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XTM Cloud 13.4

Preparing Adobe InDesign files for translation in XTM Cloud


Adobe InDesign IDML files can be processed in XTM Cloud out of the box.

However, you need an additional Adobe InDesign server to:

  • process Adobe InDesign INDD or INDB files.

  • enable Visual mode in XTM Workbench for all Adobe InDesign file extensions (IDML, INDD, INDB).

The Adobe InDesign server is not part of the standard XTM Cloud subscription. Find out more about Adobe InDesign server. For pricing details:

Contact Sales

XTM Sales Team

To prepare Adobe InDesign INDD or INDB files correctly for translation in XTM Cloud, follow these rules:

  1. Choose IDML files rather than INDD files to avoid issues related to versioning.

  2. Ensure that any Adobe InDesign file you choose has the correct file structure:

    • Text:

      • Provide enough room in text boxes and buttons, because translation can be significantly longer than the source text. These Adobe InDesign elements are set as fixed and cannot be changed by XTM Cloud during target file generation. If they are too small, the translated text overflows and an additional DTP step is required. As best practice, we recommend that you account for at least 30% text expansion when creating source content.

      • If you want the content on the Adobe InDesign hidden and/or locked layer to be excluded from the translation project scope in XTM Workbench, by default, contact XTM Support.

        To request support

        Visit our Support Portal.

      • Ensure that hidden characters are displayed.

      • Use hard return correctly (to create a new paragraph, not to wrap text).

      • Avoid using tabulation (the Tab key): use indentation instead.

      • Use Paragraph styles to format text.

      • Ensure that the language attribute is applied correctly.

      • Pay attention to hyphenation.

    • Images:

      • Images can be either embedded in an INDD or IDML file or placed in an Adobe InDesign package and linked to INDD or lDML files.

      • Avoid including text for translation in images. Text in raster images (such as .png/.jpg/.jpeg) cannot be sent for translation.

      • If images need to be localized, include them in the source file folder. The translated image will be used when generating the preview in XTM Workbench, as well as when generating the target file.

      • If an image does not need to be localized, it should still be uploaded as a preview file so that it can be used in Visual Mode and included in the target file when generated.

    • Fonts:

      • You can use automatic font mapping. XTM Cloud then automatically changes the relevant font to a different one (as specified for a given language) in the target file. To set custom font mapping rules for Adobe InDesign files, contact XTM Support.

        To request support

        Visit our Support Portal.

      • When non-standard fonts are used in the project, add them to the project in an Adobe InDesign package.

      • If you do not see the correct fonts in the interactive PDF file or in Visual mode, it most likely means that they need to be installed first. Contact XTM Support for help.

        To request support

        Visit our Support Portal.

  3. Use InDesign packages to enable translating in context.


    The folder paths in the Adobe InDesign packages must match the INDD document links exactly. To achieve this, we recommend that you follow this procedure:

    1. Create an Adobe InDesign package – in Adobe InDesign, select File > Package.

      The resulting folder contains all images and fonts. To ensure your file package does not exceed the XTM Cloud upload limits, compress (zip) the downloaded folder.

    2. Upload the relevant .zip folder to XTM Cloud:

      • during project creation – in the project creation form, in the Translation section, select the Additional files checkbox. Then, upload the relevant .zip folder to Preview files and create your project.

      • for an existing project – open the relevant project in Project Editor. In the circle-info-solid-black.svg General info tab screen, scroll down to the Preview files section. Then, select the Choose Files button, next to the Select files to upload parameter. Now, find and upload the relevant .zip folder. Finally, select the Save button at the bottom of the screen.


        It is possible to upload a .zip file with a directory structure containing images for each target language.

        Example 45. Preview files .zip directory structure:
        • path_to_image/graphic1.png

        • path_to_image/graphic2.png

        • pl-PL/path_to_image/graphic1.png

        • fr-FR/path_to_image/graphic1.png


    Linguists can use Visual mode to translate in context and benefit from an interactive PDF WYSIWYG display. The source file formatting is fully maintained and reflected in the target files. XTM Workbench displays formatting tags in the form of inline tags. Linguists can move the inline tags as required in their target language.

  4. Keep in mind the file upload limits:

    • on XTM Cloud700 MBs.

    • on most private servers – 700 MBs.