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Old 06-08-2007, 05:22 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2007
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Default Advice Needed on How to Begin DTP Project

I have been working the last 12+ years for a very small company that creates and publishes Bible study training material and study books. We have a series of books - 11 in all, that we've published and had printed in Singapore, Africa, etc. I began this job back in the days when there was PageMaker 3.02. I had to scan text into the computer, then lay it out in PageMaker to get it into the file types that were desired. All of our work is taken in book form to many different countries over the world, it has been translated in many different languages -- basically by some lucky soul that has a desire to 'help out'. I have had no desktop publishing experience other than having to learn by the 'seat of my pants', so it has been a real experience for me.

Today we are finding that many service bureaus are phasing out the PageMaker program we have used for years, and switching to InDesign -- which, we have currently switched to.

Generally, our DTP files are given to someone in another country to translate for us. I want to set myself up so we won't be having a lot of font issues for people who have only a PC computer, who possibly can't afford to switch to Mac. I don't want to make two versions of the projects (one for PC, one for Mac)...so what I'm planning to do is transfer all the files into InDesign, and re-link/assign the fonts. Currently, there is a mix of fonts I have used - mostly PS, but there are a few TT fonts.

Do/will the TTF's work on PC's - and not have to 'cross platforms'?
Should I change everything to Open Type Fonts to avoid future problems?
If I use Adobe PS fonts, will I still need to supply the PC folks the PC Adobe Fonts?

My job right now it to transfer all our books into InDesign and make PDF's of the books to put on the Web. I need to have a copy of something to submit to future translators, so they will get the InDesign copy, upgrade to InDesign, or just continue to use the old PageMaker program and make their own updates.

Previously, we had given the translators a copy of our files, and they have typed on top of the documents/made a new version to put the info into their language.

I need to find a solution that will give me the easiest way to make this compatible for most translators. Maybe my boss should really be telling these folks...sorry, but we only provide MAC documents -- and stop trying to accommodate everyone.

I went through the days of taking my Mac files and at one time converting everything to PC -- this took a lot a time, and it was double the work if I ever had to edit stuff.

What would you suggest to make my job easier? If I switch all the fonts out, then I'm in the situation where I'm almost re-laying the project out. Wherever I begin, right now I'm making the first steps and I want them to be easy ones with the less hassel. We want something that will carry us over into the future well for many years.

Last edited by ss2003; 06-08-2007 at 05:27 AM. Reason: typo 1st line, of course!
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:54 AM   #2
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Whew — quite a task.

Most of it is easier today than in the past. The Mac OS can use PC TT fonts, so one solution (probably the cheapest) would be to use the PC fonts you know are widely available. (If driven to it, those would probably be Times New Roman and Arial, though that is a somewhat depressing prospect.)

Many PC users have Monotype TT fonts (distributed by Microsoft), including a Garamond, Century Old Style, and a few others. Maybe that would be a good collection.

Then you would need to acquire the same fonts yourself, in PC TT format, and use them.

OpenType fonts would be better for the long run, but the constraints on some of your international partners would probably make problems. If they are using older versions of PageMaker, the OT fonts would hardly be worth the cost (or might not work).

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Old 06-13-2007, 08:19 AM   #3
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My suggestion is that the translator does not work on your documents at all. Supply a plain text (.txt, .rtf) or Word document of the text for them to translate. You will then flow the text in to your document. If there is overmatter, or layout problems, you will need to send them a proof - either PDF or paper, for them to mark up untill it fits well.
It might seem like more work, but it is more reliable - so you won't spend lots of your time trying to solve a problem after a file has returned from somewhere else.
It also means you control your documents, and you do not have to check what fonts, software and platforms yours contributors have.

I had a similar situation, where files came back from a translator, and HIS printed proof never looked like OUR screen display. In the end, we decided to do as above.

As a side point, remember that InDesign has layers. So if your books have pictures, you can have different language texts on different layers of the same document! You then make only one of them visible at any time for display and printing. This is the greatest feature of InDesign for co-edition publishing.
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