BlogGeneral ArticlesHow do I translate text in images

How do I translate text in images

How do I translate text in images

Notations or labels in images are often not editable within a document. It can be awkward to try and find a way to translate them neatly.

In an ideal world, an image would have key numbers inserted when it is created, so that the resulting key table can just be translated as normal.

Sadly, we often find that technical manuals for example contain many diagrams where text is included as part of the image.

There are a couple of options here, depending on time and budget restraints and the format your document is in:

If your original document is in InDesign for example you may have access to the original image file, which can usually then be edited in Illustrator. In this case, our project management team will include the image text in a separate file for translation and our typesetting team can update the image with the translated text.

This option gives a professional looking image with correctly translated text which is well laid out. It does however take a little more time and there will be an additional cost.

If your original document is in Word with an embedded, non-editable image then we may be able to insert a text box over the text and retype the original words so they can be translated. This is not such a neat solution, but can be quick and cost-effective if there are not too many images to be handled. The size of each box will need adjusting to suit the length of the translation. Space is also sometimes an issue as text boxes may cover parts of the image if the translated text is long.

If you have plenty of space in your document or if keeping pagination the same is not an issue, we can retype the non-editable text into a bi-lingual table below the image. This leaves the image itself clear but means that the reader has to do a bit more work to see what means what. It’s less effective where a non-Latin alphabet is used and readers may find it difficult to distinguish between unfamiliar characters.

A final option is to insert a key number over the non-editable text and place the relevant translation in a table under the image. Getting key numbers to look neat and tidy can take a bit of time and again it leaves the reader having to reference up and down to comprehend the diagram.

If you have a document with images containing non-editable text talk to us about the best solution for your requirements. Get in touch now on 0844 856 1086 or email us on

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