If as a technical writer you know in advance that the technical document you are generating will be translated into different languages, then there are important image and font considerations that you need to take into account for a problem-free and affordable localization process.

Let’s immediately open a small sidebar here and stress the importance of graphics knowledge and skills in technical writing since formatting information takes as much time of a typical technical writer as expressing it in a straight forward manner.

One thing you should not do is to save any text together with your original image files.

If for example you are using Adobe Illustrator to generate your vector and EPS (Encapsulated Post Script) images, do not use the Text tool to add your captions or callouts directly onto the image itself. If you do that, the same image will need to be manipulated for a second time at the local end in order to translate the text part.

It will be especially troublesome if the text is either rasterized (as in Photoshop) or transformed into outlines and Bezier curves (as in Illustrator) since it means the text then has totally ceased to be an editable text and has become a true image. After that, it can only be changed through time-consuming image alteration methods.

Instead, first import the image into your the page composition program and then add the text inside the page composition program itself.

Whether you are using MS Word, FrameMaker, QuarkExpress, or InDesign, you can always add a text box to any imported image. Add all your captions or legends that way. Localizing the editable content of such a text box is much easier and less costly than manipulating the image source file itself.

Source by Ugur Akinci