XML authoring, structured authoring, intelligent content authoring. All three refer to the same thing: A different way to create content than with word processing and desktop publishing applications that produce unstructured content.
Organisations are adopting XML authoring in increasing numbers because it's the basis for enhancing the publishing process to improve quality, increase flexibility, and reduce costs.
Why XML Authoring?
Did You Know?
One of the reasons why XML content is often called "intelligent content" is because XML contains extra information embedded within it — usually called "metadata" — that helps other applications automatically manipulate the XML.
Because unstructured authoring — the basis for word processing and desktop publishing software — can no longer meet the publishing needs of organisations that need to produce more information, with higher quality, at a lower cost to more media types.
The problem with traditional publishing software is that authors not only create information but also design its appearance and control the layout of each page — a labor-intensive process that must be repeated for each type of media: Print, Web, and digital. In addition, reusing information means copying and pasting, which creates redundant copies that must be reviewed, translated and updated separately, for as long as the information lives. These inefficiencies lead to problems in the accuracy, convenience, and appearance of information because there's too much work and too much room for error.
XML Authoring Capabilities
To overcome the inefficiencies of unstructured authoring, XML authoring offers several crucial capabilities:
Separation of content and formatting:
Instead of differentiating document elements using formatting (e.g., making a title larger than a subhead), the writer differentiates by identifying its purpose. For example, the writer would mark a title as a <title>, and not as 24 pt. Arial Bold.
Because XML documents contain no formatting information, a publishing system can separately apply formatting in an automated process. For example, the system could format a <title> as 24 pt. Arial Bold in print and as 12 pt. Verdana on a mobile phone. This relieves authors from formatting and design, a labor-intensive task that takes one-third to one-half of their time.
You can automatically publish to multiple types of media including print, Web, and digital. This eliminates the need for a different group to build each additional media type by hand — an expensive, error-prone, and time-consuming process.
XML lets writers break up their documents into reusable components. Instead of copying and pasting content, an author can reuse a component by pointing to it. If the original component changes, any document that uses it can be automatically updated to the latest version of the component's information. This increases the accuracy and consistency of information.
Because XML enables documents to be broken up into components, you can set up automatic assembly of those components to produce personalised publications based on the needs of each audience, increasing customer satisfaction.
XML Authoring from Quark
Quark XML Author for Microsoft® Word lets anyone create structured XML content using Microsoft Word. Designed for quick learning and easy operation, Quark XML Author provides the foundation for an automated publishing system to streamline your publishing process, achieve greater information consistency, and drive improved business results.