A test version of StoryTweaker can be downloaded here:
An easy way to get some good understanding of how StoryTweaker ‘thinks’ is to follow along as someone puts the program through its paces.
StoryTweaker can be used in a number of different scenarios. For example, one scenario is about text corrections to documents. A different scenario is about translating a document to a different language.
In this tutorial, we’ll be looking at a scenario where StoryTweaker is used to translate a small product flyer from English to German and French.
In case you’re more interested in using StoryTweaker for text edits, you want to check out this post instead:
In this story you’ll encounter the following actors and entities:
– Smallcorp, Inc. – a small company building widgets. They want to expand their market from the USA into Europe.
– Dennis, who is a graphics designer working for Smallcorp, and who used InDesign CS3 on Macintosh to create flyers for the widgets.
– Dennis’ cousin Bob, who speaks English and German, who agreed to translate the flyers. Bob has a PC with Windows XP, and he does not have InDesign or Adobe® InCopy® installed.
– Dennis’ aunt Francine, who speaks English and thinks she knows a bit of French, who also agreed to translate the flyers. Francine has a Mac; she also does not have InDesign or InCopy.
Ingredients for this recipe:
Adobe® InDesign® CS3 or higher (Mac or Windows)
Lightning Brain StoryTweaker
A document in English that needs to be translated to different languages
A few willing translators with basic computer skills
The first step is to ‘freeze’ the flyer once Dennis is happy with the English version.
StoryTweaker will need to ‘match up’ the translated texts with the layout, and to make sure that works out well, it needs to make sure there is a ‘base’ version of the flyer whose layout won’t be modified while Bob and Francine are working on the translations.
Dennis saves his final version of the flyer to disk, and then closes the document.
Dennis launches StoryTweaker and proceeds to create a new tweak set.
A tweak set is a folder that groups together a number of related files. StoryTweaker will manage the contents of the tweak set folder for you – you won’t normally open it, or manipulate the folder contents directly. Instead you’ll use StoryTweaker to access the tweak set folder contents.
One of the functions of the tweak set is to store away a copy of the flyer – a snapshot, safe from any further accidental changes.
A second function of the tweak set is to keep track of the flyer text and its translations – while creating the tweak set, StoryTweaker will extract the original text out of the flyer and stash it away inside the tweak set.
After launching StoryTweaker Dennis selects the the File – Create Tweak Set from Document… menu item.
StoryTweaker first asks Dennis to pick the document that needs to be ‘frozen’ into the Tweak Set. Dennis selects the SmallCorp.indd file.
During the creation of the tweak set, StoryTweaker interacts with InDesign to extract the text of the flyer and stores the text in a separate file somewhere inside the tweak set.
After munching on the flyer a bit, StoryTweaker asks Dennis where he wants to put the tweak set. The Desktop is as good a place as any…
After Dennis clicks Select, a new folder called SmallCorp appears on his Mac’s Desktop. There is no need to open up this folder from the Finder – the safest approach is to avoid direct manipulation of its contents all together, and only manipulate the tweak set folder contents by means of StoryTweaker.
Keep in mind: the tweak set folder SmallCorp contains a frozen copy of SmallCorp.indd – so Dennis is now free to do whatever he wants with SmallCorp.indd. It won’t affect the tweak set, even if he were to delete the file SmallCorp.indd from his desktop.
StoryTweaker has automatically opened the new tweak set. The tweak set has no assignments yet – that’s the next step in the process.
Now, Dennis clicks the ‘+’ button to create an assignment for cousin Bob. He then changes the generic assignment name New Assignment 000 and replaces it with Bob.
The he hits the <Tab> key and enters the language of the assignment – German in this case.
He repeats the same scenario to create an assignment for Francine:
At this point in time, the assignments are still tucked away inside the tweak set – the next step is to export the assignments and send them to Bob and Francine.
Dennis selects both assignments, and clicks the Export Assignment… button.
He then exports the assignments to his Desktop.
The assignments have now left the confinement of the tweak set, and are ready to start their own independent life-cycle.
That is reflected in the tweak set window in StoryTweaker: the assignment names have a bold italic style to show the assignments are ‘let loose’.
