ClickHelp Software Documentation Glossary: Definitions of Main Terms, Concepts

What is Authoring?

Authoring – the process of writing an electronic document or software program, mostly a hypertext or multimedia application. It happens by using authoring system which is the program that has elements for the development of interactive multimedia software titles. Authoring system is one of the main tools of the technique of structured writing.

Authoring is rather similar to the structured writing but it covers a narrower field. It is possible to say that the authoring uses software that affords to create multimedia applications for working with multimedia objects.

Authoring system is highly used in the development of educational software. The main advantage of it as the software can be created by a user who doesn’t have skills in programming (for example, by designer or technologist). All the programming features are built in the system but they are hidden behind the interface.

Two main components of authoring provided by authoring system:

  • Content organization – structures and make the sequence of text and multimedia components;
  • Control of content delivery – organizes and provides the ability for the creator of the content to set and control the pace of the content’s delivering; also allows to control other user’s access to the content;

While using authoring software, an author uses a special authoring language that is a programming language implemented in the system.

Most famous authoring languages:

  • DocBook;
  • DITA;
  • PILOT;
  • TUTOR.

Authoring languages provide different functionality for different users. For example, it may give only programming functionality for the software developers and only representation functionality for other subject experts without necessity to dive into the code.

One more piece of authoring software is authoring tools. They enable the direct creation of the content and vary in their complexity.

The most popular and significant authoring tools:

  • Articulate Rise 360 – helps to produce simple learning courses;
  • Gomo – provides designing with not very high customization;
  • Evolve – mostly used for providing possibility of cooperation between different working teams.
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