Microsoft PowerPoint

Translating with Across

Introduction

Microsoft PowerPoint is the world's most popular software for creating presentations.

Presentations created with PowerPoint are often shown to illustrate what is being said while a speaker delivers his speech. Sometimes they are also shown autonomously, e.g. at trade show booths.

PowerPoint presentations can be created in various formats. Currently, the most common format is PPTX. This format was introduced along with PowerPoint 2007. Meanwhile, it has largely replaced the older PPT format. (The main difference between the two formats is that PPTX is XML-based and thus corresponds to an open standard, while PPT is a proprietary Microsoft format.) Apart from these two formats, there are also other, less frequently used PowerPoint formats, such as PPSX for PowerPoint shows and PPTM for PowerPoint macro-enabled presentations.

First Steps

As in the case of presentations created with other presentation software, PowerPoint presentations also consist of slides. Besides regular text, presentations often contain further elements, such as images, tables, charts, and videos.

Before translating a PowerPoint presentation, the translator should open the document in PowerPoint and especially check it for the following PowerPoint-specific issues:

Images and Objects

With the default settings of the Across Translator Edition, images and objects in PowerPoint documents are not displayed in the translation editor crossDesk. If, however, these elements would be helpful for the translation or for understanding the source text, they should be displayed in the translation editor. (Tip: To do so, go to >>Tools >>System Settings >>Document Settings >>PowerPoint 2007-2016, select the entries "Image" and "Object", and select "Locked" under "Mode" for each one of them.)

Slide Notes

The speaker can use slide notes as a speech outline. For example, they can be displayed in the PowerPoint presenter view. If the PowerPoint file contains notes, the customer must be asked whether they need to be translated as well. (Tip: By default, the settings of the Across Translator Edition provide for translation of slide notes. If they are not to be translated, the respective entry must be added in the settings of the document settings template for PowerPoint (see above). To do so, click Add..., select "Slide notes" under "Type", and select "Hidden" under "Mode".)

Hidden Slides

For hidden slides, it must also be clarified whether they are to be contained in the target document and whether they need to be translated. (Tip: By default, the settings of the Across Translator Edition provide for translation of hidden slides. If they are not to be translated, the respective entry must be added in the settings of the document settings template for PowerPoint. To do so, click Add..., select "Hidden notes" under "Type", and select "Hidden" under "Mode".)

Line Breaks, Spaces, and Hyphens for "Formatting" Purposes

Often, hard line breaks are used in PowerPoint presentations for aesthetic reasons or to improve the visual structure. A line break can pose a problem for the translation, as it splits a contiguous segment into two separate segments. It is usually difficult to translate such segments. Other special characters such as soft line breaks, manual hyphens, or multiple spaces are also often used for "formatting" purposes. This, too, can pose a problem, as the characters will often appear in the wrong place in the translated presentation due to the different text length of the translation. Therefore, it may be advisable to remove such formatting characters prior to the translation and subsequently insert them manually where necessary (see "Tips and Tricks" below).

Master Slides

Master slides serve the central determination of the slide layout of a presentation (e.g. default fonts and colors, background, etc.). Additionally, master slides may contain text, e.g. the text that is displayed in the footer of every slide. (Tip: By default, the settings of the Across Translator Edition provide for translation of master slides. If they are not to be translated, the respective entry must be added in the settings of the document settings template of PowerPoint. To do so, click Add..., select "Master slides" under "Type", and select "Hidden" under "Mode".)

After checking the PowerPoint presentation, the project can be set up. You may want to use a specific document settings template in order to translate the PowerPoint presentation as efficiently as possible (e.g. with the help of the customization options mentioned above).

Translating PowerPoint Presentations with the Across Translator Edition

Normally, a PowerPoint presentation to be translated contains all data relevant to the translation.

Since features such as the slide transitions and animations are automatically transferred from the source document to the translation, there are actually only very few PowerPoint-specific issues that need to be taken into consideration when translating PowerPoint presentations. This includes:

Placeholders for Slide Numbers and Dates

In PowerPoint, placeholders are used for inserting dynamic content, such as slide numbers and dates. In the Across Translator Edition, such placeholders are presented as gray fields in the crossDesk translation editor. These fields do not need to be edited, but must of course be inserted at the correct position in the translation (e.g. by double-clicking the respective field in the source text).

Observe the Text Length

The text in PowerPoint presentations is often displayed in very large fonts. Therefore, the translator should keep an eye on the length of his translation in order to make sure that the translated text will fit into the slides or into the respective text fields. (Tip: In the crossDesk translation editor, the translation toolbar indicates the text length of the translated segment as compared to the original segment, providing useful guidance for the translator.)

Tips and Tricks

Final Review of the Translation in PowerPoint

In line with the translator's obligation to exercise due care, all finished translations should be reviewed once again in the original application. When translating PowerPoint presentations, it is especially important to perform a final review of the translated presentation directly in PowerPoint: Due to the large font sizes often used in presentations and due to the different text lengths of the different languages, it might be necessary to adjust the translated PowerPoint presentation, e.g. by resizing text fields, by downsizing some of the fonts, or by making some of the translations shorter. Furthermore, it may be necessary to manually re-insert any special characters that had been inserted in the PowerPoint presentation for "formatting" purposes and that were removed prior to the translation.

Text Not to be Translated or Passages in Other Languages

If the PowerPoint document to be translated contains text that is not to be translated (e.g. text passages in other languages), the smartest approach is to use the editing state "Keep source" (keyboard shortcut Alt+E) for these paragraphs during translation. Failure to do so could result in "trash" entries in the crossTank translation memory, e.g. due to identical text in the source and target languages.