Modding the D*I*Y Planner: Text Changes and Translations

Lately, I've been going back and re-reading many of the site comments in preparation for the Widget Kit specifications. As you probably know (if you've been around here a while), the D*I*Y Planner project has been created in the spirit of true "do-it-yourself-ness," and it occurs to me that many of the requests I see are easily accomplished by almost anybody with access to the right software. In other words, you don't need to be an guru, or a graphic designer, to handle many of the smaller things that people ask for on a regular basis. I've decided to start a small (and infrequent) series on "modding" the D*I*Y Planner templates for the most common purposes. Today, I'm going to cover textual changes, such as those required for producing translations and changing page headers.

A good percentage of the questions I receive personally actually concern if I've thought about translating the D*I*Y Planner into [insert language here]. The short answer is no. However, anyone who knows some English and the target language could probably create a fully translated D*I*Y Planner set in just an afternoon (albeit a long afternoon). I've been in touch with people who have translated some of the forms into French, Spanish, Slovakian, and even Hebrew(!), among other languages. (Most of these people are reluctant to release their translations because they feel unsure in their efforts, or because they've only translated a dozen or so forms, and not the full set.)

Another series of requests concern the possibility of changing the headers so that "Notes" no long appears on the Notes pages, or that [template name] is called [alternative template name]. Again, this is very easy to do.

There are only two things needed: the Blue Highway fonts (which you can find as part of the Widget Kit download; and access to Adobe Acrobat Pro, preferably 7.0, which is part of a Pro version of the Adobe CS2 suite, or can be purchased separately. Many offices actually have copies of this software, although it can be a little expensive for individual use.

First of all, be sure to install the Blue Highway fonts. How to do this will vary according to your operating system -- consult your system help, or a handy IT guru. You may need to reboot before you can use the fonts.

Second, call up one of the D*I*Y Planner PDF packages --for example, the Classic Core package-- in Acrobat Pro. Do a File -> Save As... to save your new working version. Go to the page that you'd like to change, and from the menu, select Tools -> Advanced Editing -> TouchUp Text Tool. Click on the text you'd like to change. Acrobat Pro will load the fonts (this may take a few seconds), and then it will allow you to change or delete the text. Save again, when you're ready.

And that's all there is to it. I've embedded enough information within the files that you should be able to edit almost everything textual. Using the Tools menu, you can also add drawing elements, fields (that you can type in), and more. You can also open the files up in Adobe Illustrator for changes, but that's rather a more advanced topic.

If you do translate the D*I*Y Planner templates, please think about sharing them with others through our Templates Directory. (Feel free to contact me if you'd like some help.)

Next in the series, resizing the templates for other size organisers.

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