As a sworn-in translator, I get to translate quite a lot of documents that are only available in paper format, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, certificates etc. I am not particularly fond of these kind of projects, mainly because the translation has to look like the original, which means I have to do a lot of formatting. For most of these documents, OCR is not an option, either, so I basically end up typing everything into a word processing program, which means that I have to constantly switch between looking at the original document and the computer screen.
When I first started out, I used one of those foldable plastic desktop music stands usually used by children playing the recorder (at least here in Germany). It was better than having the document lie flat on the desktop, but still not perfect, since the only place I could set it up on my desk still required me to turn my head back and forth and up and down, plus I tended to get hunched over the longer I worked.
However, I finally found a solution that brought the head movement to a minimum, improved my posture, doesn’t use up precious space on my desk and didn’t cost an arm and a leg:
|The Kensington(R) FlexClip(TM) gooseneck copyholder|
The copy holder simply clips onto a flat PC or notebook monitor, or you can use the included plastic base that gets glued to the top of the monitor to attach the holder. Just clamp the document into the other end, adjust the “gooseneck” to the height and angle you need, and voilá – you have a good view of the document and good posture at the same time. You can use it on the left or the right, and it is so small that you can easily take it with you in your notebook bag when working on the go.
I don’t know how many papers it can hold at a time – the maximum number I had so far was 10 sheets- , but for my purposes it is perfect.
Now if I could only find a similarly simple solution to the formatting problem…