Files created in AutoCAD are mostly plans and diagrams for various applications such as architecture, engineering, mechanics and other projects that require technical and precise specifications in order to design or build an object or installation. They are files with measures and instructions, and not meant for literary or artistic texts.
In general, they are files with more layout than text, which may lead one to suppose that its translation would be a quick and easy task. But normally this is not the case, since, depending on the project, you have to resort to different options. If it’s a question of reduced content files, of course it can be translated directly into the original document, if we are lucky enough to have linguists who have this program and know how to handle it. Otherwise, a process that is not so complex, but can take a while, should be started on as soon as possible.
Fortunately, there are programs like TranslateCAD that extract the text from these files and save it in a simple format like “txt” that allow for it to be worked on with computer-aided translation tools (the so-called CAT Tools), which have translation memories (TM) and thus maximize working times and reduce costs and the probability of errors.
The process of extracting text is one of the more time consuming steps, depending on the complexity of the file. Once translated, the files must be converted to the original AutoCAD format (with extension .dwg or .dxf), a process that often takes quite a bit of time.
CADs also have a feature they share with InDesign files, and they can be linked to other files, whether that’s with graphics, Excel spreadsheets or even other AutoCAD files. This is why a thorough analysis of each file should be carried out in order to be quoted and to calculate working times; this is to verify which text belongs to the central file and which text belong to the links.
It can sometimes be difficult, but with an experienced team and with the proper knowledge of each step, an AutoCAD translation can be completed in a timely manner and you’ll still have time left over to work on your other projects.