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Knowledge Base / FAQs / Jobs

Why do some characters render as 'missing' in my translated document?

Created on 23rd March 2015 at 12:39 by Jamie O'Connell

Most fonts do not contain all of the characters/glyphs from all alphabets in the world.

For example, if your document is using a latin-only font, then Japanese characters cannot be rendered because they do not exist within that font. For this reason, any document that is going to be translated needs to contain fonts and styles to cover all of the target languages.

An example of this would be the following:

  • The source language in the document is US English.
  • One of the target languages is Japanese.
  • Therefore, the document needs to contain the styles that will be used for the Japanese characters (i.e. including the Japanese font choice, if required).

Characters cannot be rendered

  1. Here we have translated our source text ("Wind Power") into Japanese, and clicked the 'Apply' button.
  2. However, the Japanese characters cannot be rendered in the current font.

The translation for 'Wind Power' was done using Google Translate, so may not be 100% accurate.

Open the 'Text Formats' panel

  1. Click the 'Text Formats' panel to open it.
  2. Here we can see that our designer has created Japanese character and paragraph styles for us to use.

Access does not need to be given to all of the styles in a document. In this example, we have used our Content Rules to only grant access to those styles contained within the 'translation' style folder.

Choose appropriate style and click 'Apply'

  1. Choose the appropriate style from the list.
  2. Click the 'Apply' button to render the text in the new style.
  3. The glyphs are now rendered correctly (i.e. no 'missing character' symbols are shown).

Choosing a paragraph style will apply that style to all of the text in the paragraph. If this is not the desired outcome, you can use a character style instead.

Using a Character Style instead of a Paragraph Style

Using Character Styles, it is possible to only apply the styling to a portion of the text, not the entire paragraph.

To do this:

  1. Select the text that should be styled and then select the character style from the list. Blue brackets will appear around the styled text to indicate that the paragraph style has been overridden.
  2. Notice that the main paragraph style will still apply to the rest of the text in the paragraph.
  3. The character style will only be rendered for the selected section of the text segment (in this case, the Japanese character).

It is possible to use GREP styles to automatically override the styling in a paragraph style based on regular-expression pattern matching.
For example, you could set up a GREP style to automatically apply a Japanese character style to any Japanese characters that are entered.
GREP styles are an InDesign function and how to set them up is, therefore, outside the scope of the one2editâ„¢ Knowledge Base.

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