How to translate an InDesign file?


Have you created an InDesign brochure that you would like to translate?

Do you wonder how in heaven’s name you will now find a translator who can translate directly in InDesign?

Shhh … we’ll tell you a secret: it’s not necessary!

Why not?

We are able to import your InDesign files in IDML format directly into our translation software; SDL TRADOS Studio.

Thus, despite the « exotic » file format, you can fully benefit from the advantages of our professional translation software.

Among other things, we carry out a text analysis, for example, word repetitions are therefore not invoiced at their full price.

Another advantage is that, by using the SDL TRADOS STUDIO translation software, you will benefit from InDesign translations, too, by creating a translation memory and your own personal corporate glossary.

So, if you’ve already commissioned translations from us or are working with us in the longer term, then this will only play to your advantage: our analysis of repetitions in the text also includes translations that have already been completed by using your translation memory.


What should you consider when translating with InDesign?

The import of IDML files into SDL TRADOS STUDIO and the subsequent export after translation into an IDML file can only be error-free if a lot of things were thought of before the translation:

Always send us a PDF file – this always serves as a reference during the translation process.

Don’t know how to export an IDML file from InDesign? Here is a short guide.

It’s best to think about the language into which you want to translate then document when you’re creating it. Why is that so important? For example, the French language requires far more space than the German language. If there is not enough space in the InDesign format, this can lead to an unsightly overflow of text and line breaks when exporting it after a Trados translation.

A tip for the marketing department: Short & succinct sentences, bulleted lists, tables, no unnecessary white space/spaces/tabs to contribute to efficient importing-exporting while maintaining the layout!

If you want to insert newlines into the InDesign file, it’s best to use Shift-Return. This also facilitates compliance with the layout after translation.

Remember to send us all the images and fonts used in the file along with the file you want to translate.

What else do you need to think about?

The keyword being « pictures, » you should worry about whether or not these pictures also contain text that should be translated.

It should also be noted that the technology certainly offers us great opportunities by allowing us to import and export IDML files … but it can still lead to smaller layout problems because of the various reasons mentioned above.

We hope that our article on translating InDesign files into an IDML format has helped you and we are available if you might have any questions by e-mail at or by phone at +33 1 76 43 32 76.


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