Arabic desktop publishing

Adelphi are Arabic desktop publishing (DTP) and translation specialists.
As Arabic script flows from right-to-left, the document’s layout will need to be flipped so that the pagination is in order and the text reads correctly.

Arabic desktop publishing DTP service

Adelphi has its own in-house desktop publishing studio providing Arabic desktop publishing (DTP). All our Arabic desktop publishing is handled in-house and carried out by our own experienced typesetters.

We also produce monthly financial reports in Arabic for use in 5 Arabic countries.

Adelphi Translations have been producing Arabic desktop publishing for over 15 years. We produce all kinds of Arabic desktop publishing materials including corporate brochures, packaging, business cards, posters and manuals, not just in Arabic but also in over 60 other languages.

We work for companies and organisations such as Disney, Vidal Sassoon, and Jaguar Land Rover, to list a few. Plus international aid agencies such as Amnesty International, Refugee Action, UNICEF and the Refugee Council as well as many translation agencies all over the world.

Adelphi has built up expertise in using InDesign, QuarkXpress, FrameMaker, Illustrator and all Microsoft applications.

We use all of the industry standard software packages including InDesign, QuarkXpress, FrameMaker, Illustrator and all Microsoft software. As Arabic is a right to left language we use InDesign to typeset all of our Arabic. We do have a converter that can convert QuarkXpress to InDesign if needed.

Desktop publishing tips for designing materials in English that will be translated into other languages

In some designs the pages are simply filled with text, leaving no room for text expansion. Most languages (with some notable exceptions) run longer than English and some of them run much longer. This causes the localised versions to have to make some sort of compromise: either text becomes smaller or a condensed font is used, or some material is completely cut out for brevity. Neither scenario is ideal, so it is much better to consider this aspect of the task at the design stage.

Overuse of text formatting features like coloured text, bold text and italic text etc. can slow down the localisation process, as the formatting needs to be applied to the precise word or phrase in translation that is equivalent to the English. Sometimes, this does not work at all if the target language has a dramatically different word order.

Embedded, non-editable text in images require extra attention, and can slow things down dramatically, especially when over the main part of the image. Where possible, the text should be made available for editing in InDesign. If not, we will require all of the PSD files to work with.

Avoid designing paragraphs or “word clouds” with mixed font sizes that look good in English but have no chance of being replicated in the target language: quite often they do not have the same impact when localised and can often be “lost in translation”. Furthermore, due to word order difference, key words in English at the beginning of a sentence might end up in the middle or at the end of the sentence when translated.

One of the most frequent issues we encounter is incorrect and inconsistent usage of style sheets, in particular where one style has been used but in some instances bold text, italics or even different fonts have been changed manually. This can cause the most significant delays of all, and is the biggest source of small typos we encounter during internal QA.

Sending the artwork to be typeset BEFORE it is signed off by the client is never a good idea, and neither are new design changes after we have already started the work. We can do nothing in situations like these where significant changes are requested mid-project but start again and present new figures for the work, delaying work and incurring further costs for the client.