Are formatting surcharges still viable?

A very interesting blog on a subject I have given very little consideration to. I haven’t converted a PDF in years.



A query from a colleague yesterday set me off on this train of thought: she’d proposed a PowerPoint surcharge to a long-standing agency client and been told that surely surcharges weren’t relevant any more, now that most CAT tools process files in most common formats. Hmmm, I wonder? My colleague actually uses Wordfast Classic, and PowerPoint files certainly aren’t straightforward given that Wordfast uses a Word interface. Text is extracted from the PowerPoint file as you work, and then re-imported, but there can be issues with text formatting, text boxes being missed and the layout not being as it was in the original. There used to be a neat add-in called Werecat that extracted all the text in advance, then re-imported it, but even then the formatting wasn’t always correct. Updating your TM after you’d checked the target file was also problematical, leading to twice as much work. In Trados…

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