What is Desktop Publishing? (DTP)

The creation of documents using page layout skills on a computer.

Desktop publishing — abbreviated DTP — is the creation of documents using page layout skills on a computer.

When contacting us for a quote for your translation projects, you may be asked if you require DTP services. If you’re unfamiliar with this term and what DTP is here is why it might be required for your project.

Layout and Design

It refers to the creation of documents using page layout software. In a nutshell, it concerns all the rearranging of text and illustrations (images or graphs) that can be made through the appropriate publishing software to create documents such as leaflets, brochures, manuals, slideshows, websites etc.

Typically you will have your design agency or in house document team create your original documents in English (or whatever your source language is). So you will already have a beautifully designed document.

Post Translation DTP

When we speak about DTP, we are really referring to layout services after translation. Here are some cases when DTP is required:

  • Every language has its own different structure, so the space required to fit the text into your document will change from one language to another
  • For instance, when translating from English to German, the German translation can be up to 30% longer. So your text may not fit correctly in dialogues, images and layout of your brochure or document. The layout has to be resized and fixed
  • Simple design changes can include modifying the size of a picture, the layout of your document to fit the translation. Generally, we advise our partners to leave lots of white-space in their document so the new text will flow easily. It’s better to think about translation during the design phase than have to make changes when translating
  • Certain typefaces cannot support all the characters used in different languages. Our project managers have the experience and the knowledge to determine which fonts can be used depending on the language you want to translate into
  • Certain languages require DTP automatically
  • For example, Arabic translation DTP is necessary since the language is written from right to left. DTP concerns image localisation also. This work refers to the translation of images or graphs included in your documentation. Images will also be moved to mirror this. Asian languages also require special fonts
  • Upon completion of the DTP of your files, we can create print-ready PDFs

Multilingual Desktop Publishing Formats

Depending on the project, translation agencies need to be able to work with various types of documents. Making sure that you have all your source documents can make your translation project faster and cheaper.

The main applications for DTP:

  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint)
  • Adobe CS / CC (InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop)
  • Adobe FrameMaker
  • Adobe PageMaker
  • QuarkXPress
  • CorelDRAW and Corel Ventura

DTP is particularly important in translation. This is why we offer DTP services, so that your documents are produced and delivered with a professional and clear layout.

Arabic Desktop Publishing Services

Our team in the Middle East provide professional desktop publishing and layout services for Arabic. We can provide print ready files to our customers if required. Learn more about our Arabic Translation Services.

Arabic Translation - Free Whitepaper

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