Join Diane Burns for an in-depth discussion in this video Getting text on the page, part of InDesign: Multilingual Publishing Strategies.
As with English, the first step to working with text in other languages is to, well, get the text on the page. The process really isn't that different from English, but there are a few things you need to know. Most of the time, since you will be dealing with translated text, you won't be inputting text directly into your layout. Instead, you'll usually be working with text from another source, most commonly Microsoft Word or another text editor, or possibly even an InDesign document. The steps for placing text in other languages are the same as in English: go to the File menu and choose the Place command.
If the file is in Word's DOC format or some other RTF format, you can usually just place it on the page, because Word and RTF keep the correct encoding for the text. And if it's typed in, say, Japanese, it will be in Japanese when you place it on the page. Here's our translated Japanese document from the brochure we've been using throughout the course, and I'm just going to choose the file and drag and draw a text frame here, and here's my Japanese. The translator has keyed it to the original English text by including the English text in the document. But that's good.
That tells me where it is, if I don't read Japanese, which I don't. And the Japanese text comes in correctly. Here's a Russian document. I'll just double-click on the name this time. And this is also from our translation company. This text has also been keyed to the translation-- =notice with the page numbers here. And more importantly, the Russian characters come in with the correct encoding, and they're ready for me to work on my layout. Basically, the process is just like it is in English. And just like in English, occasionally, you'll get files from translation companies that use a font that you don't have in your system.
The solution is the same as it is in English. Here I have a Korean translation and I am missing the fonts. However, one difference here than what would be the case when I'm working in English is I can't even read this font. I don't know what it is. But I do know that this is Korean text and I need to replace it with a Korean font. So, I'll click Find Font and choose the first font. And I know that Adobe Myungjo Standard is a Korean font, so I'll make sure Redefine Style is set, and change all.
Then I'll choose the other Korean font, and change it to a different font in my system: Adobe Gothic Standard. That way I can differentiate between the two, and I'll change those as well. And I don't need to worry about changing the Arial because I really want the Korean text. And again, I am going to drag and draw a text frame, and there's my Korean text with the characters correctly encoded, and in a font that I have in my system, just like we would do with an English file. If you do happen to get a file in a text format, or a TXT, you do have to make sure and set the proper encoding.
I'm going to use Command+D or Ctrl+D for the Place command, and here we have our Russian translation, but it's a text file, TXT format. If I just try to place it, this is what I get, and that's not what I want, and there's no way I can fix this. I have to be sure, instead, to bring up my Import Options dialog. And instead of checking here, I like to use the keyboard shortcut by holding down the Shift key and then bringing it in. In the Text Import Options dialog, we set the character set for this text. This is Russian.
I know that it is Macintosh Cyrillic, and I can also optionally set the dictionary here. So, I'll go ahead and even set the dictionary to Russian. Click OK. Bring the text in, and now I'm good to go. The characters have the correct encoding, and they're ready for me to start working on my layout. With Chinese text files--and again, I'll go back to the Place command-- there are a couple of options, because remember that Chinese has simplified and traditional characters.
I am going to hold down the Shift key to get the Import Options dialog. If we look at this list, Chinese Big 5 is for traditional Chinese, not simplified Chinese. Simplified Chinese uses GB2312 encoding, so I need to choose that. Also, I don't want the Russian Dictionary set. It might not do any harm, but better not find out. I don't have a Chinese dictionary, so I am going to just set the Dictionary to Neutral. When I click OK, the text comes in properly encoded.
That's really all there is to placing text in other languages onto your InDesign page. And just like in English, you can also copy and paste text from Microsoft Word right into InDesign. There are occasions, however, where either you or a colleague may need to edit the text, and in that case, you do need to make some changes to your system. You need to set up the keyboards to input text in the language that you need to either edit or input new text into.
In order to do that, we need to go to our system on the Mac. We'll go to System Preferences, to the Language & Text area. On Windows, you go to the Control panel and then choose Region and language and click the Keyboards/Languages tab to add a new keyboard for whatever language it is that you need to edit. Now, on the Mac, the language list you see here is actually the language that you want the Finder to appear in. And let's keep ours in English, because that's the only language that I can really read fluently. We'll go to our Input Sources, and I'm going to show you two different ways to use these keyboards.
I'm going to make sure the Keyboard and Character Viewer are on, and then I am going to turn on a keyboard for Japanese, which happens to be called Kotoeri, and actually, we already turned it on, so it's checked on there. This is for Japanese. Then I also want to edit some Russian text, so let's make sure that that's turned on. And here's our Russian text that's been checked on. So now, I'll close this. And in the upper right-hand corner of my screen, I see a little American flag, and I have the choice of the different keyboards that I've set up.
There are a couple of ways that you might want to use these keyboards. I am going to zoom in to this Russian text. This has happened in our shop plenty of times. Let's say that I accidentally delete this character. I know I deleted it, I did something. I can't get it back. But what I can do is refer to a PDF for my translation company. And you should always ask for a PDF of the translation so that you can match characters if you need to. Now, I can't really type Russian, but what I am going to do is switch to Russian, turn on the Keyboard Viewer, and here I have the missing character.
I'll click and it's restored. I could do this from InDesign's Glyph panel, but Minion has so many characters, it's much faster to do it this way. Keyboards can also be used of course to input text, if you know how to input the text, and it can even be used to input text in complex languages, even the Asian languages like Japanese. I am going to draw a text frame here and change the font to a Japanese font. Let me switch back to my US keyboard.
We'll change this to Kozuka Gothic. And them I'm going to switch to the Japanese keyboard for Hiragana. Japanese, and Chinese for that matter, are phonetic characters, and the input methods are different, but they basically rely on sounds. And for Japanese, if I want to for example type in the word Tokyo, I get a selection of the Kanjis that might be used for that. And there's Tokyo, and on and on I can go. If I need to type a lot and if I'm fluent in the language, I can actually set InDesign's preferences so that I have inline input here, as you see.
And it goes pretty quickly if you know what you're doing. And here's the one phrase I can type in. Diane--that's my name--is the flower of Tokyo. So, there you have it! It's kind of fun. As you can see, in general, getting text on your page is just the first step of course in multilingual publishing. But as long as you keep a few things in mind, it's an easy first step to take.
- Topics include:
- Exploring fonts and character sets
- Working with language dictionaries
- Changing language direction
- Typesetting different languages
- Installing scripts and templates for Middle Eastern, Chinese, and Japanese languages
- Understanding the importance of translation
- Choosing the right workflow
- Working with one or more languages in a single file
- Using an XML workflow
- Creating PDFs
- Setting up a Digital Publishing Suite tablet app
- Publishing to EPUB