Perform layout checks

Learn how to utilize Smartcats formatting checks before translating a file, involving a source layout check and a layout check/DTP for the final document.

Sometimes when you upload a file to Smartcat, you may want to check it for proper formatting before proceeding to translation. Did you process the file with OCR and aren't sure about the results? Or maybe you want to make sure that the resulting file's formatting isn't all over the place? Whatever the reason is, adding the layout check as an additional step in the project will let you change the document layout after it's been uploaded to Smartcat.

In fact, there are two options: the source layout check to be used before actually starting your work in the Editor, and the layout check/DTP for the resulting document.

This workflow step is only available for company profiles. If you are a freelancer and need to check the layout of a document processed with OCR, here’s what you can do:

  1. Upload the file and process it with OCR.

  2. Download the resulting file, it will be in the .docx format. If there was no translation, it will just be the source text.

  3. Correct it if needed and upload it back to Smartcat.

Source layout check

As mentioned above, the source layout check often goes with OCR. Text extraction doesn't always work perfectly, so checking the document first can be a good idea, specifically for graphic file formats with poor image quality. You can add the layout check when creating a project, just like any other workflow step, although it belongs to its own "Pre-processing" category.

The source layout check can be added after a project has been created, too, as long as the project still has the Created status. The source layout check can only be done before the work on other workflow stages, like translation, begins.

Both an assignee and a manager can export the source document, check and correct it, and upload it back.

Please note that Smartcat will not apply any of the linguistic assets (translation memories or AI translation) to the files selected for the layout check until the process is completed. Any statistics generated at that point will not include the word count from the files still at this stage.

To conduct a source layout check, click Open and select the Source layout check option from the context menu.

The Layout check page will appear.

Here you can download the source document, then upload it back after checking and correcting it if needed. Once the layout check is finished, you will be able to apply linguistic resources to it and include it in the statistics.

If you have used OCR, you can download the extracted.docx file, or use it as the resulting file for the layout check right away.

Once you are sure that the file is good to go, click Complete task to finish the source layout check.

If you find that there's something left to be done, you can restart the process as long as the work on the next stage hasn't started yet.

Layout check/DTP

This option is here to make sure that the final document looks just as good as the original. This is specifically relevant for optically recognized texts but can apply to other files as well. Sometimes the translated text is just longer or shorter than the source document, which can be a hurdle when working with complex files with many elements.

Unlike the source layout check, the layout check/DTP can be added at any point in the project settings.

To start the layout check/DTP, select the option in the context menu.

Please note that it can only be done once all the previous tasks have been finished.

For the layout check/DTP, both the source and the resulting files are available for check and comparison.

Download the translation and the source file for further adjustment, upload the result of your work or click Deliver unchanged if everything is ok.

As with the source layout check, you can restart the process even after clicking Complete task.

How to assign the layout check

The layout check assignments are similar to regular assignments but do have a few differences. As with the regular assignments, you can select a team member for the job on the Task assignment page.

Your in-house team members will show up in the list of your team either way, but the freelancers from the Marketplace should have this particular service indicated in their profiles in order to be assigned. This can be done in the linguists' private profiles at your end (more on that here).

To add this service, Click Add Service and select Other

Choose Desktop publishing and set the rate, then click Save

Back to assignments, and now the Marketplace freelancer shows up on the list as well.

Once you've assigned a freelancer, you can set the estimate for their work in pages. This step can be skipped for the in-house members.

And that's it for the assignments. Needless to say, you can also use our Marketplace to look for freelancers with a Desktop publishing service.

That’s how you can easily include the layout check in your workflow. It’s worth trying out if you are working with graphic file formats or documents with complex structure and elements.