What document formats do you handle?

Do you have a document in an unusual file format or want to know if a particular format can be translated? Here is a general explanation of how we work and what’s possible.

In brief:

  • We prefer an editable file format e.g. MS Office files as the translators who prepare your translations often don’t have access to more specialised programs.
  • We have however developed methods so that we are able to handle most formats, from a handwritten note to a video file or a typeset technical manual.
  • For non-editable formats some formatting may be lost depending on the original file type.
  • A small admin charge may be added for processing non-editable files for translation.

Of course, it’s more cost-effective, convenient and quicker for us to process your text for translation if it arrives in an editable MS Office file (Word, PowerPoint, Excel), but we do have ways of working with other formats.

For example, if all you have is a pdf of a technical brochure, we may be able to use a conversion programme to produce an editable file. There is a possibility that formatting may be lost, and issues can arise if the translation is a different length to the original text, however we have many years’ experience in handling these kinds of issues and can usually create something workable for a small additional admin cost.

If this process does not produce a result we can work with, we might be able to copy the text and paste it into Word before translation, giving you a two column bi-lingual Word document, so you can see what part of the pdf equates to what section of the translation. This is useful if someone in your company is going to take the translation and use it in a web page or typeset document for example. It won’t have the graphical element of the original but for general purposes of understanding or for use as a reference for someone to recreate the original layout, it’s a good place to start.

If preferred, our graphics department can recreate the content of a non-editable document from scratch using the pdf as a basis. This is however usually quite labour intensive and fairly costly, so would only be considered if absolutely necessary.

We are also able to handle most InDesign or Quark format files, supplying a translated idml file back for you to typeset for example or adding typesetting on to the service package from MTT. If the translation is in a right-to-left language such as Arabic you may prefer to use our typesetting team who have many years’ experience in handling these kinds of languages.

We are also experienced in handling html web pages, generally returning files in the original format. Other web file formats may be suitable for translation or text can be exported to csv files for example.

Many legal documents for translation are simply scans of photocopied forms or handwriting. This kind of original document is not uncommon, and our approach is to recreate the basic layout in a simple MS Word document so that the translation can be referenced to the original.

If you are looking to have a document translated and have a question about file formats, get in touch with us on 0844 856 1086 or email enquiries@midlandtechnical.co.uk now. We’ll be delighted to help.