Process of Arabic Desktop Publishing

arabic desktop publishing
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You’ve written your manuscript, and now you need to get it into a format that you can print and publish onto paper or even e-readers like the Kindle or Nook. For authors who want to take the time to produce their physical books, Arabic desktop publishing software gives them the tools they need to edit their manuscript, convert it into another language, prepare a cover design and layout, and compile all of this into an attractive hard copy book that you can hold in your hands. Arabic desktop publishing, which entails maintaining the formatting specifications of the source documents, may be part of this procedure. Here’s how Arabic desktop publishing works.

DTP, what is that?

DTP is the redesign of a translated document using page layout software. With so many localization providers now enabling multilingual desktop publishing, building a solid brand image across many target markets has never been easier. DTP uses page layout software to redesign a translated document, and it is usually one of the final stages of a translation or localization project. DTP is useful for creating brochures, product manuals, user guides, multimedia, online materials, leaflets, brochures, catalogs, packaging, magazines, flow charts, Help files, CAD files, e-learning content, presentation slides, and illustration or graphic designs.

arabic dtp steps

Arabic Typing

The first step in Arabic desktop publishing is typing out your manuscript, which involves buying a keyboard with both English and Arabic characters.  Asian languages also require unique fonts; otherwise, documents will be unreadable. The biggest mistake you can make here is using a transliteration rather than a proper Arabic script—it will look horrible if you do.

This requires a lot of practice to get right. Most Arabs use transliteration in English, so stick with it and focus on switching to Arabic script when you become more comfortable typing. But don’t worry too much about errors at first; making mistakes is how you learn! Good typists also don’t touch-type; they place their fingers above or below each key as needed and hit them as soon as they are ready. (This method is known as hunt-and-peck.) Don’t be afraid to find an instructor if your skills aren’t where you want them to be by typing in Arabic from start to finish at least once before finalizing your document. If you have time, learn calligraphy for aesthetic purposes, too—most of our writers swear by doing so!

process of arabic desktop publishing

Arabic Spacing

Arabic writing is often referred to as spacing because it’s all about how you arrange individual characters about one another. There are no spaces in Arabic; instead, your cursor has to move around letters and spaces. Because we often think about lines when we write English, keeping track of these line breaks can be challenging.

You may also use less white space than typing in English, meaning your document looks a little crowded. All that being said, there are plenty of ways to make Arabic-letter documents look more straightforward to the eyes. For example, if you have any number or symbol keys on your keyboard (which will depend on your country), those symbols are likely available for use with Arabic text (your MS Word options might vary slightly). The interplay between our two main languages—English and Arabic—can lead to exciting style choices!

Arabic Design

The translation and design process for Arabic language products differs from Western languages. For one, Arabic is read right-to-left and has a different script than Latin languages. Given these unique aspects, engaging an experienced local professional to produce high-quality results is crucial. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensuring your Arabic desktop publishing project comes out perfect:

Arabic Printing

Let’s start by saying that Arabic printing does have its complications. First off, there’s no such thing as a single set way to type in Arabic. There are two significant variations, with two main styles (Kufic and Naskh). The differences run deep into how they interpret things like diagonal strokes and word spacing.

To handle these variations, most programs offer you an option: bidirectional or left-to-right only text. In general, all computers support bidirectional text. Still, if your schedule doesn’t let you do it right on a Windows machine, it might need some extra help to make sure it types out correctly—most computer technicians should be able to handle these sorts of issues when installing new software or fixing up old ones. Another potential complication is figuring out which characters correspond to which numerical code points (this seems daunting at first but becomes second nature once you’ve done it a few times). When all else fails, copy and paste from another program!

Final Steps

The final steps to creating a top-notch Arabic desktop publishing campaign are simply an extension of your creative efforts. These are research, writing, design, and layout. With these in place, you’ll have an eye-catching and information-rich campaign. The analysis is simple: search for similar campaigns on social media or other sources that can inspire you or show what has worked before.

Get as much knowledge as possible so that you understand what works. Have fun with it too! Writing will improve over time but start off being informative and actionable. This can be done by adding tips that lead your target audience through each step (called a call to action). The design comes down to getting professional help and ensuring every visual element adds value – there should be no fluff. Layout depends on how much space you want to use up, and again, things like white space and text alignment should add value – not waste it! We start discussing great Arabic desktop publishing when all of these come together!

dtp arabic

Why Arabic Desktop Publishing is Necessary

As mentioned in one of our latest articles, Multilingual Desktop Publishing is a historically rich and complex discipline. But, in the context of our guides, we focus on the role of DTP in a translation or localization process.

