Which file formats are suitable for translations?
In principle, all types of file formats can be translated. However, in order to insert the translations directly into the layout of the original text, an editable file format is required. Examples include Word, Excel, PowerPoint or InDesign files.
Need a translation?
Translations are not only needed in many different languages but also in many different file formats. In general, file formats for translation can be divided into two categories: editable and non-editable files.
Editable file formats
Editable files can be translated directly without layout work or preparation by a graphic designer. The text in the file can be changed, which is why editable file formats are also called “open files”. Examples include Word, Excel, PowerPoint or InDesign files. When translating open file formats, the only costs incurred are for the translation itself, as the original text and its layout are directly overwritten with the translation. Paragraphs, headings, fonts and all other layout factors are retained and adopted in the target text. Export formats for the translation of websites such as .JSON, .XML or .PO are also open file formats and can be used for translation without any problems. If you would like to learn more about website translation, you can find more information in the encyclopaedia article on “Website translation”. Another advantage of using open files is that they can be processed by CAT tools (icomputer-assisted translation programs). The use of CAT tools brings several advantages, such as a reduced rates for repetitions. You can find out more in the encyclopaedia article on CAT tools.
Non-editable file formats
Non-editable file formats require file preparation before translation so that the texts can be used for translation. All files in which the text cannot be changed, for example PDF files, image files or screenshots, are described as non-editable. There are two ways to translate such files: the first option is to have the non-editable file prepared by a graphic designer who recreates the layout of the source file. In this case, the layout can also be retained in the translated text and you will receive a print-ready translated file which you can use without further editing. The use of a CAT tool is also possible with this option and repetitions can be taken into account to reduce costs. The graphic processing, however, is an additional service for which a fee is charged. The second option is to type the translation manually from the original file, which cannot be edited. In this process, the layout from the original file cannot be retained. The layout must be restored afterwards but the advantage is that only the costs for the translation itself are incurred. However, the use of a CAT tool is not possible in this case, which does not lead to any repetition-based savings. We therefore recommend this option more for shorter texts. Finally, we have compiled the most important and common file formats for translations: .doc, .docx, .dot, .dotx, .docm, .dotm, .rtf, .ppt, .pptx, .pot, .potx, .pptm, .potm, .xls, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltx, .xlsm, .xltm, .htm, .html, .idml, .icml, .psd, .svg, .xml, .xhtm, .xhtml, Android .xml, .xliff, .tmx, .pdf, .txt, .zip, .json, .po, .csv