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Foreign Language support in Arbortext


Foreign Language support in Arbortext

We're gearing up to translate some documents and I was wondering if anyone has experience with using other languages in Arbortext documents, particularly non-Western languages such as Russian, Chinese, and Arabic. How does it work? What issues do I need to be aware of? Any guidance is appreciated.

Carolyn Herlin


Hi Carolyn,

Are you asking about authoring other languages in Arbortext Editor or generating output (PDFs)? We support 18 languages in our PDF generation (all via Arbortext Publishing Engine 5.3 patch M040 using their direct-to-PDF method), but don’t do any authoring in those languages. Translations are all done using Idiom/Worldserver, now owned by SDL. So, maybe you can expand on the type of information you’re looking for.

Dave Hintz

We're authoring in Arbortext in English, and then we're going to send the XML files out for translation (not sure exactly how that's going to work - whether the translators will use Arbortext or some other application to do the translation). But then we'll need to open the translated XML files back up in Arbortext so that we can publish from there. We publish using a custom built application that generates a SCORM-compliant online course. So I guess I'm really wondering about the ability to display foreign characters within the Arbortext editing window. Do you have to get some kind of language packs in order to display non-Western character sets within Arbortext? I saw Hebrew and Arabic characters in the symbols dialog box, but not things like Russian or Chinese.


Since we don’t author foreign languages, I’m not sure I’ll be much help. For PDF generation with PE, we just ensure that the fonts we specify are installed on the server. We only specify fonts for CJK compositions. Our PDF generation is FOSI-based, so we have separate FOSIs for each language calling out the font families required. A long time ago, back when we were still using SGML, we used Arbortext print composer to generate PostScript and then distill to PDF. Back then, we did have language packs and had to reboot in the proper locale for everything to work correctly. But, we haven’t done that for about 10 years. We eventually found that the only reliable method of generating PDFs with Arbortext were with PE 5.3 patch M040 (or later) and using direct-to-PDF.

I think if you’re using XML and UTF-8 with the fonts you need installed on your system, you shouldn’t have any problems.



I know that for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean you would need to install
the east Asian language pack in your operating system. I'm assuming
that would be the case for all non-western character sets.
If you are using version 5.3 or earlier, a good place to start is the
"Language support overview" topic in Editor Help. You can get there by
entering "help 10014" on the Editor command line. For version 5.4, open
up Arbortext Help Center and enter "language" on the index tab. You
should see a whole list of related stuff in the index list.

Brian Jensen

BlueLid Technologies



Arbortext is working well with Russian due to it uses utf-8 encoding. You
need to add Russian language in Control Panel->Regional and Language Options
and copy Russian fonts from Windows CD by request. Of course, it is
necessary to add Russian keyboard.

The only thing which doesn't work with Russian - Spell Checking.


Alexander Neder,

PTS, Moscow, Russia.