Molly O C Rowan & Jayme Lundeen
Styles are a simple way to make your document look really good with less work. CAT tools easily import and export style settings, so when it’s time to translate, less effort is required of translators, DTP, and QA to ensure that your localized document looks how you want – no matter the target language.
Almost all word processing and document layout programs provide basic style tools to typeset your document. Character, paragraph, list, and table styles are set up so that element spacing is consistent and aesthetically satisfying.
Using set styles simplifies formatting headers, emphasized text, etc., to contrast with the body text in color, size, or weight rather than formatting each individually. Not only does this make it easy to adjust all of the headers in your document at one time, but it ensures a uniform appearance for your document, minimizing margin of error for style inconsistency.
Using styles for headers, particularly in Microsoft Word, also means that a table of contents can be easily generated for your document. In translation, autogenerated ToCs are very important: they eliminate the opportunity for discrepancy between chapter or section titles in the ToC versus the document body and guarantee that page numbers are correctly updated as target language text expansion and contraction necessitates.