Desktop publishing

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Desktop publishing

What is Desktop Publishing?

At its most basic level, desktop publishing (commonly known as DTP) is the practice of laying out pages on a computer. Think of a typical brochure or a page from a magazine: there might be several columns and images; multiple fonts; and various other boxes, shapes, and icons that give the finished product its professional look.

DTP is usually performed using professional software like Adobe InDesign, FrameMaker, or QuarkXPress. Desktop publishing often overlaps with the even vaguer term “formatting,” which can also involve laying out pages in more common software like Microsoft Word or PowerPoint. A desktop publisher is the person who uses any of the above software to create layouts.

Translating a document often involves more than just the act of translation. After all, once those words have been translated, they have to go somewhere. In a basic Word file, the translator can typically just overwrite the source text with the translated text. After all, everyone owns a copy of Word or other Word-compatible software.

However, what if your file is not in Word — what if it is in InDesign format? Most translators do not work with InDesign or other DTP software. After all, they are translators, not graphic designers, and those can be very different, specialized skill sets. Therefore, while a translator might translate the text in your InDesign file, you need a skilled desktop publisher to know how to place that text back in the file without ruining the layout.

Further complicating things, many languages tend to expand when you translate them — often by 20-30%. Therefore, while you might have 500 words of English text in your source file, that same paragraph in Spanish could end up being over 600 words. Moreover, if those original 500 words already took up an entire page in your InDesign file, trying to cram 100 extra words into that same space can present some challenges.

A good desktop publisher will know how to tweak the layout, typeface, font size, and various other factors to keep that text from running onto the next page and pushing both pages’ formatting into disarray.

Our Professional Chairman Translation desktop publishers can handle your translations under any circumstances without jeopardizing your artwork or layout …

Desktop publishing is when perfect translation meets perfect design, the greatest recipe for perfection.