11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 27, 2016 12:35 AM by ollieddavidson75

    Translating Indesign files


      I would like to translate Indesign files. Is there any possible way of doing this using Indesign to export the text?

      It would be needed to:

      - Indesign to export all the text with formatting
      - Exporting would respect the text blocks. I.e. the blocks would have separate "tags" to identify the "position" in the page.
      - Indesign to import the translated text, maintaining all the formatting.

      Thanks in advance!

      José Raeiro
        • 1. Re: Translating Indesign files
          Roy McCoy Level 1
          > I would like to translate Indesign files. Is there any possible way
          > of doing this using Indesign to export the text?

          Yes. With the cursor placed in the text you want to translate, choose
          File > Export and choose RTF as the format. Then you can fairly easily
          prepare your translation in Word using the same styles and reimport it.

          > - Exporting would respect the text blocks. I.e. the blocks would
          > have separate "tags" to identify the "position" in the page.

          I wouldn't worry about that myself, as it would probably (for me
          anyway) be more difficult to get the procedure worked out on this than
          it would be to simply reposition the text after reimporting as
          required. If you have a lot of separate text blocks (and maybe even if
          you don't), I'd say get yourself a big screen if you don't have one
          (they can be pretty cheap these days) and do your translation right in
          InDesign, starting off with identical copies of the original side by
          side and turning one of them into your translation. You could do that
          in either layout or story view, or use both.

          Roy McCoy
          Rotterdam, NL
          • 2. Re: Translating Indesign files
            try67 MVP & Adobe Community Professional
            If you save the file as INX you can open it in Trados, translate it there, and then clean-up and open back in InDesign.
            • 3. Re: Translating Indesign files
              (joseraeiro) Level 1
              Yes, but the we have the problem of requiring all the translators to have the Trados suite...

              It would have to be using open formats.

              Thanks anyway!

              Best Regards,

              • 4. Re: Translating Indesign files
                try67 MVP & Adobe Community Professional
                The translator's version of Trados is free and is one of the most basic tools for any serious translator...
                • 5. Re: Translating Indesign files
                  RorohikoKris-u5pUJw Level 2
                  Hi José



                  should do just that. It's a beta version...


                  • 6. Re: Translating Indesign files
                    Level 1

                    which version of InDesign ?

                    I have tool Export-Import InDesign Texts (for ID CS1 and CS2) - it export all selected Stories to one big RTF document and after translation - reimport it back

                    you can reimport text partialy

                    if you need it for ID CS3 - tell me


                    • 7. Re: Translating Indesign files
                      Joel Cherney Level 5
                      Well, most of the things you describe are scriptable. I've never found a way to script the process of story-concatenation; it requires too much human judgment to thread the story in logical order. I have the abandoned beginnings of scripts to do this for e.g. trifold brochures, but I decided that the script-dev work would take more time than just linking the stories together myself, even assuming that I'll be spending the next decade linking stories by hand. I've found that my scripting time is better spent in things like pre-import text cleanup scripts, language-specific scripts that force proper punctuation, and the like.

                      Also, so far as I know, the translator freelancer's version of SDL Trados is *not* free. If there is a free (not a time-limited trial) version of Trados out there, I'd love to hear about it. I could talk your ear off about SDLX here, but unless you're rabid with curiousity, I'll stay on-topic.

                      I'm currently downloading the StoryTweaker beta; it looks promising, assuming that you don't have any obligation to retain text in a translation memory.
                      • 8. Re: Translating Indesign files
                        If you don't like to script, check this out, trial version is for free:

                        Sysfilter for Indesign®

                        Sysfilter for Indesign® enables you to transfer texts from your Indesign files to a word processor of your choice or into XML. After the translation you can use the filter to automatically reinsert the texts into the original document.

                        Automatic transfer of text into XML, to MS Word and other word processors
                        Different formats for text transfer:
                        a) MS Word (*.rtf) / Translation-compatible format:

                        The translator can focus on the translation quality and need not interrupt the workflow to place the tags. The motto of this approach: "What you see is what you get". For example: Tables of the indd file are displayed as tables in the RTF file as well.

                        b) XML or Tagged Text Format:
                        The layout information will be preserved almost completely during the import process. If you choose this method the post-layout work will be reduced to a minimum.

                        Macintosh-compatible Mac INX <-> XML
                        Compatible with Adobe Indesign® 2.0, 3.0 (CS), CS2 (4), CS3 (5) or CS4 (6)

                        http://www.ecm-engineering.de/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=23_31&products_id=31&language =en
                        • 9. Re: Translating Indesign files
                          Ok. Are these 3rd party solutions needed anymore with InDesign CS4 and IDML. I thought that IDML addressed this problem:

                          IDML was designed to facilitate the inspection and construction of InDesign content outside of InDesign.

                          Is my thinking correct?

                          • 10. Re: Translating Indesign files
                            [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant
                            Well, yes, but only in a limited sense of

                            >to facilitate the inspection and construction

                            It has very little to do with your translation question,
                            i unless
                            someone writes a program that reads IDML, lets you translate stuff, and writes it back to IDML.

                            It certainly is not Adobe's answer to your pleas.
                            • 11. Re: Translating Indesign files

                              If your job is limited to catalogues, or similar publications, I would go with EasyCatalog (It doesn't keep styles inside of paragraphs, though, but it's really great). I am also testing a software called Redokun, it's quite interesting, but I haven't got a clear idea of it, yet. It keeps styles inside of paragraphs, as you asked, and it also remembers translations (which is what I like the most).


                              - Ollie