This article was originally written in English. Text in other languages was provided by machine translation.
The number one question I have been asked at conferences this year is about InDesign localization. I was recently at a conference and heard the problem people had loud and clear - ”I need to localize IDML files and my localization tool does not have a filter for it.”
Keeping up with version changes in content applications can be quite a challenge for localization professionals. When InDesign CS5 was released it supported IDML but not INX (INX was the previous interchange format for InDesign). The good news is you can translate these IDML files using XML as the translation format for your tool, it may not be elegant, but with a few scripts it can be automated fairly well.
Lets walk through how it works using InDesign CS5.5, SDL WorldServer and your favorite zip application.
First, you need to have the document as an IDML file. Native InDesign (.indd) files are not generally used for localization projects, our initial task will be to open InDesign and Export an IDML version of the file, navigate to File > Export… and select InDesign Markup (IDML).
The resulting IDML file is a compressed archive containing a number of .xml files, our next task is to simply rename the exported file to .zip instead of .idml, and then open the zip file.
All the content of the InDesign file can be found in the Stories folder in XML format. All the text in the text frames of the source InDesign file will be present, 1 story flow = 1 xml file.
I’m going to pull these out and upload them to WorldServer and start a project with them. The even better news is that the default XML (NT) filter for WorldServer processes this XML without any changes to the filter or the XML. After these go through the translation process, the .xml files go back into the exported archive
If translation is into other Latin script languages, I will be able to simply place the translated XML files back into the Stories folder in the export I made, rename the .zip back to .idml and open it back up in InDesign. If I need to change the styles to refer to fonts more appropriate for non-Latin scripts, I can simplify my life (or the designers) by changing the font references in the IDML zip file.
Navigate to the Resources directory in the export, there are both Styles and Fonts XML files in this directory. You can replace Styles.xml with one from a completed InDesign project or if you use many different style names – consider if you can script changing the font names to use language-appropriate fonts.
In this case, I’m going to drop in a Styles.xml from a previously completed InDesign project before I rename the export back to .idml so that I am referencing the correct fonts for Cyrillic – the style names are the same but their definitions are updated to use the Cyrillic font. If you can rely on the style names, this is an easy way to make the adjustment. If not, you may need to process the Styles.xml to change out one font reference for another, or post production will need to include this activity by the designer or desktop publisher.
If the designer left enough room for text expansion, post translation work is now a snap!
Language Intelligence Solutions Manager