I've found a problem when working with InDesign and InCopy links. So for context, we create instruction manuals using InDesign, and often we have to translate them into several other languages. To streamline our workloads, we use InCopy for this.
I will explain the process of this and then go into depth as to what is causing an issue.
So we typeset the IM in English, and then we export each text frame as an ICML link.
Each IM tends to have around eight text frames, from the product title, main body copy, then to guarantee information. All of these text boxes require translations and we export them as ICML links and save them centrally. The ICML links are then sent to our translation company, and they use InCopy to translate the ICML links initially in English into the target language. They do this by replacing the English entirely.
Once we receive the translated ICML links, we then create a duplicate InDesign file of the English IM in a new folder. In this new folder, we add the translated ICML links. Then we open the new InDesign file and normally, a warning box pops up, asking whether we want to update the eight modified links or not. This would then relink all of the existing English ICML links with the new translated links. This seems to works as it automatically picks up the ICML links in that folder. But really our understanding of why it works this way is limited (so this could be why we are having issues.)
However, there are times when this warning box does not pop up and only the warning about missing links appears. This means each text frame has to be manually relinked in each language. Usually ten languages, so this really does affect our work speed.
So my question is: does anyone have any idea why this feature works so sporadically. When it works, it works amazingly and there are no kinks. Yet, when doing the exact same steps for a different language, we struggle trying to work out why the ICML links are not being found automatically, despite being in the same folder.
I wonder if there is a setting that is applied when the translation company create the InCopy files. We do not use InCopy, we just benefit from it, so there isn't even a way to eliminate the problem step by step.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Honestly, not a great workflow at all. I would never recommend opening ICML files directly. Any change to the file name or folder structure will break this.
Why not share a dropbox folder with the translation company and let them do it right?
No we never open the ICML files. We just drag and drop the links into the designated folder.
I do think it is a pathway issue, however, it doesn't explain why it works some days and not others.
As for the translation company, we don't pay them to be able to use InDesign haha. That would probably be a lot more!
I didn't say YOU were opening the ICML files, but the translation company is.
AH, so that is a big no? This process has been used for the last few years, with no issues up until now.
Is there a more efficient way to achieve what we need? The answers are pointing towards no.
Why don't you export your INDD file as IDML - and ask your translation company to translate this SINGLE file instead of many small files?
I will have to look into this, thank you!
Certainly seems much easier than relinking multiple ICML links (Especially as they shouldn't be messed with in the first place!)
That's correct. Most translation companies I know of use Trados and IDML files. Pick up the phone and find out if they can work that way.
If you were working with layers and all languages should be together in the same INDD file - then InCopy makes sense - but as you have separate / independent INDD files for each language - translating IDML is the only right way 😉