How Structured Authoring Can Improve Your Technical Writing

The idea of ​​structured authoring can be confusing at first, but once implemented effectively and in its most accessible form, it can save you a great deal of time and resources.

Structured authoring is used more and more in technical writing documents, and this is due to several reasons.

Updated specifications

If you’re doing technical writing as part of a car manufacturing process, for example, you may have multiple documents related to a certain area, such as engine size.

If the car designers decided to change the engine specifications, all the other documentation, which can be hundreds of documents, would have to be manually updated to be correct.

By using an XML framework, it can be configured so that there is one source of information and by simply modifying this section, all other documents are automatically updated, saving you what could be a lot of painstaking work.

Ensuring information is up to date

Technical writing, by definition, needs to be more accurate than most other forms of writing, so ensuring that the information provided is correct is of paramount importance.

Outdated information can not only look unprofessional from a client’s point of view, it can also have big ripple effects when used in technical writing.

reusable content

Being able to easily reuse content is important when designing an efficient content management system for a business or organization.

While other forms of content may also use sections like disclaimers, legal notices, and terms of use, when it comes to technical writing, there’s a lot more information to be repeated from previous content, which you can use.

By allowing each of these sections to be modified from a single source of information, you can reuse this information simply by entering this field in your new technical writing document.

content management

As more and more information is more easily stored electronically, ensuring you have the right content management system in place to handle this will become an increasingly important task.

The technical writing industry is no different, and by embracing the structured ideas of XML authoring and framework, companies can manage their content competently and efficiently.

The use of meta tags and other identifying information allows for easy storage and use, ensuring that the author can easily search for certain documents or sections. This becomes incredibly useful when you’re adding content to a new document, which you know exists somewhere else.

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