Structured authoring enables you to use rules and a well-defined process to enforce consistency throughout your content.
- Appropriate language and level of detail.
A well defined process plan enables you to identify standards for the language and terms used, and the different levels of detail that are required in each type of topic.
The plan should include a content analysis phase. During this phase you identify each type of topic and the content and layout used by that type of topic. If you don't have a style guide use this time to formulate a standardized approach for your authors when they create each content based on each type of topic. Once you have mapped each type of topic you can create the structured authoring rules.
- Content structure, organization, and formatting.
Structured authoring rules in the topic enforce the content, layout, and style tagging. Structured authoring rules in the book enforce the content, including the use of object templates, and layout.
One of the benefits of using structured authoring is that created content is uniform, making it easier to reuse across documents or departments. When you implement structured authoring, authors have a set of rules that must be followed in order for the content to validate. If all of your authors are using the same rules, or rules that are compatible with other departments, you can streamline the process of content creation and reuse. As a result, by enforcing a level of consistency and uniformity across your content, it is easier to use, which is more valuable to your end-users.
The following topics describe Author-it's approach to structured authoring, and the implementation at topic and book levels.