With this in mind, DTP is the creation or adaptation of highly visual content to meet the cultural and technical aspects of the target language. Some standard document formats that may undergo DTP are:

  • Multilingual website blueprints
  • Marketing brochures, ads, and other material
  • eBooks
  • Magazines and books
  • Slideshows and presentations
  • Email newsletters and social media posts

When we talk about Arabic Desktop Publishing, we’re referring to the process by which this highly visual content is translated into Arabic and adapted to fit perfectly with the page layout design of your choice.

languages that are secret
desktop publishing and arabic language

Desktop Publishing Standards and Principles

The professionalism of desktop publishing and the requirements of publishing determine that desktop publishing needs to follow specific standards and principles, which are the work standards that technicians, translators, and managers should abide by, mainly including the following:

  1. Meet the individual needs of customers – meeting the unique needs of customers is a targeted service embodiment of desktop publishing. According to different customer needs, translation companies must set up a professional desktop publishing service team to discuss, negotiate and practice customer needs until the customer is satisfied. And then began to provide desktop publishing tailored to customers.
  2. Rigorous, scientific and professional work standards – in providing desktop typesetting for customers, it is necessary to follow strict work standards and principles to ensure the provision of industry-leading desktop typesetting services. Seeking truth and being pragmatic, professional requirements are standardized, unified, and meet market standards.
  3.  The principle of fidelity to localization—Desktop publishing in the field of localization will use the original document in a particular language, retype it according to one or more target languages, and form versions in different languages, requiring the source language and output language to be faithful.

The Most Common Challenges of Arabic Desktop Publishing

Low-quality Arabic translations and DTP projects can result in content that doesn’t hold any value to your target audience or, worse, that offends them. The entire composition of your message needs to make sense in the target language in terms of readability. But it also needs to be culturally relevant so they can resonate with your content and connect with your brand.

The most common Arabic Desktop Publishing challenges are deeply connected to translation. We can pinpoint four of them:

1. Grammar Structures Differ Significantly

In English, compound sentences considered grammatically correct usually follow the subject > verb > object structure. This is why one of the most common mistakes in translations from English to Arabic, or vice versa, is translating words in the same order. A professional translator will know how to adapt verbal sentences to nominals or vice versa while preserving the meaning of a phrase.

2. Expensive

Translation project managers often tell us they’ve previously worked with translation houses where Multilingual DTP was too complex to supervise/project management. The layout was constantly disrupted, and language versions never looked the same. DTP costs were too high, and there was little version control, with endless quality-checking, which took them away from their actual work. In-house designers typically have it just as bad. It takes time to convert files, and translators never have Multilingual DTP in mind while working in their CAT tool or have little knowledge about the final design.

3. Diglossia is Real & It’s Challenging

Diglossia is a phenomenon that happens when the written form of a language varies significantly from the spoken state. And yes, Arabic is one of these languages. Of course, an Iraqi and a Moroccan can easily communicate in MSA, but in everyday life and intimacy, each will express themselves in their dialects. When one seeks to engage with specific local cultures, reliable and competent translation services will know how to identify these subtleties and differences between each dialect according to the audience you’re targeting, being able to configure the translated text accordingly.

4. Alphabet & Vocabulary

Arabic is home to more than 11 million unique words. Arabic vocabulary is rich, especially compared to the more modest English language, with around 1 million words. For its part, the Arabic alphabet has 28 letters. This may not seem like a significant difference from the 26-letter English alphabet. But nothing could be further from the truth.  Some Arabic characters don’t have an English equivalent. For example, غ is usually translated as ”gh” or ع as ”aa.” And yet, these approximations have different points of articulation to the original Arabic letters.

In Arabic, the appearance of any letter will depend on where the letter is (beginning, middle, or end of the word) and the ones that accompany it. Arabic glyphs can create over 100 shapes for a single letter. By needing a large number of glyphs to adapt the letter to the context, not all fonts will support this characteristic. Here is where typesetting enters the game. Commonly, any desktop publishing software will include a typesetter feature to create the best reading experience possible.

Multilingual Desktop Publishing Services

Universal Translation Services is an Arabic Desktop publishing and translation agency that aims to provide a full localization service to our customers. At Universal Translation Services, we provide accurate translations in various languages and translate a wide range of technical documents, materials, and products from and into Arabic. We provide the best Arabic translation services. If you only have a PDF file, we will rebuild the layout. Our in-house team of native speakers and in-market desktop publishing specialists will ensure that your documents accurately reflect your brand’s image in every language you need to print, not just by laying out the text but also by carefully developing culturally suitable visuals and colors.

We are providing double-byte desktop publishing services.  So, we can easily handle languages with double-byte languages, such as Korean, Chinese Japanese document translation. Moreover, we have the best country language specialists who identified the issues in the early stages. We use a variety of popular DTP programs for multilingual typesetting and layout projects. Contact the Universal Translation Services team now if you need professional desktop publishing services for your translation projects.

Irish travelers used to talk within their group while excluding outsiders. Shelta’s coded vocabulary forms part of a register. It has developed from its speakers’ nomadic way of life and detachment from mainstream society. While Shelta has traditionally been associated with concealing business transactions and criminal activities, more recent research highlights a range of other social functions. For example, it might be used to discuss private health matters or to ‘disguise public arguments among Travellers from settled people who might hear’ (Binchy 2008).

steps desktop publishing


Desktop publishing is the act of combining and rearranging text and images in digital files/print-ready documents that are either sent to a commercial printer for printing or printed directly from a desktop printer using computer software.

Both print and digital translations rely heavily on desktop publishing (DTP). In contrast to a commercial design/printing arrangement, DTP refers to the development and layout of documents using a personal computer. DTP creates the entire structure and produces printed and digital copies with the help of specialist tools.

Text, graphics, and white space are the three essential desktop publishing elements.

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