By far the most prevalently used software for desktop publishing among documents we receive for translation is Adobe InDesign. Sometimes Adobe Illustrator is used designing smaller documents with fewer pages. We have infrequently received documents created in QuarkXPress and Microsoft Publisher. Still InDesign leads the list.
When we’re asked to quote translation services for InDesign created documents, we most often initially receive a PDF file exported from the application. That’s all that is really necessary for us to prepare a quote for services. The metrics for pricing translation services for InDesign files are two. First is the word count and second is the number of pages for formatting.
Target languages for translation have established rates for services. Repetition and volume can effectively reduce the per word rate for translation services. InDesign formatting in the target language is performed by specialized personnel other than translators. The translation and proofreading process occurs outside of the InDesign environment. InDesign formatting in the translated (target) language is priced based on a flat per page fee.
An option for PDF documents is to skip the DTP entirely and just edit the formatted PDF. In most cases an equivalent visual layout can be retained and the per page cost for InDesign formatting is eliminated.
This is usually only a viable option if the document will be used for online display or printing from a desktop printer. For commercial printing purposes an InDesign formatted document is recommended for a high resolution PDF.