miércoles, 22 de febrero de 2012

Translating within Photoshop, yes we can!

After a long delay, a whole year without updating my blog, I've come back with a strong will to last, so I'll try to fill in these pages with personal views from my daily experiences translating medical devices texts.

I've decided to begin pointing out a extremely time consuming part of the localization project, and how a tiny application I discovered a few weeks ago can make your task easier and painless.

Translating Photoshop images.

Many times medical devices manuals, brochures or spec sheets include certain figures, graphics, photographs with labels, tags, etc. Of course this is not applicable only to medical devices literature, but also to ANY technical documentation, and many times those images are (or could be) provided in Photoshop (PS for short) file format. As a photograph geek I do usually use PS for photo treatment tasks but I was reluctant to use the software for the texts included with the images.

This text handling is usually a task we, as translators are not used to do, probably because our customers have their own DTP staff and artwork people to insert our translations, but what about if your customer is the final end customer? Of course you can always outsource the task of inputting your translations....I do prefer enjoying the whole envelope and made some tries... frustrating at first... time consuming and not worthy ...to say the least.

However a few week ago I found a tiny application, a PS add-on which makes possible to extract the text from within the text layers of the PS files in such a way that you can even treat them with your usual CAT tool and afterwards you are able to reinsert the texts in the images again, transparently, automatically, "magically".

Of course, when translating into Spanish from English you should open and check your newly created images for text clipping, overlapping, and so on because of the 15-20% extra longer texts, but this is easier than translating from scratch and erasing the original English texts... isn't it?

This extraordinary piece of software can be found at http://www.bram.us/?s=psd2txt&x=0&y=0

It is an smart script for Photoshop working both for Windows and Mac version of the Adobe software. Once you test it you'll wonder how survived without it.