Technical support for flexible, accurate translation and production according to the language and other conditions

Idea Institute’s business covers a wide variety of target languages and production environments. Production (DTP) of the target language without any issues in the client’s desired application involves various elements, including the properties of the application, the properties of the language, the structure of the characters, and combinations thereof. Our exclusive internal R&D system makes it possible for us to respond immediately to specific situations by ensuring a stable production environment and supporting highly accurate translation and production.

Idea Institute’s Approach to R&D


R&D supports the technical aspect of our main operations focused on translation and multilingual production through solutions necessary to the execution of work. Regardless of the language or software, we investigate and research the requirements and then develop appropriate assistive tools in order to provide the optimal service according to the target language and final provision format.

Past Achievements

Idea Institute’s R&D system was put in place in 1999, and since then it has taken on about 50 tasks each year. Specific examples include the following.


InDesign production support

InDesign does not support a large number of languages. When the target language is unsupported, this sometimes results in unexpected issues. For example, in some languages, indices are not listed in the correct order. We have therefore developed a tool for creating indices in the correct order. We have also developed a tool that automatically inserts text meeting certain conditions from Office applications such as Word or Excel into InDesign to support production.

To support checking of created InDesign data, we have prepared and adopted link path list output for linked illustrations, as well as an index label automatic display tool.

Text overflow detection in FrameMaker

We developed a plugin for FrameMaker that detects whether hidden text is overflowing from text boxes.

Later, when the simple construction of the tool turned out to result in cases that could not be correctly judged, we improved it several times before putting it into practice.

Quality checking tools

We have developed and adopted various tools to meet needs in the field, including spell-checking tools for Excel and PDFs, an automated comparison tool to check the consistency of the translation with the source text, an information extraction tool to check DTP formatting, a link list creator and labelling of links for checking, highlighting of language requiring caution, and a negative word checker for translations.


Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools

We have developed various tools to utilize CAT more efficiently.

These include a batch project creation plugin, along with a tool that converts bilingual data into the translation-memory-compatible format TMX in order to create translation memories for use with CAT tools and a tool that exports bilingual translation data into Word for review.

Machine translation

Although the accuracy of machine translation has improved in recent years, numerous issues persist. Idea has developed several tools to utilize it more efficiently.

These include a plugin linking machine translation with translation assistance tools.

Batch conversion of DITA topic file names

Files provided for translation are topic files exported from the client’s DITA component content management system (CCMS) for the product manual, etc. The name of each file begins with a long ID consisting of a mechanically assigned number (Globally Unique Identifier=GUID), which is not necessarily convenient for the operators who directly handle the files. Thus, we have prepared a tool that batch converts the file names into working file names by referring to the DITA map and restores them after work is complete to make translation and production more efficient.