Layout check

Sometimes when you upload a file to Smartcat, you may wish that you could have someone check whether the document formatting is alright before starting work on the translation. Perhaps you’ve used OCR and are not sure about the results, or maybe you want to make sure that the resulting file hasn't ruined the formatting of the original.

Enter the layout check. This option exists to let you change the document layout after it's been uploaded to Smartcat. In fact, it's two options: the source layout check to use before starting the work in the Editor and the layout check/DTP for the resulting document. 

Since the layout check has been upgraded to a workflow step, it became inaccessible for freelancers. If you are a freelancer and need to check the layout of a document recognized 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 is often paired with OCR. Text extraction doesn't always work perfectly, so checking the document first is a good idea, especially for graphic file formats with poor image quality. You can add the layout check in the project creation step just like any other workflow step, though it rests in its own "Pre-processing" category.


The source layout check can be added after creating a project in the project settings too, as long as the project still has the Created status. The source layout check has to be taken care of before the work starts on the other workflow stages like Translation.

An assignee can export the source document, check and correct it, then upload it back. The manager can do the same.

Please note that the files for which you chose to correct the layout will not be processed using any of the linguistic assets (translation memories or machine translation) until the layout check for them 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. When the layout check is finished, you will be able to use linguistic resources on 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. In cases when you find that something still has 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 especially relevant for recognized texts, but can apply to other formats as well - sometimes the translated text is just longer or shorter than in the original, and that has to be accounted for in complex files with many elements.


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

To start the layout check/DTP, pick the option in the context menu. Please note that it can only begin once all the previous tasks have been finished.mceclip2.png

For the layout check/DTP both the source file and the resulting file with the translation are available for checking and comparing.


Download the translation and the source file here, upload the result of your work or click Deliver unchanged if everything is already alright.


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

How to assign on a layout check

Assignments on layout check are similar to regular assignments but do have a few differences. As with the regular assignments, you can pick 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 members either way, but the freelancers from the Marketplace need to have a service in their profiles. You can add it in the private profile (more on that here). It’s a specific service that isn’t connected to any language or language pair.

To add this service, Click Add Service


Pick 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 assign someone, 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. Compliment your translation with accurate formatting!

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