Desktop publishing services are offered by translation agencies if your company is interested in not only translating the text of the original document, but also maintaining the same layout of the original document with the translated words. You won’t need this if your document is in plain text.
When are desktop publishing services needed
However, if your document is complexly structured, such as in a PowerPoint presentation, or in your annual report that includes graphs and tables, you don’t want to run the risk of copy pasting the translated words into the wrong place. That could be embarrassing when the mistake is discovered in front of the board of directors, stockholders, important clients and partners.
You would do well to take advantage of a translation company’s available desktop publishing services. Ordinarily DTP is the job of graphic designers, but in this case the layout is already available from the original document. DTP thus becomes the job of the translator, who can read both the source language and target language, and would know the right location in the document to fit the translated words into place.
If you want to avoid the additional cost of having desktop publishing done, you could always ask for a one-to-one corresponding list of the source document sentences versus the translated sentences, and do the copy-pasting yourself or assign it to someone already in your employ. But it could be a painstaking task and cost you time that you, or the one you have assigned to do the task, can productively use on something else. The translator would also know how to shorten or lengthen the sentence if need be to suit the space and yet still retain the same meaning.
You may decide not to avail of desktop publishing services but it is definitely good to know that translation companies anticipate your needs and offer the service.