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Developing an Authoring Environment that is both Rigid and Flexible

Sponsored by: Comtech Services, Inc. and CIDM
Presenter: Frank Miller Comtech Services, Inc.
Date Recorded: October 16, 2014
Duration: 90 minutes
This is a free webinar.


An authoring environment for technical communicators need not be so complex and rigid that authors feel as though they are writing in a phone booth, handcuffed. Neither should it be so loose that they have flashbacks to their Creative Writing college assignments.

The ideal authoring environment for technical communicators is a balance of expressing and enforcing the information model on one hand, of offering guidance and convenience to authors on the other.

In this presentation, Frank Miller will show how writing groups can strike that balance using a mixture of common and readily available technologies and practices:

  • Editor templates
  • Editor behaviors
  • Schematron scripts
  • DITA constraints
  • Displaying the Information Model contextually, as hover help
  • Lower-overhead DITA specializations with RNG

Miller will show how all of the above can be combined in the same interface for the benefit of authors, editors, information architects, and publishers alike.


Frank Miller is a Senior Consultant at Comtech Services, assisting companies with their information design, process efficiency, and tools and implementation needs. Frank manages and implements enterprise content management solutions. Frank also guides corporations through their information architecture process. He has experience in conducting and analyzing benchmarking studies and information redesign for content management.


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