12 Replies Latest reply on Jul 25, 2013 5:31 AM by Vincent-Sweden

    TOC for multilingual documents

    Paolo Tramannoni Level 1

      Hi,

       

      I have a book made of documents in different languages. I would like to have a separate TOC for each of them.

      Since there is no way to tell the TOC feature to only include paragraphs from selected documents, how would you do to accomplish this task?

      Generating full TOCs and then deleting the unnecessary language would not work, since InDesign would calculate the exceeding pages, and add them to the TOC.

       

      Paolo

        • 1. Re: TOC for multilingual documents
          Paolo Tramannoni Level 1

          An intermediate solution I was thinking about is this:

           

          1) Create the original (English) document, including the front and back cover:

           

          a) Cover I

          b) Cover II (Copyright and General Precautions)

          c) English Front Matter

          d) English TOC

          e) English Main

          z) Cover III-IV

           

          2) Send the translators all documents from c) to e).

           

          3) When the translated documents are back, create a temporary book for each translated language, to be used for generating a local TOC for that language. The temporary book would include:

           

          f) Language B Front Matter

          g) Language B TOC

          h) Language B Main

           

          4) Once the TOCs have been generated, all translated documents will be added to the original book. So, I will end up with something like this:

           

          a) Cover I

          b) Cover II (Copyright and General Precautions)

           

          c) English Front Matter

          d) English TOC

          e) English Main

           

          f) Language B Front Matter

          g) Language B TOC

          h) Language B Main

           

          i) Language C Front Matter

          j) Language C TOC

          k) Language C Main

           

          z) Cover III-IV

           

          What do you think?

           

          Paolo

          • 2. Re: TOC for multilingual documents
            Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            When I simply can't convince my client that keeping all of the translations of a given document in One Big File is a terrible, terrible idea, I

            1) make a separate INDD for each language

            2) make a separate PDF for each language

            3) combine PDFs in Acrobat

             

            But I'd guess that you are either

            a) using TM tools that play nice with this workflow, or

            b) not using TM tools

             

            But I like to be able to do things like tell my tools "Harvest all of the en_US -> zh_HK translations in these three hundred folders and auto-align them" which

            i) may not be of interest to you, and

            ii) would be impossible with multilingual INDDs

             

             

             

            But seriously, I'd have style names per language. You know, sectionhead_enUS, sectionhead_zhHK, and so on. That way, when I told the TOC tool to collect entries for the TOC, they'd by default pick up only the headings for that language.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: TOC for multilingual documents
              Paolo Tramannoni Level 1

              Joel,

               

              I, too, was thinking about using different style names to separate each language, but this would result in a very crowded style palette.

               

              OK, I could collect each localized style under a separate folder to keep things clean. The Duplicate Style Group command could greatly help with this. At the same time, this means that a translator has to reapply each single style to each single paragraph, and I'm not sure this would end up being a very quick, or universally well-understood operation - even with the help of the Find/Replace function.

               

              I'm more and more convinced that I should use separate, temporary language books for:

               

              1) generating and updating TOCs and Indexes;

              2) updating styles and master pages on all documents of a particular language.

               

              As for #2), updating master pages separately for each language would be useful when a thumb index is used to identify that particular language - master pages are actually different from language to language. At the same time, I could decide to update master pages from the final, general book, when changes are so relevant (for example, switching to a different paper format) that re-editing minor details in each language would be easier than preserving them.

               

              I'm still undecided, though, and I will re-read your answer with the greatest attention.

               

              Paolo

              • 4. Re: TOC for multilingual documents
                Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Hi Paolo,

                 

                As a translation DTP pro/localization nerd, I am always astounded when I encounter people who think it best to keep all of their translations (for long documents, no less) in one big InDesign file. I don't know what tasks are made easier by this workflow, and it makes lots of things harder. I didn't understand, when you asked your question, that the end product really would be one handbook with all of the translations in it - your use of "thumb index" is what clued me in. However, just because they all go to print as one unit doesn't mean that they're easiest to work with in one huge INDD.

                 

                 

                At the same time, this means that a translator has to reapply each single style to each single paragraph, and I'm not sure this would end up being a very quick, or universally well-understood operation - even with the help of the Find/Replace function.

                 

                 

                 

                The translators aren't working in tools that do this for them automatically? That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. What kind of files are handed off to the translators? do you have any control over that part of the workflow? Are they a third-party provider, or part of your organization? (FWIW, pretty much any TM tool these days will strip out formatting and reapply at the end of the translation.)

