It has taken a long time to find it out, but today I was finally able to translate INDD files in Trados Studio. That’s why I’m sharing this blog post today to make clear how you can translate InDesign files in Trados Studio. It requires a quick turn around, but it is certainly worth the effort!
INDD files in Trados Studio
Until recently Trados Studio proved not to be good at supporting native InDesign files (INDD). Studio was unable to open these layout files, so translators had to search for their solution in MemoQ, which can handle INDD files externally via the cloud and internally via the software (where the files still are processed in the cloud).
MemoQ converted the files to native mqxlz files, which also cannot be opened natively by Trados Studio.
That specific file type, however, can now be opened in Trados Studio by adding a file type, and therefore translating INDD files in Trados Studio is finally possible.
What to do if INDD files cannot be opened in Trados Studio?
Clients often send files for a translation but don’t want to re-work existing layout files like InDesign files used for posters, manuals and books. In many cases you can then use MemoQ, but that requires an investment in time and money (unless you use the free but limited version). An alternative way to handle InDesign files is by asking clients to export their INDD files to IDML files (InDesign Markup Language), which can be exported and imported in InDesign easily. In contrast to INDD files, Trados Studio supports IDML files out of the box.
A solution therefore is to ask clients for IDML files if INDD files don’t work. However, many clients (especially those who outsource the formatting stage to third parties) don’t know the details of that, simply refuse or look for a more tech-savvy translator who can handle the files the right way.
Converting INDD files to a translatable format
Converting INDD files to IDML files is one way to create files that can be opened in Trados Studio. If you want to process INDD files inhouse, without a pressing the client for alternative file types, you might consider creating a Language Terminal account. Language Terminal is a portal offered by Kilgray, the mother company of MemoQ. Among other things it offers a possibility to convert INDD files. You can simply login to Language Terminal and upload your INDD files; afterwards they are converted to mqxlz files that can be translated in MemoQ. Once the translation is ready you can then simply upload the mqxlz file, which is converted to a target INDD file, together with a PDF example. Nowadays MemoQ also supports importing INDD files into the software itself; afterwards, the files are processed in the Language Terminal cloud. That step still requires a Language Terminal account but avoids having to log in to the online portal.
Mqxlz files in Trados Studio
If you’re not used to working with MemoQ or if you need to use Trados Studio for other reasons, you might want to translate INDD files in Trados Studio. However, that requires you to open your newly converted mqxlz file in Trados Studio, and that’s not supported out of the box.
Proceed as follows to open mqxlz files in Trados Studio:
- First of all, make sure that the file extension .mqxliff is not assigned to the standard XLIFF file type definition.
You can check for that by going to File > Options > File Types > XLIFF and remove *.mqxliff if this is in the list of file extensions.
- Next, you will need to install a memoQ file type definition from SDL OpenExchange. You need to have an SDL OpenExchange account and valid Trados Studio license for that. The file type definition is downloaded as an executable file.
- Run the executable file and start Trados Studio.
- Make sure that the filter is activated by going to File > Options and see if XLIFF: Kilgray MemoQ appears in the list of file types.
You can now open mqxlz files in Trados Studio and translate INDD files in Studio!
Converting translated INDD files from Trados Studio back from mqxlz to INDD is quite easy: save the target file as a mqxlz file and upload it to Language Terminal to convert it.
- Convert the INDD file to mqxlz.
- Use the file type definition to open mqxlz files in Trados Studio.
- Convert the translated document to INDD.