Online help documentation localization is an important component of localization projects. It covers the following items during the process: Evaluation and preparation, format conversion for various documents, reuse on the resources, checking on the translated documents, image editing, compile localized online help documents, fix the defects in the help documents.

Evaluation and preparation
To conduct a comprehensive assessment and preparation on the raw materials of online help documentations from software vendors. The process could help guarantee the process and quality for the follow up localization process. Before translation, the relevant people should have a careful checking and confirmation on the following issues:

Whether the vendor provides all the documents to be translated?

Whether the vendor provides the redundant texts or files which do not need the translation for translation?

Whether the vendor provides all the images to be translated?

Whether the Guidance documents are provided to the translator for reference?

Are all the files valid and editable?

What kind of tools should be used in the process for reusing and translation on the online help documents?

Whether the former translated version for the online help documentations are provided?

Whether the translation memory for the former translations are provided?

Whether the vendor provides a glossary for the current job?

Contents of the work

There are many types for online help documentations of software. But the common types for this are: hlp, chm, html, and xml. Here we will discuss the general engineer contents for online help documentations.

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Pre Process

It needs the localization to help process the online help documentation processing. It includes two parts, one is for format conversion and the other is statistical analyzing.

Definitions: Documentation format conversion refers the proper format conversion. In the process, engineer will use software to convert the source format to the friendly format for translations tools before translation. For example, rtf should be converted for trades.

Besides that, Pre process also includes filling the identification notes in the documents, which indicates for the translator that which parts should not be translated during the translation process. Afterwards, the engineer could be easily and correctly handle the translation and handling the contents.

In addition to providing the pre documentations, the engineer still needs to count the total words counts by the analysis function which affiliate with the translations tools. In this way, the project responsible person could have a correct evaluation on the progress and the schedule for the involved resources.

Post progress

Before formal compiling the localization help documentations, you need to have a post process on the finished translation files, in which it consist of the following steps: documents format conversion, engineer process on the images, and the compiling environments setting up and etc. Here, format conversion refers to change the format from the translated files in to the format that could be easily complied.

The engineering process on the images is mainly for the reediting on the pictures or bitmap or the program which need to be localized. The texts, color and shape are all belong to the scope of the dealing process.

The most key step for compiling localization help documentations is setting up the compile environments, which includes character set encoding, language setup, regional name and definite the identified number.