Save Time and Money: Know the Source of Your PDFs

A great deal of the value that a translation agency provides has nothing to do with the translation of words, but rather with the way that words are presented on a page or on a screen. A written document can be created in a wide variety of formats, each with its own particular complications. When it comes time to request a translation project for a format that requires graphic design, you, the client, can streamline the process and obtain better results by keeping in mind the following points.

My design team sent me a PDF. Why not just send this for translation?

There are various different ways to create a PDF file, which predicate whether we will be able to edit it. For example, a PDF can consist of pages scanned as images, in which case we cannot easily extract the text it contains. In other PDF formats, the text can be recognized and extracted, but not in the format of the original document. Almost always, working with a PDF means more or less recreating the document, and there is always a risk that the recreated document will not be 100% true to the original.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the images in a PDF file are not always high quality. In order to reduce data transfer during uploads and downloads, and to save storage space, the majority of PDF conversion methods compromise the quality of the images in their original files. These low quality images are fine for serving as a reference for the document’s authors, but they’re not sufficient for distributing a final product, much less for printing. Looking closely at a low quality image, it is easy to see that it’s made up of pixels, like a mosaic of colorful squares.

So, how should I send my documents for translation?

If your PDF contains design elements, as is often the case with, for example, a commercial brochure, it was almost certainly created with a graphic design tool; the most common of these are InDesign and QuarkXpress. Both tools organize documents in packages, which are organized within a folder structure in your file system.

If you can access this folder structure, we recommend that you send it in its entirety. Our representatives can help you find the easiest way to send your file and folder packages. If you don’t know where to find your package, you can ask the person who created your PDF for help. He or she will know how to find it in minimal time.

Why is it important for translators that the client send their document in this format?

Our translation tools are designed to extract text from these types of files, maintaining the exact format of the original document. This eliminates the work of recreating the documents and the possibility of errors, and reduces the number of adjustments necessary after the document has been translated. The difference is reflected in the time, quality, and cost of the project.

Thanks to these tools, what you save in time and cost means more productivity for the translation agency: more words processed in less time.

Our representatives can explain in detail the ways that you can save money while at the same time improving the management of your documents. Ask for a quote today!