Translate an InDesign document with an exchange file

In this guide: There are two ways to translate your InDesign documents on Redokun - online or offline. Follow these steps to translate an InDesign document offline using a standard exchange file.

Translating an InDesign file is usually a difficult and time-intensive task.

It’s different from translating other types of documents mainly because of the graphical components, which require special attention.

Follow these instructions and tips to structure an efficient translation workflow for your InDesign documents.

A) Install Redokun's InDesign Extension

  1. Make sure you installed Redokun's InDesign Extension.
  2. Close InDesign and reopen it.

This extension automatically sets up InDesign so that every time you save the file, the document previews will be generated or updated. For the first few times after you've installed it, you should save the InDesign document you want to translate under a new name.

B) Upload the document in IDML file format

🗣  Optional: Our InDesign experts wrote a free ebook to quickly show you how to optimize your InDesign documents for translation. These tips will help you create a more efficient workflow and avoid common mistakes. Download it here.

  1. Convert your InDesign file to an IDML document.
  • Do you need to translate several InDesign document?

    If you need to upload several InDesign documents, visit this user guide to learn how to batch convert INDD files to IDML format.

  1. Go to the Document List.
  2. Click on  Upload Document.
  3. Click on  Choose Files.
  4. Select the IDML file you just created and click on Upload.
  5. Choose the source language of the file, and click on Upload. At this point, Redokun will extract the text from your document and prepare it for translation.

C) Add target languages

  1. Once your document is uploaded, choose the target language / languages for the translation project. Then, click on Select.
  • What to do if you are not asked to select the target language / languages?

    If you are not asked to add the target languages, go to the Document Detail page, and click on  Add language.

  • What to do if you don't see the target language you are looking for?
    • Check the Settings to make sure the target language is selected for your account.
    • If you don't see the target language in the Settings, try to activate the country-specific languages by going to the Advanced settings and flagging Enable country-specific languages.
    • If you still cannot find the target language, write us at
  1. Select me as the translator for each target language you have selected.

⚠️ You can also invite your team to start translating online with the help of computer-assisted translation and machine translation tools. Learn how here.

D) Pre-translate (optional step)

Before your translators start working on a document, you may run the Pre-translate feature that gives you the choice to:

  • automatically use past translations for repetitive or similar text found in your document
  • fill the gaps with machine translation

Both features enable your team to translate faster because they would only need to review the text.

E) Export, translate, and import the text

⚠️ If your translator prefers to work offline or use a different tool, you can export the phrases in an exchange file, which be a XLIFF (suggested format) or XLSX file. XLIFF is an open source standard that can be used to communicate with other professional tools.

Export the phrases from Redokun in an exchange file

  1. For each target language, export the text in an exchange file by clicking on the down arrow.

Translate the exchange file

  1. Send the exchange file to your translator. They will be able to edit the exported XLIFF file using their preferred CAT tool.

⚠️ Redokun uses  tags and markers to indicate style changes or special characters and preserve them in the translation. If the source text contains tags, the translator should place the same tags in the corresponding translation. If you are translating an exchange file in the XLSX file format, tags and markers will be indicated with a '#' symbol.

Import the translations from the exchange file back to Redokun

  1. Once the translation of the exchange file is complete, click on the up arrow to import the exchange file back to Redokun.
  2. A guided upload wizard will appear, allowing you to see which phrases are being imported.

F) Download the translated document

Once the translation is successfully imported, you can download the translated document from Redokun.

  1. Ensure that the translation in the target language you want to download is confirmed. The icon below Confirm / Unlock should be a lock symbol.
  2. Click on the Download icon. Redokun might ask you to confirm the download and show you how many words will be deducted from your word-count balance.
  3. Open the translated IDML file in InDesign and save it as an INDD file.

The translated file downloaded from Redokun will have the same format, the same layout, and the same look as your original file.

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