Understanding DTP (Desktop Publishing) and What are the Benefits?

Editor’s note: This the first part of our blog series about Desktop Publishing. The next article will cover the 5 Best Practices in DTP.

DTP, also known as Desktop Publishing, is the least talked about in our industry, yet it’s an indispensable marketing tool in the business.

Why print materials when we can have digital copies, right?

But whether printed or digital version, DTP will never be obsolete, especially when you’re trying to reach out to your customers in China.

Designs, texts, and layout matter in publications regardless of the industry.

READ MORE >>> What is the Role of Localization in Translation Services
What is DTP and tools to use?

DTP or desktop publishing is producing printed materials via desktop computer using premium software and tools. These materials can be used for reports, advertisements, magazines, brochures, and among others.

English designs and layout follow certain DTP best practices. It’s the same thing when working on the Chinese version.

Fonts, spaces, strokes, and paginations are necessary because through the translation process – when texts are also shortened or lengthened – the design and layout are affected.

Localization, on the other hand, adds a refined touch where specialists, designers, and professionals consider the color, format, and designs.

Take note that the MS Word is NOT a DTP tool or recommended as a typesetting tool.

Sophie Ao, our CEO, shared with me the reasons:

1. It’s not stable, and it often crashes when working on large documents with over hundreds of pages.

2. Images and texts don’t match well. It’s frustrating when you pinpointing image position on a page. She said, “Like a naughty ghost after you arrange the formation on the rest of the pages, that image or text box might just disappear or move to another page, which is hair pulling and time-consuming to make an adjustment.”

That’s why the AZ-Loc DTP team chooses premium applications such as InDesign, FrameMaker, PageMaker, QuarkXPress, Photoshop, and among others.

It’s easy to point out the images and text boxes as you wish, and they will not disappear or move.

DTP applications support templates. It would be easier for the specialists to create and maintain those large files or documents such as catalogs, brochures, and magazines.

benefits of desktop publishing in chinese

What are the benefits of DTP in your business?

1. You can streamline your work

DTP is part of a cycle that pushes you to plan ahead, saving you a lot of money and lead time throughout the process. And because our specialists use premium applications, they already have templates. They shortened the lead time when it comes to designing and layout.

2. You have consistency, low maintenance fee, and overall efficiency

Branding is important in building the company’s identity. And with DTP, the similar products have consistency when it comes to the design aspect.

For the new versions, the DTP specialists can easily export a workable and editable file for translation in a split second. Sophie shares how it works.

“DTP specialists can prepare a translation-ready file that only contains the texts. A 300-page catalog with over 500 MB size InDesign document can generate a translation file in dot-idml format, which is less than 5 MB. It is easy to transfer, import and process using CAT tools.”

She explained, “DTP specialists can easily import that document (once the translation is finished), and this means, all translations can be copied and pasted where they should be positioned, saving translators more time and of course, you can save costs from the manual work.”

DTP specialists will only need to adjust the layout and make sure that all texts follow the DTP rules.

Thanks to the CAT tool, the translator can re-use the translation memory to generate more accurate and consistent translation faster and at a lower price. Efficiency is a loop in the cycle and saving you lead time and costs. And if there are images that needed to be replaced, it can be updated by extracting the new one from the centralized folder, and refresh the document.