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How Multilingual PDFs can benefit your business

What are Multilingual PDFs and what are they for?

Multilingual PDFs can be a huge business asset when you need to provide the same information to clients, customers or employees in multiple languages. A multilingual PDF is a regular PDF file of your document, but it includes all the language versions that you have translated the document into. The PDF features language ‘buttons’ enabling users to switch language with a click.

For example, imagine you have a Sales Report which needs to be read by all of your regional offices. You have, say, five language-regions and must therefore create five mailing lists in order send the file, in the correct language, to the employees of each office. With a multilingual PDF, however, you could simply send the same document to everyone. Your employees (or stakeholders) can simply select the language they prefer. 

A multilingual PDF ensures all your teams, worldwide, are working to the same script, and all information reaches every client. Furthermore, instant switching between languages can be very useful to compare terminology, references, brand messaging, etc. This ensures Regional Managers and/or your customers can easily check that their locally produced information matches both the terminology, and the style and tone of the parent company.

Using Multilingual PDFs has multiple benefits

  • Convenient for quality control — you can easily review your translations.
  • Efficient for version control — all your language versions stay together in a single file.
  • When updating, changes to graphics — graphs, diagrams, etc — only have to be made once, to a single file.
  • Multilingual documents can also be useful for smaller regional offices, as you can provide translation alternatives for areas where the local language may not be supported.

Although we would be delighted to provide you with quality, professional translations 😉 — if you’ve already had your document translated, we can create a multilingual PDF using your own translations.

The Process

First, we optimise the layout to ensure a clean switch between languages. For this, we will need your original artwork, ie. the InDesign file. We may tweak the layout to optimise the final file size: ideally, photos and graphics should only be included in the file once. This is achieved by making sure images or graphics which do not feature text, are ‘fixed’ elements. So, the buttons will change the language, but not the layout.

To select a language, we add a button, such as a flag icon, or another suitable indicator. We can create a customised language button for you, or you can provide your own graphics.

Finally, we add each translation to the document, and we format the final file for use. If required, we can also password protect the PDF file to prevent further editing.

Multilingual PDFs are useful for:

  • Multinational marketing or sales documents
  • Multinational Training Manuals
  • Multi-product Manuals or Catalogues
  • Multiregional internal documentation or reports.

Contact us to find out more!

Multilingual PDFs: Frequently Asked Questions

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