specific to ID or other tools, but rather for strategies. Do mention that ID has layers and conditional text.

                   

                   

                  HTH

                   

                   

                  Regards,

                   

                   

                  Peter

                  _______________________

                  Peter Gold

                  KnowHow ProServices

                   

                   

                  MarcMcDuffie wrote:

                   

                  http://www.tomcatequip.com/docs/manualsOp/EDGESTICK-OP-EN-WEB.pdf

                   

                  Here is an example of the layout.  Looked through a couple tutorials about Conditional Text and I don't feel that it would work with my layout.  Definitely could see how this would be beneficial though.

                   

                  I'm thinking I may need to take a step back and rethink the way I have organized these books to better accomplish the task.  I originally made template "chapter" documents that while each one may only be 3-4 pages long, they were each to a specific area of the Operator Manual that needed to be reused between multiple machines.  I've been going off those templates and making each Document into it's individualized machine.  Then once all those documents have been finalized for the machine organizing a Book with all of them.

                   

                  However, because each total Book is only around 45-60 pages, and I would like to do translations, probably the easiest way to manage would be to create these entire Books into single Documents and that way I would have 1 document per language rather than a folder of Documents and a Book per language.

                   

                  Can anyone confirm or suggest anything else?

                  • 6. Re: Alternate Layouts for Translations?  Easier way to handle multi Languages inside of a Book?
                    MarcMcDuffie Level 1

                    peter at knowhowpro wrote:

                     

                    ...so make it clear that you're not asking for solutions specific to ID or other tools, but rather for strategies.

                    Actually, I'm kind of looking for the best workflow strategy for ID.  At this current time we aren't sending these Translated Documents anywhere and keeping them in-house for translations.  So my concern isn't the best for sending these to some company, it's more the best thing that I can do to manage them in ID.

                    • 7. Re: Alternate Layouts for Translations?  Easier way to handle multi Languages inside of a Book?
                      peter minneapolis Level 4

                      How embarrassing for me! Sorry if *I* wasn't clear. I was trying to say that perhaps some folks could suggest strategies for working with features like those in iID, like layers, conditional text, etc, but are in other applications. There may be some approaches that would be new, and possibly useful, to you, no matter where the translations are done.

                       

                      Regards,

                       

                      Peter Gold

                      KnowHow ProServices

                       

                       

                      MarcMcDuffie wrote:

                       

                      peter at knowhowpro wrote:

                       

                      ...so make it clear that you're not asking for solutions specific to ID or other tools, but rather for strategies.

                      Actually, I'm kind of looking for the best workflow strategy for ID.  At this current time we aren't sending these Translated Documents anywhere and keeping them in-house for translations.  So my concern isn't the best for sending these to some company, it's more the best thing that I can do to manage them in ID.

                      • 8. Re: Alternate Layouts for Translations?  Easier way to handle multi Languages inside of a Book?
                        MarcMcDuffie Level 1

                        Thanks Peter.  I understand what you mean now.  Sorry for misunderstanding.

                        • 9. Re: Alternate Layouts for Translations?  Easier way to handle multi Languages inside of a Book?
                          peter minneapolis Level 4

                          Hi, Marc:

                           

                          Glad the point got clear.

                           

                          I'm now searching Google for tutorials on how to write less ambiguously. So far, the main hit is the clip from Cool Hand Luke, about failure to communicate<G>.

                           

                          Regards,

                           

                          Peter Gold

                          KnowHow ProServices


                          MarcMcDuffie wrote:

                           

                          Thanks Peter.  I understand what you mean now.  Sorry for misunderstanding.

                          • 10. Re: Alternate Layouts for Translations?  Easier way to handle multi Languages inside of a Book?
                            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                            peter at knowhowpro wrote:

                             

                            I'm now searching Google for tutorials on how to write less ambiguously.

                            I think you can use pencil, pen or even crayons. It's spelled l-e-s-s a-m-b-i-g-u-o-u-s-l-y.

                             

                             

                            • 11. Re: Alternate Layouts for Translations?  Easier way to handle multi Languages inside of a Book?
                              Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              I originally made template "chapter" documents that while each one may only be 3-4 pages long, they were each to a specific area of the Operator Manual that needed to be reused between multiple machines.  I've been going off those templates and making each Document into it's individualized machine.  Then once all those documents have been finalized for the machine organizing a Book with all of them.

                               

                              However, because each total Book is only around 45-60 pages, and I would like to do translations, probably the easiest way to manage would be to create these entire Books into single Documents and that way I would have 1 document per language rather than a folder of Documents and a Book per language.

                               

                              Can anyone confirm or suggest anything else?

                               

                              I think of these kinds of issues in terms of a cost-benefit analysis. I always try to keep our translated content in a translation memory database, because I think of ID as a layout tool, not a content-management tool. In fact, using ID for content management has radically increased my grey-hair count more than once in recent years. But when you talk about having individual chapters being repurposed to appear in more than one manual, and making that easy by using Book files, you're talking about using ID as a content management tool. And that may be your best bet, depending on how much time or money you save by reusing content from one Book in another Book.

                               

                              But I've always found Book files to be more trouble than they're worth, in a translation workflow. Style sync will blow up in my face, live cross-references between chapter files cause the file to become basically uneditable (waiting 90 seconds for the text tool to become active), et cetera.

