Imagine the situation: your catalog department has gone to a great deal of effort to produce the catalog in the master language. Then the translation agencies send back the translations. The Marketing Department has made a large number of changes to the documents in the master language and your catalog department is now faced with a great deal of work to adjust the layout of the foreign-language versions and this has to be done manually. All this involves time and money. The system used by FinalCatalogs allows you to produce your foreign-language documents almost automatically.

Automatic production of foreign-language catalogs

How does the FC character spacing server work?
Once a document has been completed in the master language, the employee responsible marks in the FC system that it has been released.
The system then locks the document to prevent changes and automatically outputs the sections changed in the master language for translation (naturally in XML format).
documents to be translated are sent to the translation provider via an email gateway. When the translation is complete, the service providers send the translated documents back to the email gateway. The system then checks whether the document is complete and valid.
If the answer is “yes”, a control document is generated for the FC character spacing server. By opening the control document, all information to produce the foreign-language document more or less automatically is sent to the FC character spacing server:

Step 1: The master language document is opened. The space required for all relevant elements (tables, texts, HotSpots, picture captions, etc.) is measured and stored.

Step 2: The elements in the master language are removed and the foreign-language content is inserted in is place.

Step 3: The character spacing of the foreign-language content is checked and compared with the length of the master text. Where the text is longer, the typesetting system now attempts to reduce the spacing incrementally (spaces between the individual characters) to shorten the space required. If this does not produce the desired result, the character size is reduced in increments of 1/100 of a point up to a defined limit. If the text still does not fit into the space, the system generates a message for the editor that manual intervention is required.

Foreign-language catalogs can only be produced cost-effectively by using this type of automation and yet this method also allows sophisticated and complex layouts. This method cannot be used with conventional typesetting systems such as Quark XPress, Adobe InDesign or Adobe FrameMaker because of the limited automation capabilities of these systems. The FC character spacing server achieves efficiency of 90% thanks to the use of Arbortext APP (formerly Advent 3B2).

Over 90% of foreign-language catalog documents are created in camera-ready form after the initial generation procedure, without any correction to the layout being required.

Where the catalogs concerned involve 1,500 pages in 12 foreign languages, this means that 16,000 pages do not require any manual intervention to correct the layout. This level of efficiency was even achieved for the highly complex layout used by the “Tool bible” produced by the Hoffmann Group of Munich, where black film substitution technology was used.

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