Join Diane Burns for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a more complex sign, part of Adapting an English Layout into Spanish with InDesign.
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Now we're going to take a look at creating a bilingual sign that's a little more complicated. We want it to look like this when we're done. It's got more text on it than the previous signs we've worked on and a graphic image as well. We'll begin with a five inch by seven inch file that has a couple of things prepared already. We have a simple background frame with rounded corners. Our graphic image is already in position and then on top of this background frame, we have another frame with rounded corners.
I'll press W to go into preview mode and you can see the rounded corners here and what we have so far. On our paste board we have our English text in one text frame and our Spanish text below that in another text frame. The first thing we're going to do is set-up the caution text at the top of the sign. I'll switch to the Type tool by pressing the letter T. And then I'm going to draw a text frame in the approximate position of where it needs to go when we're done. Next, I'll double click on the word Caution, and Cmd or Ctrl + X to cut it out of that text frame.
Click in our new text frame, and paste it with Cmd or Ctrl+V. Now, I'll get the same word in Spanish Cmd or Ctrl+ X. And now I'm going to bring it into my new text frame. I'm now going to press the Tab key, and let me turn on my, hidden characters. Instead of pressing a regular tab or putting a regular tab here and then trying to align, the text to the right hand side here which is what I need to do. I'm going to use a right indent tab.
To insert a right idented tab, I hold down Shift and the Tab key. Now, I get this special tab character and then when I paste the Spanish text. It's all the way over to the right side for me automatically. Next we need to format this text as in our original sign. We want the text large, white and offset from the sides. I've prepared an object style here that will do all that for us. So with one click, our text is formatted. Pretty neat huh? Let me slow down and show you how I created that object style in the first place.
It'll give you a chance to see the power of object styles and get our job done at the same time. I'm going to undo this with Cmd or Ctrl + Z, and will do this manually. The first step is to format our text. So, I'm going to select all the text, and we're going to make it myriad pro. I'll come up to the control panel, to the font menu, and just start typing myriad pro. I don't want condensed, I want it to be bold, so I'll set it to bold. We want it to be all caps, and I'm going to set it to 45 points.
That looks about right. Now we need to do a couple of things in terms of formatting the text frame in which this text sits. So to do that we'll go to the object menu To Text Frame options. And we need to do two things. Let me turn on the Preview button. One is we need to vertically justify this text in the center of the frame. We also need a little offset on the left and right sides. So we're going to use inset spacing. On the left, we'll make it 0.3125 inches. Oops.
Now you'll notice that when I put in this one measure, all of the inset spacing took on that measure. That's not really what I want. The reason that happened is because this little lock icon is set. I'm going to set everything back to zero, undo the lock icon, and now I can set these individually There we go. The last thing I need to do is make this frame black and the text inside white. So with the frame selected, I'll come up to my swatches here, and set the frame to black. And then we'll select the text And make it white, now turn off my hidden characters with option Cmd + I or Alt + Ctrl + I. And this is what the object style has done for us, once I created this one time, I made a new object style of it.
And then now it can be freely applied, so either one will work in this exercise file. There's one thing not quite right about this frame, though. You may recall that in our original sign this part of the sign had rounded corners. How do we do that? Well, there's another trick I'd like to show you. I'm going to select our text frame and cut it into the clipboard. Edit, Cut. Now, I'm going to select our inside frame. And instead of using the paste command, I am going to use the paste in to command.
When I do that, the text frame that we cut gets pasted into the other text frame and becomes like a graph within it. Here is my content grabber. And I can move it up and down. Just as though it were an image. The nice thing is, it gives me these clean rounded corners. Good trick to know about, not just for signage but for other layout as well. The next thing we need to do is put our slippery when wet caution text on the sign. So, we'll bring over the frame of English text and open that frame up a bit.
We'll put our Spanish text over here on the right. And I'm going to turn back on my hidden characters with Optn + Cmd +I or Alt + Ctrl + I. And we want to delete these return characters that were left over. And now we need to format this text. Because the Spanish text runs longer than the English text, and we want these to be formatted the same size as each other, We're going to format the Spanish text first. So, Cmd or Ctrl + A. I'll select all and once again, we'll make this text Myriad Pro and we'll set it to be bold.
All caps and for size I'm going to start with 34 points on 44 point letting. That looks to be about the right size. There's a couple of more things we need to do though. One, is we need to set the Spanish dictionary on this text, so that if we spell check it later we have the right dictionary. I'll do that in the Control Panel and change the text from English to Spanish. Next, we'll go to our paragraph controls, and there are a couple of things we need to do here.
First, I don't want hyphenation on this sign. It's uncommon to have hyphenation on any kind of signage. It's a little bit harder to read. And then, I'm going to make this aligned to the right. Looks great. Let's make a paragraph style of this. I'll look at my paragraphs styles panel, hold the option or alt key, and click on Create new style. We'll be sure to apply that to this selection, and we'll call this slippery, and to denote that it's Spanish we'll use the ISO code for Spanish which is ES.
ISO codes are established by the United Nations, to provide a standard reference for country name abbreviations. They're used world wide by governments, businesses, and most translation companies. This looks good, Marian Pro Bold, 34 point leading, Spanish dictionary, fantastic. We'll then temporarily apply the same style to our English text because we want it to be the same size in letting and so forth. But, we need to change a couple of things. For one thing, we need to align it to the left and we need to set the English dictionary.
After all if we spell check the English, we need to use the English dictionary to do that. Now we'll make this a style as well, again with the English text selected. I'll hold down the Opt + Alt key. Create a new style and we'll call this slippery_en. It's based on the Spanish style. So, if we change the font size or leading and attributes like that, this style will update as well. Looks pretty good. The last thing is, we'll select both of these and move them down just a little bit with our down arrow key.
Let's see what it looks like in preview mode. Perfect. So you can see that even a more complex bilingual sign isn't that difficult. If you're methodical in your approach and plan ahead for the fact that Spanish text will tend to run longer than your English text.
Want to learn more? Check out Multilingual Publishing Strategies with InDesign.
- How to get your text translated
- Prepping files for translation
- Inserting special characters in Spanish text
- Creating a bilingual sign
- Setting up different languages on different layers
- Formatting Spanish text
- Translating image files