                 

                As for #2), updating master pages separately for each language would be useful when a thumb index is used to identify that particular language - master pages are actually different from language to language.

                 

                Are you aware of the ability of InDesign to allow you to place one InDesign file into another? That might be very useful for you, especially if you are doing internationalization work. (That's what I assume from your mention of "switching to a different paper format" - I'm imagining doing most of the work in A4, and then switching to letter size for the North American audience.)

                • 5. Re: TOC for multilingual documents
                  Paolo Tramannoni Level 1

                  Joel,

                   

                  Actually, as shown in the previous messages, I'm talking about books, not documents. Each section of the final handbook is contained in an .indd file, and will then be collected into an .indb file together with the other .indd files. To be more clear, this is an example including the file extensions:

                   

                  Product Manual.indb

                  - Front Cover.indd

                   

                  - Front Matter-ENG.indd

                  - Legal-ENG.indd

                  - TOC-ENG.indd

                  - Chapter 1-ENG.indd

                  - Chapter 2-ENG.indd

                  - Index-ENG.indd

                   

                  - Front Matter-FRE.indd

                  - Legal-FRE.indd

                  - TOC-FRE.indd

                  - Chapter 1-FRE.indd

                  - Chapter 2-FRE.indd

                  - Index-FRE.indd

                   

                  - Back Cover.indd

                   

                  All translators are third-party, and each one works with their own preferred tools. I deliver them files in InDesign CS5, IDML, or XML format depending on the single translator. Some of them use CAT tools, other do not use them.

                   

                  The name of the styles is, as far as I know, always decided by the translators and not by the tools. Are you referring to some specific tool, that automatically changes the name of the styles? I would find this an annoyance, since there are styles that I would find better to keep the name unchanged (for example, running footer styles).

                   

                  To elaborate on this point: the files I send the translators can contain paragraph styles named Body, Heading, Numbered 1. If the translator prefer to change the name of the styles to something like Body_DE, Heading_DE, Numbered 1_DE, he can do it. However, this can be an annoyance when a general reformatting is due and you are in a hurry.

                   

                  For example, If I want to change the font size in Body, I must do it both in Body and Body_DE. No general synching would be possible. Since applying a language definition to the whole text is easier than editing all styles in several .indd files (just select all the text and apply this local variation), I would prefer to keep the style names uniform in all documents to make more time-consuming changes quicker.

                   

                  I would be interested to know the kind of disaster you are foreseeing. I have not yet faced anything so serious to be considered a disaster in twenty years of this job, but I would like to consider any improvement to my workflow, as well as any trouble I'm not yet aware of.

                   

                  Also, I never used the possibility of including an InDesign document into another one. Can you suggest any example of how this could be used? I would think that using book files would be the right idea to manage different languages, and I suspect that nesting .indd files would add a level of complexity.

                   

                  Cheers, Paolo

                  • 6. Re: TOC for multilingual documents
                    Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                    I would be interested to know the kind of disaster you are foreseeing. I have not yet faced anything so serious to be considered a disaster in twenty years of this job, but I would like to consider any improvement to my workflow, as well as any trouble I'm not yet aware of.

                     

                    Ah, I was predicting the disaster of you trying to include your files in a Book file and accidentally synchronizing a bunch of different styles with identical names, or something along those lines. It wasn't exactly clear from your initial posts that you were familiar with this kind of work (most who pose here are not familiar translation work), but of course your most recent post clears that up competely.  Of course, we have some terminological differences - for instance, I'd consider books, pamphlets, posters, graphic novels, and anything else that could be in an .indd a "document" so even if your .indd is eventually going to have a front and back cover, spine, frontmatter, the works, it's still a "document" to me. I do see that you said "book" in your initial post but I never saw "indb" or "book file" or anything of the sort. Apologies if I've induced any confusion by assuming that our Venn diagrams of books and documents mapped onto one another. I'll make sure to use correct terminology when discussing book files to avoid further confusion.

                     

                    To elaborate on this point: the files I send the translators can contain paragraph styles named Body, Heading, Numbered 1. If the translator prefer to change the name of the styles to something like Body_DE, Heading_DE, Numbered 1_DE, he can do it. However, this can be an annoyance when a general reformatting is due and you are in a hurry.

