InDesign Document Translation Price and Schedule

Adobe InDesign is a popular desktop publishing application with a reported more than 50% market share in their category. Other desktop publishing applications include Microsoft Publisher and QuarkXPress. In our experience most high end document publishing for print purposes occurs using InDesign. So it’s not surprising that most inquiries for translation services relating to printed materials is for InDesign documents.

Professional human translation of InDesign documents is a relatively straightforward process. We can even say it’s routine for our company since we perform so many InDesign translation projects.

In order to calculate a quote we need only receive the PDF export file from InDesign.

There are two main metrics we look to for calculating InDesign translation pricing. The actual translation and proofreading processes of the language is priced according to the number of words in the document. Established per word rates are set for each target language (e.g., Spanish, French, Japanese, Arabic, et. al.). Text translation takes place outside of the InDesign environment to allow use of specialized translation tools that can improve translation consistency and reduce translation costs for repeated text.

indesign translation pricing schedule

Once text is translated and checked by a separate proofreading it’s then formatted in InDesign to produce the desired InDesign document(s) in the target language(s). InDesign formatting is priced based on the number of pages. It’s common that some pages are more complex to format than others so a blended rate is applied with this consideration in mind.

The time requirement for translation and formatting of InDesign documents averages in the 2000-3000 words per day range. Many InDesign translation projects are completed in a day or two. Larger InDesign translation projects, such as catalogs or large and complex technical manuals, can require several weeks to complete.

There are typically numerous source files for an InDesign document including links and fonts. In order to calculate a quote we need only receive the PDF export file from InDesign. If the quote is accepted and the project proceeds into production then we request that the client send us the complete English language source file set including all files.