Our documentation set includes some diagrams, such as entity relationship diagrams and flowcharts, where text is integral and cannot reasonably be handled in callouts. Our documentation is translated into another language, so these diagrams ought to get translated too. (I don't know if they currently are.)

What can we do to make that translation easier from a technical perspective? In particular, we use Visio to create these diagrams. Is there a way that somebody who's not also using Visio could take our source files and replace the text strings? That is, could somebody do a text-replace on the strings in the file even without using the tool to edit graphically? I'm thinking that this might be easier to automate/repeat, plus I don't know what graphics tools the translators have.

In this related question I asked about supporting the needs of differently-verbose languages. In this question I'm asking about mechanics, not content.

1 Answer 1


Search for localization tools

I haven't personally used Visio in any formal capacity but have done translation/localization when developing web apps and other software. Most professional tools have a way to include localization for text strings and it is somewhat surprising that Visio does not natively support this.

After a quick search I managed to find this multi-language extension from bVisual that should allow multiple languages in Visio itself. I have not used this and have no affiliation, this is just one example of a tool designed to do this.

Another option is TransTools for Visio, again I have not used this and can't give a review of how well it works. But it shows that there are options available. I imagine there are others if you look harder as I doubt this is a unique issue.

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