help with translating graphics

Subject: help with translating graphics
From: Alva Ware-Bevacqui <awarebevacqui -at- SHIVA -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 10:39:13 -0400

Hi techwrlers!

I'm in the process of updating my company's graphic standards, which
outlines how graphics are handled in our documentation. Because we must
translate all of our graphics into several languages (including European
and Asian languages), we have a blanket rule that no text can appear in the
graphic itself, because translating text in graphics is more expensive for
us; instead the text appears in MS Word (as do the documents themselves).
This method is less expensive because our translating agency only needs one
tool, namely MS Word.

Our graphics consist of mostly network diagrams; we are now also adding
flowcharts. We use mainly Visio for network diagrams and flowcharts and
Adobe Illustrator for complicated graphics. The problem I have is deciding
how to handle callouts and labels. Right now, all callouts are numbered in
the graphic using Visio or Illustrator. So, instead of a typing word in
Visio to describe something, I use a number. Then, in Word, I add a legend
outside of the graphic that describes what the number means. This works for
some diagrams, but not very well for complicated ones, and flowcharts lose
their meaning altogether if I number each shape and include a legend
somewhere after the graphic.

I realize the best alternative is to pay for the translation of the
graphics (that would include resizing graphics for languages with longer
words, such as German). Does anyone out there have any suggestions on other
alternatives? Please respond to me directly as I am on digest. I will post
results to the list.


Alva Ware-Bevacqui
Technical Editor
Shiva Corporation

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