RE: Callouts in Graphics

Subject: RE: Callouts in Graphics
From: "Broberg, Mats" <mabr -at- flir -dot- se>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 09:36:31 +0100

CB Casper:

> Our documents are translated into multiple languages and we
> are making a major change in going from FM+SGML to XML.
> One area that is highly affected is graphics. We are being
> asked to include no text in any graphic, but to include
> bubble numbers with lead arrows anywhere we want to include text.
> We then include a list to provide text for each callout.
> The reason for this change is to provide for easy translation
> without affecting the graphic itself. The localizers only
> have to work with text, not with the graphic itself, which
> can be expensive.
> Has anyone else gone to this model?
> How has it been received by your users?
> Any problems that rose and needed to be resolved?
> Obviously many graphics will have to be re-done, but with the
> change to using XML, we will need to provide different image
> formats anyway, so we will have to touch all of our graphics
> regardless.


You may want to take a look at Adobe's SVG format. This is a pure XML
file that describes the image and you can have the file retrieve XML
data from databases so that the final image displays the correct
translation. That way, you make it easy for the translators and still
get images where the text is displayed in the image.

You can also build rather cool solutions where different parts of the
image are conditionally controlled so that some parts of a product -
e.g. a market-specific handle on a camera - disappears from the image
when the manual is formatted to the languages of that specific market.

Best regards,
Mats Broberg
Technical Documentation Manager

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