Translations and graphics?

Subject: Translations and graphics?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 10:57:43 -0500

nurseferatu, in her non-undead form also known as Martha Silverspring,
wonders: <<We are now translating our manuals into 9 languages, and
translations of screen captures have become an expensive problem. What do
you do in your department?>>

If you're translating the documentation, then you're doing your readers a
disservice if you're not translating the software interface too. Given that
you're probably already creating localized versions of the interface,
there's no reason not to translate the screen captures too: all you need to
do is create a simple means of keeping all the screen captures up to date.
Checklists work wonders for doing this. (Sure, this is a bit tedious, but
that could be said about anything concerning translation. You've got to
spend some time to reap the benefits of localizing the software.) That's
what we do here: I create a full set of screenshots for both languages we

However, if you're not using a screen capture because it provides important
information (context, navigational information, a description of something
that can't elegantly be described in words alone), you should certainly
consider eliminating it so as to minimize the burden of upkeep.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"User's advocate" online monthly at

"When ideas fail, words come in very handy."--Goethe

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