                     

                    That could be an annoyance, or perhaps a major delay - which is why I always instruct my translators to make new styles only when necessary, to alert me when it is necessary, and to completely apply all the styles I made when their transations are complete. Many CAT tools these days have adopted the SDLX-style "format painting" interface, which makes preservation of styles basically perfect. (Those who don't have such an interface often use tools like Oxygen for editing XML, or in some cases still use ye olde TagEditor from Trados.)  When a translator cannot or will not respect the styles I've set up, I simply inform my project managers, and then those translators are no longer involved in projects which are to be delivered in InDesign with well-styled text. You may not have that freedom to tell your PMs "Any translator that fails to respect styles in this project fails the test and cannot be used in InDesign translation projects of more than n words," but if you do it might reduce your headache & overhead when plotting workflows for multilingual books with multiple TOCs.

                     

                    For example, If I want to change the font size in Body, I must do it both in Body and Body_DE. No general synching would be possible.

                     

                    When I get to set the styles up myself, I always used Based On - no general synch, no, but specific synch. Alternately, I have a Body_Parent style, which is used nowhere in any text, but Body_EN and Body_DE and Body_VI and et cetera are all based on the Body_Parent style. So, instead of using the Book panel to synchronize all styles across all docs, I can just have a few template documents and use the flyout to Load Paragraph Styles from another document, and then just load in a new Body_Parent style.

                     

                     

                    Also, I never used the possibility of including an InDesign document into another one. Can you suggest any example of how this could be used? I would think that using book files would be the right idea to manage different languages, and I suspect that nesting .indd files would add a level of complexity.

                     

                    Hm, good point. My projects are likely to use lots of cross-references, so I tend to shy away from Book files (the performance hit on my aging hardware when updating hundreds of references across twenty-odd chapters is significant). But yes, if you are willing to synch your styles all at once, then a Book file would probably be a better way to manage styles. However, since you asked for an example... One multilingual handbook I'm working on right now is about 300 pages long, and it's all one long story. Each translation is 10-15 pages long, broken out into three "chapters," each of which is a separate INDD file. However, these files don't have the chapter headers... and the chapters are placed as inline images. So, the logical order of stuff in the story is:

                     

                    EnglishChapter1Title (live text)

                    EnglishChapter1Content [placed INDD}

                    EnglishChapter2Title (live text)

                    EnglishChapter2Content [placed INDD}

                    EnglishChapter3Title (live text)

                    EnglishChapter3Content [placed INDD}

                    SpanishChapter1Title (live text)

                    SpanishChapter1Content [placed INDD}

                    SpanishChapter2Title (live text)

                    SpanishChapter2Content [placed INDD}

                    SpanishChapter3Title (live text)

                    SpanishChapter3Content [placed INDD}

                    VietnameseChapter1Title (live text)

                     

                    ... and so on. So the placed INDDs have no page numbers, the page numbers are handled in the "container" file. This is useful because the content doesn't change much - the big change from year to year is the list of included languages. So, it's really easy to delete all of the Spanish stuff & regenerate the TOC, and it's really easy to assign the Swahili. Likewise, it's really easy to job out the Arabic to a third party - because 95% of the work they're doing is in completely separate INDDs.

                     

                    But, to return to your original question - I may be mistaken, but when I tested it over here in CS4, if I made an in-language TOC in one of my files, then it only picked up the "Header" style in the document I was working on, it did not pick up identically-named headers in other languages in the book. I tried it a few different ways, with each document in the Book file started renumbering at page 1, with each document continuing numbering from previous chapters, et cetera.  So I must really not understand your original question:

                     

                    I have a book made of documents in different languages. I would like to have a separate TOC for each of them.

                    Since there is no way to tell the TOC feature to only include paragraphs from selected documents, how would you do to accomplish this task?

                     

                    Each language is in a separate document, a separate INDD, and the INDDs are included within an INDB, right? The way to generate TOCs per language is to open up one file at a time and Update TOC. When I test it, Document 3 (VI) only picks up headers from Document 3 for its TOC. The only issue would be if you needed each TOC to start at Page 1, and the way to get that would be to use Section & Numbering Options to restart each chapter at 1.

                    • 7. Re: TOC for multilingual documents
                      John Hawkinson Level 5

                      (most who pose here are not familiar translation work)

                      Ouch! Poseurs.

                      • 8. Re: TOC for multilingual documents
                        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                        John hides behind the anonymity of the screen and poses nude. <smile>

                        • 9. Re: TOC for multilingual documents
                          Paolo Tramannoni Level 1

                          Hi Joel,

                          … if I made an in-language TOC in one of my files, then it only picked up the "Header" style in the document I was working on, it did not pick up identically-named headers in other languages in the book … Each language is in a separate document, a separate INDD, and the INDDs are included within an INDB, right?

