The smell of automation is in the air, everything from assembling a car to killing a fly is automated. Just press a button and swish! Things are done! Same is the case with desktop publishing. Growing usage of technical communicators, programmed XML tools and writing scripts is clearly paving a path to complete automation or in some cases to a complete depletion of manual desktop publishing.
Well there is still a segment where automation is nothing more than a productivity or efficiency-adder and that is the creativity. Creative resources like printed manuals, sales collateral, website designs, marketing and promotional materials, product packaging etc need a proper layout that is a valuable additive and correctly projects the brand image of the company.
In translations too, some programmed memory tools do have the capability to restore the basic formatting and page structure as of the original document. However, the derived output is not always the final one. It requires a finishing touch (also termed as repagination) which includes removal of dead spaces, unwanted blank pages, uneven page numbering and irregular page margins to set it up right and ready to go.
Coming to the conclusion – Undoubtedly, the industry will move towards the automated or should I say the ‘open-sourced’ era as it is creating a thrust in the overall efficiency, however, there are still some areas ruled by originality, creativity and manual interaction.
What are your thoughts on this – how is this growing trend of automation and open source software impacting the desktop publishing segment? Are translation memory tools productive if translating in different scripts such as Chinese or Korean?