Dennis now compresses the two assignment folders that sit on his desktop and e-mails them to Bob and Francine.
We now move to Francine’s flat – she just received an e-mail from Dennis with a StoryTweaker assignment. She opens the e-mail, saves and decompresses the attached .zip file to her desktop.
She opens the assignment folder. Inside she finds a pair of .zip files. These files contain the application she’ll use to do the translations.
Because Francine is on a Mac, she double-clicks the .zip file with the Mac variant – the Windows variant is for Windows users. The Mac version decompresses into a subfolder of the assignment folder.
Francine now double-clicks the AssignmentTweaker application right where it appeared after the .zip decompression – no need to move the icon around. The AssignmentTweaker opens, and she gets a look at the flyer that needs to be translated.
The first thing she wants to do is translate the bottom area of the page. As Francine moves her mouse over the flyer preview, blue rectangles appear and disappear to show where the various text areas are. She double-clicks the bottom area.
The tweaking window appears.
The left text area ‘Original Text’, is ‘read-only’ and shows what the text in document looks like.
The right text area ‘Tweaked Text’ is meant for text entry.
She translates the first paragraph and clicks apply.
A few noteworthy things – the English hand-painted, which has a different text style applied to it in the original text, has become peint à la main, and Francine would like to transfer the same styling to just the words peint and main but leave the à la in-between unstyled.
To do that, she will copy the style from inside the Tweaked Text field – she simply clicks somewhere on the words hand-painted (there is no visual feedback) and then immediately clicks the eyedropper icon. This copies the style of that text. She can see it worked because under the eyedropper it now says Copied Style: 3.
This is correct – the words hand-painted have style number 3. Francine does not really care too much what ‘3’ exactly means – that’s Dennis’ choice. All she wants is to transfer the style that Dennis concocted onto her translated words.
She now selects the word peint.
Then she clicks the paint brush button.
This causes a different purple tag to appear under peint – the style has been transferred.
She then performs the same select-paint operation on the word Versailles:
That completes this Story, so she clicks the Mark as complete checkbox. She didn’t click apply so AssignmentTweaker asks her to make sure.
Then she closes the Tweaking Window. In the preview she now sees a green border around the text area she just translated – this green border reflects the fact that she marked the text as complete.
Now she needs to translate the remainder. However, she has a bit of trouble translating First Lady – is this a brand name (which should be left untranslated) or is this a reference to the American president’s wife that she might attempt to translate into some similar concept rooted in French culture – La femme du prèsident or maybe La reine or La princesse?
Better ask Dennis – she clicks the Note button at the bottom to add a note. A generic note appears. Francine first moves the note close to the area where the issue is.
Then she double-clicks the note and enters a note to Dennis.
She then continues translating the text as good as she can, marking the text as complete once she’s done.
Finally, she closes the window, and saves the assignment.
That’s it – Francine compresses the Assignment folder as a .zip file, and sends it back to Dennis.
Now we come back to Dennis – he’s received Francine’s assignment. He launches StoryTweaker and then opens the tweak set that is still sitting on his desktop.
Once the tweak set is open, he selects the line representing Francine’s assignment.
Then Dennis clicks the Import Assignment… button:
In the folder selection dialog, he will select the topmost folder for the assignment. Here he has to be careful not to accidentally select a folder inside the assignment folder.
Dennis clicks Select, and the assignment is imported back into the tweak set. Francine’s assignment folder can now be deleted if so desired – its contents have been transferred back into the tweak set.
Later on, Dennis can also import Bob’s work – right now Bob’s assignment is still ‘out in the wild’.
Now, to get hold of a French version of the flyer, Dennis will need to pull a translated version of the InDesign document out of the tweak set.
That’s fairly easy to do – Dennis selects Francine’s assignment in the Assignments window, and selects Generate Document from Assignment selection…
StoryTweaker now interacts with InDesign to build a translated version of the flyer.
Dennis opens the new SmallCorpFRENCH.indd document – Francine’s note has become a text frame on a separate layer – Dennis can easily hide or show all notes in the translated document by hiding or showing the notes layer.
Let’s conclude with a rough diagram of the steps in this story:
That concludes out little story!