How Structured Authoring Can Improve Your Technical Writing
The idea of structured building 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 being used more and more in technical writing documents, and this is for a number of reasons.
If you’re doing technical writing as part of the manufacturing process for a car, for example, you might have multiple documents related to a certain area, such as engine size.
If the designers of the car were to decide to change the engine specifications, all 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.
Ensure information is up to date
Technical writing, by definition, must be more accurate than most other forms of writing, so ensuring that the information provided is correct is paramount.
Outdated information can not only appear unprofessional from a client’s point of view, but it can also have huge ripple effects when used in technical writing.
Being able to easily reuse content is important when designing an efficient content management system for a business or organization.
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.
As an increasing amount of information is more easily stored electronically, making sure you have the right content management system to handle this will become an increasingly important task.
The technical writing industry is no different, and by embracing the structured ideas of authoring and the XML framework, businesses can competently and effectively manage their content.
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 are adding content to a new document, which you know exists somewhere else.