Restoring characters that disappeared in a translated IDML file

In this guide: Is your translated IDML file is missing certain characters? Learn how to solve the issue here.

You may find that certain special characters have disappeared from your IDML document after it was translated. But don’t worry as they are not lost! They’re just invisible.

The translated text is still contained within the IDML file, but  InDesign is unable to display the text due to an incompatible Font.

Why does this happen?

A Font contains glyphs that represent each letter of the alphabet.

Whenever you open an IDML file, InDesign asks the Font which glyphs it should use to represent each character in the text. This is basically how your text is “styled” then displayed to you.

However,  not all Fonts are developed to represent all the languages in the world (many of which use vastly different alphabets).

Thus, some of your translated text may go missing because  the original Font used does not contain a glyph to represent a specific character in the target language.

💡 For example, in an English to Turkish translation, the original Font used might not contain a glyph to represent a specific Turkish character, such as  ğ (which does not exist in the English language). In this case, InDesign will display a box with an X whenever the character ğ appears in your document.

How to restore missing special characters?

You simply need to change the Font assigned to your text. Make sure to select one that contains all the glyphs needed to represent the target language.

To do this, you can use the  Find / Replace font tool on InDesign. At the top bar, click on Type > Find / Replace font.

Once a compatible Font is selected, all the text in your translated IDML document will display properly.

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