                               

                              So when I have a set of interrelated docs like your manuals, and I can't just use Trados or memoQ to manage the reuse of content from one spot to another, I tend to actually do my content-juggling in MS Word. My translators are overwhelmingly likely to prefer working in Word. And when my chapter files are all single Word files, that I can place into one story in ID, it's easy to re-use stuff. There are plenty of caveats here that I'd be happy to detail if you're interested. But that keeps my ID files simple (one monolingual file per document, no Books) yet gives me flexibility in content reuse.

                               

                              I consistently advise folks in your shoes - people managing multilingual content directly in ID "by hand" with no translation memory tool - to look into something like WordsFlow from Em Software, or StoryTweaker from Rorohiko. Because I don't know where your translators are working or how their work winds up in ID (do you place styled Word docs? Do they use InCopy? Do you copy/paste text from multiple sources?) it's hard to make a strong recco in favor of a tool like WordsFlow. 

                               

                              Lastly: when I saw your layouts, I asked myself "Is this best handled in FrameMaker?" Both Peter and I are old Frame hands from way back (although I was no expert at the time) and technical documentation with heavy content reuse is more of a Frame thing than an InDesign thing. After many years (eight? ten?) I'm actually looking at Frame seriously again, mostly because a subset of my clients are finally getting serious about single-source publishing and strutctured content and all of that jazz.

                              • 12. Re: Alternate Layouts for Translations?  Easier way to handle multi Languages inside of a Book?
                                peter minneapolis Level 4

                                Joel Cherney wrote:

                                ...

                                Lastly: when I saw your layouts, I asked myself "Is this best handled in FrameMaker?" Both Peter and I are old Frame hands from way back (although I was no expert at the time) and technical documentation with heavy content reuse is more of a Frame thing than an InDesign thing. After many years (eight? ten?) I'm actually looking at Frame seriously again, mostly because a subset of my clients are finally getting serious about single-source publishing and strutctured content and all of that jazz.

                                 

                                I'm going to be as un-ambiguous as I can, here:

                                 

                                As far as I can undersand from this thread, Marc doesn't want to consider changing tools, but does want ideas about performing his workflow more efficiently.

                                 

                                Sp, I'd like to suggest that Marc consider posting his question to the Adobe FrameMaker forum, with the clear statement that he's looking for suggestions about strategies that authors have found useful for dealing with managing a multi-lingual translation project that aren't specific to FrameMaker's unique features. Like ID, FrameMaker has conditional text, and can do multiple-file books, but it doesn't have layers. Like ID, recent releases of FM have ExtendScript. Like FrameMaker's "Text Inset" feature, ID's "Linked Stories" feature (in recent releases) can import marked chunks, or complete files in their own formats (ie. FM can import parts or complete FM files, and ID can import parts or complete ID files) into "container files." Container fils are normal FM or ID files with or without content in addition to the imported pieces. Updates to the source chunks or files can be captured or ignored in the containers. So, container documents can be thought of as collectors of only imported content,or imported content and "normal" content.

                                 

                                I've read some postings on the FM forum from time to time that refer to using FrameMaker's text inset feature in translation workflows. I can't recall if those threads were overwhelmingly about successful or problem-riddled workflows. It might be useful when inquiring, whether the forum readers have used FM text insets, ID linked stories, ID layers, or conditional text in either/both applications, and with what success. 

                                 

                                It's worth a posting, IMO. NOTE: Because most FM users are technical writers, there is some overlap between the audiences of the FM forum and techwr-l. So, as a courtesy, you could mention to which forums you've cross-posted your query.

                                 

                                 

                                HTH

                                 

                                 

                                Regards,

                                 

                                 

                                Peter

                                _______________________

                                Peter Gold

                                KnowHow ProServices

                                • 13. Re: Alternate Layouts for Translations?  Easier way to handle multi Languages inside of a Book?
                                  MarcMcDuffie Level 1

                                  Thanks for this.  WordsFlow may benefit me a little for other things but not this.

                                   

                                  The work I am doing is all being typed in ID as I'm the writer and designer.  Small amount of staff = more hats per person.  While I would like to outsource all document translation to a company, with the amount of changes and documents we have and want in different languages, I'm told to do this all in house using Google.

                                   

                                  So this is a copy and paste marathon.

                                   

                                  While I know that most people would write in Word then bring into ID, as I'm the one writing and managing the files, my Boss and I decided to just do it ID from the get go.

                                   

                                  As far as using FrameMaker, I have never used it before - but always open to trying new things.  I read up a bit on it because I was not too familiar.  Still not sure how much this would help but I'm going to read up more.

                                  • 14. Re: Alternate Layouts for Translations?  Easier way to handle multi Languages inside of a Book?
                                    MarcMcDuffie Level 1

                                    peter at knowhowpro wrote:

                                     

                                    As far as I can undersand from this thread, Marc doesn't want to consider changing tools, but does want ideas about performing his workflow more efficiently.

                                     

                                    Thanks for the suggestion Peter.  I will post in there as well and see if there is an easier way in FrameMaker.  However, I am always open to changing tools - just not sure where to go.

                                     

                                    I ran across http://www.1io.com/ yesterday while searching the web as well for other solutions and this seemed like something worthwhile in a way.  We have dealers in other countries that would be willing to do the translations for us and this would make the process much easier.  Even if I were to just use it for myself, it would probably be easier to just make the EN version of the ID doc, upload it, set the fields that can be translated and then do the translations myself and have the service be the CMS of the content.  It would be easier for me to do this myself as well as give room for "outside" expansion.

                                     

                                    Or do you guys know any other type CMS systems that work well with ID that you could suggest?