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How to translate a help project into other languages?

We created a help file with HelpSmith that we plan to translate into other languages.

In the help project, we need to translate TOC titles, content of help topics, texts in screenshots, texts in image annotations, keywords, and other texts.

Can you provide more information on the translation capabilities:

  • Is it possible to translate texts in the same help project, or should we translate a copy of the entire help project as said here?
  • Is it possible to export help project's texts for an external translation?
  • Is it possible to translate texts by using an automated translation service?

Thank you!

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Comments

Is it possible to translate texts in the same help project, or should we translate a copy of the entire help project...

Translating a copy of the original help project

Translation of a help project into a different language implies that you create a copy of the original help project.

Thus, you will be able to translate:

  • Topic titles in the Table of Contents (TOC);
  • Keywords;
  • Replace screenshots in the project's media repository, which have text labels in a specific language;
  • Edit texts of image annotations;
  • Other texts in different places.

Copies of a help project for different languages

It is not possible to store all these data in multiple languages in the same help project file. Also, as an advantage of having a copy of the original help project, you can easily pass the help project to a person working on a specific language.

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Is it possible to export help project's texts for an external translation?

External translation of a help project

If you use HelpSmith Ultimate (or higher) edition, you can save your help project in the open XML-based .HSMP format, which stores topics, templates, TOC, project settings, and other data as a set of individual XML files.

Thus, a person working on the project translation to a specific language can translate texts in the .HSMP help project by using:

  • Another copy of HelpSmith;
  • Plain text editor (like Notepad++, etc.);
  • XML editor program like XML Notepad.
  • Translation tools that can translate content in XML files.

On the screenshot below, you can see the XML source code of a sample help topic, which is being edited in Notepad++ text editor.

Editing the XML source of a topic in a plain text editor

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Is it possible to translate texts by using an automated translation service?

Using automated translation tools

We tested some software tools which can translate texts in XML files of the help project.

For example, you can try using the Xml Content Translator program, which is a third party tool that includes an option to automatically translate texts in XML files by using Google Translate.

Translating a topic with XML Content Translator

We have written instructions on using the Xml Content Translator program to translate topics in a HelpSmith help project, which you can find here.

Remark: Please note that quality translation may require editing of the translated texts manually, so we recommend that you first try using an automated tool on a sample help project to ensure that it fully suits your needs.

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