tips & tricks
for translators
PageMaker, FrameMaker, & Quark  


PageMaker and Tagged Text (1)

PageMaker and Tagged Text (2)

Importing a PageMaker Graphic

PageMaker – Step-by-step Instructions


Working with FrameMaker Files

FrameMaker Options

Hiding text in FrameMaker

List of S-Tags


What is an XTG file

QSC and QXD file formats


PageMaker - importing Tagged Text (1)




    1. Use Trados StoryCollector (it's free from Trados) for PageMaker to export a tagged text with all the stories, much as you would do for working with Trados

    2. Open a Déjà Vu project for PageMaker Tagged Text Files

    3. Import the txt files and process them as usual

    4. Export the files

    5. Check the last 2 lines of the translated TXTs against their related original TXT file, and fix the problem of the cutoff tags

    6. Reimport the text files into the PM files using Trados Story Collector, set the hyphenation for the target language, fix layout and you are done

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PageMaker - importing Tagged Text (2)

Another suggestion:

    1. Create a new PM file.

    2. Place the other file in this new file. Select all stories.

    3. Create one tagged text containing all stories.

the way back—how to go back to the original formatting, but with a translated text, was never explained.

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Importing a PageMaker Graphic

Alexandr Rosen

    1. Open PageMaker

    2. Right-click on the image

    3. Select Grouping/Ungroup

    4. Accept to convert to a MS-Office drawing object

    5. Ungroup again

It takes a while — import into Déjà Vu.

NOTE: It is not clear what types of images can be handled this way.

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PageMaker - Step-by-Step Instructions

Klas Törnquist

The Déjà Vu PageMaker filter IMO is OK.

You will need PageMaker and Trados StoryCollector.

You may encounter problems with Trados StoryCollector and the way the PageMaker file has been created. Tables created with Table Editor will have to be translated manually in PageMaker. Story Collector may skip text on pages containing certain types of graphics. I have had to manually remove graphics from PM files and then put them back after translation and export.

The process is a bit complex.

    • Start by installing StoryCollector as a PM plug-in

    • Next, save a copy of the PM file.

    • Then, extract text using StoryCollector. This will produce a number of small text files.

    • Next, import text files into Déjà Vu.

    • Translate.

    • Export from Déjà Vu.

    • Import into PM using StoryCollector.

If I were you I would do a test run on a (preferably complex) PM file before accepting a PM translation job.

Suggestions from Tim Wright:

There are one or two precautionary things you can do first when dealing with PageMaker files:

    1. Open the file in PM and perform a diagnostic recompose by holding down Shift+Control then Type menu -> Hyphenation if your computer beeps once no problems where found, if it beeps twice problems where found and fixed. If it beeps three times problems where found that could not be fixed*.

    2. If the file is OK save the document under a new name using the Save as command.

    3. Extract the text using Story Collector and then remember to save the document when you close it. (This is important)

    4. When you have translated the text file produced by Story Collector import the file and perform the diagnostic recompose again then fix the layout.

* If three beeps were heard under step one you may experience problems when exporting and importing the text.

Also check to see if any extra text has been left on the pasteboard (shift + control + 0), use control + 0 to make the page fit the window again.

Another way to check a PM file for possible problems, is to start from the first page then use Shift-Layout->Go to page. PageMaker then displays pages one by one as a presentation and usually stops if there is a problem (offending link, etc.).

Hope this helps.

I've worked on a great number of PM files and have only run into trouble once and this was using the old, old Story Collector, the one Trados currently ships is a vast improvement.

Comment from Claudia Tomaschek:
As the others already mentioned Trados Story Collector is the solution, however problems are possible. I remember one project with a lot of tables that were built with use of single stories where I spend several days just reforming. Besides that Story Collector had simply forgotten about 5,000 words of text, which is just great a couple of hours before the deadline :-(. It also occasionally happens that even though there is no tag error and everything looks fine, you can't import the stories back to PageMaker. This happens especially when you work with a localized version of PageMaker. In that case you've got to copy the translation manually and that can be very time consuming. 
In any case before you decide on rates or the feasibility of the project, first export the stories back to PageMaker (sometimes that isn't possible even if you didn't translate anything) and do check the word count! So far I didn't have a PageMaker project that went as smooth as the usual Frame project.


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Working with FrameMaker Files


    1. Open FrameMaker and save file as MIF (or ask your client to send a MIF file).

    2. Import MIF into Déjà Vu, translate, export.

    3. Open FrameMaker and save file as FM file. You may have to type the extension manually.

    TIP: Sometimes every chapter is a different file. They are "hold" together through a "book" file. You do not have to translate this "book" file.

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FrameMaker Options - DV3 & DVX (from a DV doc)


DV3 Options Window

DVX Filter Options


Best results are achieved when only the options "Ignore text on master page" is activated.


