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C4001 - Any precautions when setting up an application for different languages?

by - Joseph Ganci

I have to convert a series of lesson to another language and I have a pretty good idea of the procedures necessary. What I would like to find out if there are any veterans with wise advice or warnings of what to look for when going through this process? 

Call us veterans of foreign peace... 

Some suggestions: 

  • Keep all your text either external to the file or in a text library where it can be easily accessed.  Obviously, the text file approach is better if you want non-Authorware people to be able to update or change text.  But you have better control over your text if you keep it in a library.  Libraries are usually used for sharing icons, of course, but this is another good use of them. 

  • Be aware that many other languages tend to have longer words and be more verbose as a rule than English, so be sure to give yourself lots of extra room in text fields on the screen for your translations.  In other words, don't have your text barely fit in the text fields. Note that by default Authorware will keep text handles snug around new text you create, so you'll have to remember to move the handles to enlarge the text field. 

  • For longer passages, consider using scrolling fields when their use is not distracting. 

  • Try to avoid putting text inside graphics since these of course will be harder to update.

  • Keep all of your audio external to your file so that it can be updated easily. Be careful not to design too much synchronization between audio passages and on-screen displays, transitions, or animations, since you will have to resyncrhonize everything later, a very time-consuming process.

  • Finally, consider using text styles.  That way, if you need to shrink the font size for all your text, you can do it in one fell swoop.  This also allows you to replace the font with one that has the proper accented characters or completely different characters. 

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