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Structured authoring


Structured authoring is a way of writing in which one or more authors use:

  • a common, limited set of components (“information building blocks”) set by an information model.
  • standards, rules and guidelines to structure the text.


Structured authoring separates the content from the layout. It structures content through information models and layout through templates and stylesheets. These output any content in different layout styles.


  • Maximize consistency
    • content
    • structure
  • Reuse
    • single sourcing (content ↔ context)
    • multichannel publishing (content ↔ output)
  • Collaboration with other authors


You can apply structured authoring to all kinds of texts. It is not limited to the type of software application you use. You can therefore use structured authoring in:

  • word processing programs such as Microsoft Word
  • desk top publishing software such as Adobe InDesign
  • document processors such as Adobe FrameMaker
  • help authoring tools such as MadCap Flare
  • XML programs such as oXygen XML Author or JustSystems XMetaL
  • wikis such as Confluence or MediaWiki

Best practices @ Flow's

Every technical writer should frame the list below (or stick it to the door of the lavatory) to be reminded daily of how to write good documentation.

technical_writing/structured_authoring/start.txt · Last modified: 2020/08/28 12:29 by rebecca