"Ignore Automatic Numbering Formats" (should be disabled by default):

CAUTION: Only activate this option if you know exactly what you are doing! By activating this option all texts that can be accessed via 'Paragraph Designer/Numbering/Format of automatic numbering' will be ignored during translation with Déjà Vu Interactive. This includes for instance table and figure captions (e.g. Table: xxx, Figure xxx). You should activate this option, for instance, if the Automatic Numbering Formats for the target language can be imported from a predefined target language template that already contains the target-language numbering formats. If you activate this option and do not import the translations from a target-language template, then you must manually translate these text portions in FrameMaker during layout control after translation.


"Ignore Variable Definitions" (should be disabled by default):

CAUTION: Only activate this option if you know exactly what you are doing! By activating this option all variables with text strings that can be accessed via 'Special/Variable/Edit Definition' will be ignored during translation with Déjà Vu Interactive. Activate this option, for instance, if target language variables (e.g. predefined display texts) can be imported from a master document which contains the predefined target language variables.


"Ignore Cross-Reference Format Texts" (should be disabled by default):

CAUTION: Only activate this option if you know exactly what you are doing! By activating this option all cross reference formats with text strings that can be accessed via 'Special/Cross Reference/Edit Format/Definition: ' will be ignored during translation with Déjà Vu Interactive. Activate this option, for instance, if target-language specific cross-reference format texts (e.g. see figure <xxx> on page <yyy>) can be imported from a master document which contains the pre-defined cross-reference formats of the target language. Alternatively you can also translate them in the master document and then apply them with File/Import/Formats (only Cross-reference activated) to the remaining files.


"Ignore Text on Master Page" (should be disabled by default):

CAUTION: Only activate this option if you know exactly what you are doing! By activating this option all text contained on the master page of the .mif documents will be ignored during translation with Déjà Vu Interactive. It might be that you have to manually translate some of that text manually during final layout control in FrameMaker. 


"Convert hard spaces to soft spaces" (should be disabled unless you want hard spaces to be converted): It is recommended that you leave this option deactivated.

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Hiding text in FrameMaker

Thomas Leg

Use "Conditional Text" and hide it before importing to suppress

text not to be translated. After translation and export to mif unhide the conditional text again. This has to be done file by file.

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List of S-Tags

Extracted from S-Tagger for FrameMaker Help. Copyright (c) June 2005, TRADOS Inc. (Based on a tip from Lawrence Häcker)

Opening S-Tag
Closing S-Tag 
Can be added





<:bb "xxx">

Generic tag for building blocks (<$xxx> in FrameMaker)




Bold italic




Use different character set for font encoding. (Times New Roman font)




Use different character set for font encoding. (Courier New font)




Use different character set for font encoding. (Arial font)


<:cnmk ?>

Hidden conditional text marker

<:cns "xxx" ?>


Conditional text style

<:crmk ?>

Cross-reference marker

<:cs "xxx">


Character style in index marker or formats in the ancillary file


<:cs "xxx" ?>


Character style



Discretionary hyphen


<:el "xxx" ?>

<:/el "xxx">

Internal SGML element


<:elf "xxx" ?>

<:/elf "xxx">

Internal SGML element with font change



Em space



En space


<:ep "xxx">

SGML element prefix

<:es "xxx">

SGML element suffix

<:fc ?>


Font change



French-style left double quote



French-style right double quote


<:fmk1 ?>

Header/footer 1 marker

<:fmk2 ?>

Header/footer 2 marker

<:fn ?>

Footnote reference marker


German-style left double quote



German-style right double quote



Greater than symbol



Hard (non-breaking) hyphen


<:hmk ?>

Hypertext marker


Hard (non breaking) return



Hard (non breaking) space






<:iaf ?>

Internal anchored frame

<:imk ?>

Index marker placeholder



Left single curly quote



Left double curly quote



Less than symbol


<:mk ?>

Other marker type placeholder


No hyphen



Number space


<:r1> - <:r39>

FrameMaker reserved characters



Right single curly quote



Right double curly quote




Small caps






Sort order





<:ti ?>


Text inset



Thin space


<:v "xxx" ?>



<:xr "xxx" ?>



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What is an XTG file

An XTG file (e.g.: filename.xtg) is a tagged file generated by Quark. This is the file handled by DV that can be reimported into Quark after translation. Text from Quark can be extracted using other filters, e.g.: Trados Story Collector or CopyFlow. See next tip.

Quark - .XTG files

CopyFlow - .TTG and .QXD files

StoryCollector - .QSC files

These files can be imported directly into DVX.
QSC files can be pre-translated in TagEditor and imported as .TTX.


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QSC and QXD file formats

John Wilcock

The .QSC files are just tagged text extracted from Xpress by Trados Story Collector for QuarkXpress. The format is essentially the same as the .QXD format generated by CopyFlow, so there's no need to segment
them with Trados - you can just process them in DV as if they were QXD files.

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