The problems posed by non-editable text in graphics
It is extremely common to find documents that include images with text that needs to be translated. When this happens it is necessary to make such text editable in order to take an exact word count for the quote and to be able to take advantage of the benefits offered by assisted translation tools.
In any case, this process entails increased translation costs for these texts due to the additional processing that is required, as well as greater execution time. Occasionally, the amount of text in graphics and the technical complexity to recreate the format may be such, that the translations may not be viable as a result of the additional cost.
Most common ways to create graphics in documents
There are two basic ways to include images in a document: 1. Using a graphic file; and 2. Using a screen shot.
Graphic files include: 1. Non-editable native formats, such as .png, .jpg o .tiff (these are always created from graphics editing programmes and are therefore associated to an editable file); or 2. Editable formats, such as Photoshop (.pps), Illustrator (.ai or .eps) or AutoCAD (.dwg), to mention only the most common, from which non-editable formats can be created. These two types of graphic files can be embedded or linked to the final documents.
The second way to place an image in a file is by creating a screenshot. A screenshot can be taken from any kind of document: a Word document, a website, a PDF...
Tips for efficient management of text in graphics
- Minimise the use of text in graphics
If you want to minimise the extra effort of processing text in graphics, along with the associated cost and time, you will have to reduce the amount of text in this format, reducing the use of editable text to the most important or unavoidable elements.
- Save an editable version
Often you may find that the editable files were not saved as such or are not available (for example, the original work was carried out years ago by an external company). This entails the recreation of the editable files for their automatic processing in the cases of Illustrator, Photoshop or AutoCAD.
- Avoid outlining
It is not only necessary to have the Photoshop, Illustrator or AutoCAD file, or the equivalent files by other software developers, you also have to make sure that the text within these files is editable. Such programmes have features that make it impossible to edit the text (for example, outlining the text, also known as vectorising, in the case of Illustrator and InDesign).