Adobe World Ready, and why it’s changing designers’ lives without them even knowing
If you work in Graphic Design and have had the pleasure of handling translated content, you will have almost certainly encountered a fair amount of headaches. If you use the Adobe Suite of programmes, as the entire world seems to now, you’ll probably have felt a tide of frustration as you discover that some languages simply won’t sit and display correctly.
This is why the translation industry has developed its own design branch. It’s generally referred to as DTP, or Desk Top Publishing – a fantastically 90’s term that might evoke thoughts of Filofaxes and massive mobile phones! DTP is made up of specialist designers who are skilled in handling foreign language text. They will take your document, produce the translated version and provide you with print-ready image files.
The major problem here is that the service excludes the designer and distances businesses from the creative process, which can be a big worry if you’re the client. If you’ve ever received blocks of text as an image, or documents with text set to outline, you’ll know just what a nightmare they can be. You can’t edit, resize or realign any of it – it’s all just stuck. All of this while the client can incur hefty fees from the translation company. While the results might be linguistically good, visually speaking, you know a better job could have been done.
So if you’re a designer and you’re not familiar with the Adobe World Ready Composer, then this tool could literally change your working life when dealing with translated content.
What is it?
World Ready is a simple little tool hidden away in the Characters window of the latest versions of the Creative Suite programmes. The easiest way to access it is in the top right corner (see screenshot) or in the Paragraph options.
And what does it do?
In simple terms, it tells the software to display the text correctly. If you simply copy certain languages into InDesign, for example, they won’t display correctly. Any Indic languages, like Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi etc. or Asian languages like Chinese, Japanese, Thai (especially Thai!) might look correct to the untrained eye but trust me, they’re normally completely wrong.
As translators and linguists, we can insert the text, input the right settings in the World Ready Composer and, as if by magic, the text is fixed.
But I’m a designer… what difference does that make to me?
The reason this is a game-changer for a designer is that once we’ve translated the files and added the content, we can configure the text using World Ready and give you back a live design file. Your text is free-running and, most importantly, editable. You can resize your text boxes and essentially do anything with it that you would do with English text… except maybe understand what it says!
Of course, your translation provider should do all of this work for you. Give them your IDML templates to work on and they should input the translated content into the design file itself. They should configure the correct settings and you, as the designer, can then play around with it to your heart’s content and retain creative control.
If you’ve ever had to deal with languages before, this has to be good news. But if you haven’t yet, be aware of World Ready and take my word that it’s a million times better than doing it the old way!
But what about Arabic? That’s more complex isn’t it?
Actually not really. Arabic is a right to left language, or an ‘R2L’ as we call it in our jargon-addicted industry. Urdu and Farsi are others examples of R2L but there are lots of them. With the standard European versions of the Adobe Suite you frustratingly can’t input, copy in or type R2L text. But, if your translation company has inserted it and done it probably, you can open a file with it in, and process it all very easily without any extra work on your part.
But if you want to input your own R2L text or content then it’s still pretty easy. Using the Creative Cloud suite, you simply open the preferences, and change your app language to the English Arabic version. Then you can download the Middle Eastern version of the apps. It’s all the same and it’s all still in English but you’ll have all the extra R2L settings. In exactly the same way, you can download a version for Hebrew too.
But the most important thing to take away here is that if you’re using a good translation company, there is no need to do any of this yourself. At Integro, we produce all of this for you, configure the file and it can all be handled with great ease, in the standard European versions. It couldn’t be easier.
If you want to know more about us here at Integro, you can get in touch with one of our experts or find out more about how we work with the Creative Media industry.