                           

                          My problem is that each language version is made of several different INDD files. In case it was a single INDD file per-language, I could just have had to uncheck the "Include Book Documents" option in the "Table of Contents" dialog, and generate the "local" TOC for the single file.

                           

                          But, as in my previous example, each version is made of serveral chapters, all to be included in the "local" TOC for that language:

                           

                          - Front Matter-ENG.indd

                          - Legal-ENG.indd

                          - TOC-ENG.indd

                          - Chapter 1-ENG.indd

                          - Chapter 2-ENG.indd

                          - Index-ENG.indd

                           

                          The problem could have been easily solved if the "Table of Contents" dialog included a way to select only a few INDD documents to include in the TOC. On the contrary, I see I can only include all INDD documents, or just the current one.

                           

                          At the moment, I cannot see any other solution, apart for these three ones:

                           

                          A) Use paragraph styles with different names (for example, Body_EN, Body_DE…), to include different styles into different local TOCs for each language.

                          B) Use temporary Book INDB files to generate the local TOCs for each separate language, and then generate the PDF file from a common Book INDB file.

                          C) Manage each language as a separate work. Join language PDFs with Acrobat Pro, and create language bookmarks there. Add a common cover with Acrobat Pro.

                           

                          The main problem with solution A is the proliferation of styles; changes in a single style must be repeated in all other localized styles (i.e., edit Body_EN, and then do the same changes to Body_FR, Body_DE…).

                           

                          The main problem with solution B is the danger to synchronize all languages to a master file, and therefore overwrite styles and master pages. If the Body paragraph style of the English version overwrite the Body paragraph style of the German version, hyphenation and other rules will be damaged. Having to keep separated INDB files for maintaining the TOC does not seem a major annoyance.

                           

                          The main problem with solution C (already experimented in the past) is that language bookmarks (English, French, German…) must be created again, each time the separate PDFs are generated after a series of corrections.

                           

                          It seems to me that solution B is the least dangerous. But I'm still not totally happy with it.

                           

                          Best,

                          Paolo

                          • 10. Re: TOC for multilingual documents
                            Paolo Tramannoni Level 1

                            I'm back on InDesign, and I was finally able to work on the multilingual ToC matter. Here is what I noticed.

                             

                            1) When generating a single language ToC, all languages are included in the generated ToC. The good thing is that the space taken by the ToC is not changed, so there is no automatic page reflow. As a consequence, you can just delete the unnecessary text, and only leave the single language ToC in place.

                             

                            2) Each single language ToC can have its own title. When opening the document (.idd file) containing the single language ToC, you can customize the ToC for that single document. All other ToCs in the book are left unchanged.

                             

                            So, it seems this issue can be dealt with no particular problems.

                             

                            Paolo

                            • 11. Re: TOC for multilingual documents
                              Paolo Tramannoni Level 1

                              In the end, I decided to go for the separate book for each language, plus separate .indd/.indb files for common parts of the final multilingual document (like the external cover and the safety notices).

                               

                              1) Working with separate single-language books prevented the danger of a syncronization overwriting local differentces (like language-specific dictionaries in the paragraph styles).

                               

                              2) You can generate language-specific ToCs with no concerns about inclusion of other languages.

                               

                              3) Assembling the final PDF with Acrobat Pro resulted in the separate languages already collected under a top-level folder. Much easier than having to manually assemble these folders.

                               

                              Either method works, but I tend to prefer the latter.

                               

                              Paolo

                              • 12. Re: TOC for multilingual documents
                                Vincent-Sweden Level 1

                                Pardon me for hijacking this splended thread. I have lead question and a inpendependent questions related to this subject.

                                 

                                Question 1) When assembling the final PDF with different languages. How do you deal with the numbering for each language in the same book? If each language has a page that always starts with "1", how do the reader find the correct language in the PDF? What kidn of reference do you use to locate the language in the PDF?

                                 

                                Question 2) I use book feature (each INDD file is a seperate language) and with proper page numbering and a functional TOC+figures for each language. E.g english have pages 1-20 and then Swedish starts from 21...n. Is there a way to setup a variable/a-feature-i-don't-know-about to show a range of TOC for each language on the cover side without having to type it manually? E.g...

                                 

                                English "3-6"

                                Francais "7-9"

                                Svenska "10-13"

                                 

                                Note: The book has 3+ languages and a seperate style guide for each language.