Today Tembua is talking with Jennifer Kambas, an expert on foreign language desktop publishing.
For those readers who aren't familiar with the term, please define DTP:
DTP is the abbreviation for desktop publishing and involves using specific software for the layout and production of high quality print and digital materials using only a personal computer. Before DTP came into its own, the only way to produce such materials was through a commercial print shop.
How long have you been involved in DTP and how did you get into this interesting field?
I've been working in DTP for almost 20 years (wow! that went fast!). You could say that I got into the field through necessity -- my husband was a Greek translator and 20 years ago almost all translation was done on a PC (Windows), but the DTP work was almost exclusively done on a Mac. Back then, fonts were not cross-platform compatible, meaning you couldn't take a Windows-generated Greek translation and open it on a Mac. In order to solve a problem that kept cropping up, and to make my husband more marketable, I bought a small Mac laptop and experimented until I found a way to convert files for his clients.
One of his clients asked me if I'd like to learn how for format Asian languages such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean for him. He'd train me and buy the expensive software needed if I gave him discounted rates for a certain period of time. There weren't many in the DTP field who were willing to format these languages so I agreed. The rest, as they say, is history.
How has the technology changed?
That's an interesting question because the basics are the same (layout and production steps), but advances in hardware, software and fonts have eliminated many of the problems that are inherent in foreign-language DTP.
Fonts have seen the greatest technological leap because most fonts are now created with the Open Type format. These fonts may be used on multiple platforms (Windows, Mac, Unix) and in multiple languages with press-quality print performance. In the old days, a document with French, Russian and Greek required three separate fonts to render the characters correctly.
To finish reading the interview: DTP with Jennifer K