Multilingual DTP & Typesetting

Our multilingual DTP services help ensure that your professionally-designed content looks good, whatever the language.
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Do you need marketing materials in Spanish, Swedish or Slovenian, or you are exhibiting in Mexico, Malaysia or Morocco?

Maybe you need operating manuals in Thai, Turkish or Tagalog or training materials in Farsi, Finnish or French?

At Comms Multilingual, we have the experience to deal with even the most complex multilingual typesetting, DTP or compositing requirements, no matter what the language or the complexity of the script.

Our experienced typesetting teams are equipped with state of the art Macs and PCs with all the latest software. We can handle any level of production, from a single business card through to multifaceted projects involving many languages.

Software for Multilingual DTP

The software that we use includes Adobe InDesign, Quark XPress, Adobe Illustrator, InPage, PageMaker and Freehand, on both Mac and PC platforms. We also work with all the Microsoft software.

If you have not yet created your brochure or manual, we offer a complete service from design through to translation, multilingual typesetting and final printing. If you are planning on designing a document for printing which will later need to be translated and typeset in other languages, below are a few handy hints and tips to help you.

Multilingual Brochures Translated and Typeset in 3 languages
Multilingual DTP in English, French and German

Challenges of Multilingual Typesetting

It may be a good idea to produce a style sheet for the document, especially if it will be translated and undergo multilingual typesetting. This helps to maintain the consistency of the “feel” across languages, and is something that we will be very happy to help you with.

Below are just a couple of the possible challenges that we work with when completing multilingual DTP projects:

Differences in Spacing

When designing a document, it is a good idea to bear in mind that some non-English languages can take up to 30% more space than the equivalent English text. It is necessary to design the document with this in mind.

If enough space has not been left within the document, the person who is doing the multilingual typesetting may have to reduce the font size or change the character and line spacing.

It may also be necessary to add new pages as a result, because the text has become longer and now flows differently.

It is even possible that some of the images will have to be repositioned and that the entire document will end up looking quite different.

Multilingual typesetting of documents

Font Requirements for Multilingual Typesetting

Some languages, such as the right to left ones of Arabic, Hebrew and Urdu, and also others like Bengali, Chinese, Japanese and Korean, have complex font requirements.

Historically, some languages such as Arabic even required typesetting using local versions of the multilingual DTP packages, such as an Arabic distribution of Adobe InDesign.

Thankfully nowadays, most software can handle unicode text, but we still have the experience to solve any problems that may arise with some of the more exotic double-byte languages!

Line Breaks in Foreign Language Typesetting

In some languages, there are very specific rules regarding where sentences should be broken across a new line. For example, in Polish, lines should not end with a single letter word. And in Thai, a language that rarely uses spaces between words, you would need to either know the rules regarding where to insert line breaks, or be using multilingual DTP software that has the rules built in.

Multilingual DTP Pricing

Our multilingual DTP prices are generally based on the number of pages in the documents and the number of languages into which the translations are being typeset. We therefore charge on a per-page or hourly basis for this work and will need to see the documents in order to provide accurate pricing for a DTP project.

If you do not already have the translations prepared, we would provide a quote for translation of the document first. The translation can then be reviewed in an editable format such as Microsoft Word or Excel by any local reviewers you may have, before the foreign language typesetting process is started.

We also offer one round of changes after the multilingual typesetting process has been completed, so any local reviewers can make suggested changes to the final layout.

Returning Files after Foreign Language Typesetting

Once the files have been signed off, we will then provide the files back in the format that you require. This usually means returning a print-ready PDF and the editable template from the DTP software package. The final files can be prepared to your requirements, for example including spacing, bleed, margins and colour profile. Please let us know if you have any specific deliverables required prior to us beginning the multilingual DTP process.

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