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Creating World-Ready Documentation How Templates and Best Known Methods Can Accelerate the Localization Process . . . and Help You Control Your Costs Loïc Dufresne de Virel Localization Strategist, Intel Corp.
AcknowledgmentsMany thanks to Beat Stauber, Localization Engineer at Intel, for his help in putting those slides togetherLegal DisclaimersIntel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
The Quest for the Localization Graal Constant struggle Limited, stable, reduced L10N budgets Growing needs Didn’t we do everything possible? I18N from day 1 Content Optimization Broad Use of Translation Memories Machine Translation Automation
The Quest for the Localization Graal Focus has been on the “TEXT” content We have improved the quality of the English source We have reduced the word count at the source We have achieved high TM leverage One area of limited progress We have failed to work with Tech Writers and Creative Agencies on proper formatting and layout practices I18N methods applied to document creation
The Moment of Truth Translation of 2 small PDF files into 5 languages Part of larger project with 6 or 7 PDF files, about 200 pages total Time spent on formatting/layout changes post translation PDF #1: 14 pages, about 1 hour per language PDF #2: 28 pages, about 15 minutes per language That’s an 8x improvement!!!
EUREKA! Main difference between PDF #1 and PDF #2 PDF #1 was processed through translation as received from tech writer PDF #2 (English version) was first “cleaned-up” to make it localization-friendly Tech Writers and Creative Agencies need to understand how their work impacts L10N It’s up to us to educate them (first) and enforce proper behavior (second)
What Difference(s) Do You See? Example #1 Item 1 Item 2 Item 3 Example #2 Ÿ Item 1 Ÿ Item 2 Ÿ Item 3 • Bulleted List • Increase Indent Ÿ = Ÿ char + Wingdings Font Spaces Used for Formatting
Localized text – 30% Longer... • If your source text is incorrectly formatted, this is what happens during localization • DTP becomes major problem with localized versions English text Localized text – 30% Longer... • If your source text is correctly formatted, this is what happens during localization • Templates can help!!!
Why use layout spec? Some basic aspects of a document need to be defined in a document specification: Page dimensions Page margins Column width and gutter Title, header, and footer placement Text styles (elaborate) The layout spec is the basis for a document or document template. It also allows the document layout to be proofed against the spec.
Why use templates? Templates serve as the manifestation of a layout spec and starting point for a new document. They also serve as a reference if parts of a document get messed up and deviate from the rest of the document. This is particularly important when a document is localized into multiple languages, as it allows all the localized versions to be compared not only to the English source, but also to the template.
Styles Any text, object, or table/cell formatting needs to be based on styles. This allows consistent formatting of all document content across all languages. Manual formatting or manual overriding of style formatting should never be done, as it is not obvious, is hard to re-create, and leads to formatting inconsistencies. Storing all formatting information in styles makes it easy to update font information for languages not supported by the font used in the source (English) document. Use bullet styles instead of bullet characters and numbered list styles instead of real numbers. Use character styles to format part of a paragraph differently than the formatting applied by the paragraph style (e.g. italicize a few words).
Master pages All pages of the document need to be based on a master page. A document may have multiple master pages to support different layouts depending on content. Master pages need to be defined in the layout spec and document template.
Guides Any content elements that are not aligned along the main margins or column margins require guides to be defined for consistent alignment. The guides need to be created in the master pages only, never in the content pages
Images and other objects Images and other objects that appear in the flow of text need to be placed into the text frame and anchored to the text paragraph they belong to. This assures that the object will properly move with the text when the text moves. Link, don’t embed images. They are much easier to update, manipulate, or replace, especially when used multiple times in one document.
Screen shots (1) Screen shots should be used sparingly and only if they add value to the user. They need to be displayed at a size that makes them readable in all languages. Just like all objects, they should be anchored to the text if appearing in the text flow. Use descriptive long file names for screen shots. Don’t change file names when updating a screen shot, as it requires re-linking. Don’t use page numbers in file names as page numbers change all the time.
Screen shots (2) Link, don’t embed screen shots. They are much easier to update, manipulate, or replace, especially when used multiple times in one document. Screen1.jpg Screen2.jpg Screen3.jpg Link to “UK_Screens/Screen1.jpg” in UK English document Screen1.jpg Screen2.jpg Screen3.jpg Link to “FR_Screens/Screen1.jpg” in French document
Image containing text or callouts Callouts are easiest and cheapest to translate if they are part of the document rather than residing in the image itself. Callouts can be grouped with the image to keep them together. If text has to be on the image itself, layered files (Illustrator AI/EPS, Photoshop PSD) need to be provided to allow for easy localization. Remember, localizing images containing text is a key cost driver
Text flow Keeping a document as simple as possible makes localization easier. Ideally all content should flow cleanly onto newly added pages and text frames without any reformatting or reflowing. Avoid standalone text frames. Use connected text frames as much as possible. Don’t use soft line breaks to control wrapping. Don’t use hard line breaks to create space between paragraphs or force. Use “space before” and ”space after” property in paragragraph style and “keep” options instead.
Table of content (TOC) The table of contents needs to be automatically generated and formatted. Create specific styles for titles to be included in TOC Create identical non-TOC styles for same level titles not to be included in TOC. Manual TOC generation creates a lot of extra work and can introduce inconsistencies.
Page references Page or chapter references should use fields that can automatically be updated. Remember that text in localized versions often resides on different pages than in the English version.
In conclusion Nothing here that a Localization PM or Localization Engineer doesn’t already know But we keep seeing these issues over and over Among Tech Writers and Creative Agencies, this knowledge would be a key differentiator
Always welcome to contact me at: loic dot dufresne dot de dot virel at intel dot com No SPAM please J