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The ida Author-itŪ-Based System: A Groundbreaking Approach to Manual Production

By drawing on the benefits of a software application called Author-itŪ, ida offers manual production services ranging from writing to multilingual translation, and has accumulated an extensive track record of manual production. The outstanding speed, quality and cost-performance of ida’s manual production services provide active support for our clients’ product development strategies.

What is Author-itŪ

Developed by Author-it Software Corporation (ASC), Author-itŪ is an authoring software application that provides functions for managing and processing content, and enables several different types of documents to be generated in a single operation. Once created, information can be easily shared by multiple documents and published in various print- or web-based formats. Author-itŪ is used in a wide range of fields such as government, technology, commerce, medicine and education.

Link to Author-itŪ website

Multilingual, multi-format output
Multilingual, multi-format output

What Author-itŪ can do

Create documents in several different formats from a single source

When authoring source content, Author-itŪ supports output in a wide range of document formats such as PDF, Help and XML files. The large number of supported formats reduces the time and effort needed for production and simplifies data management.

Use automatic functions to enable high-quality, short-turnaround documentation releases

Author-itŪ has a large number of functions designed for rapid, high-quality manual production. For example, when revising resources, an automatic update function revises all the affected areas automatically. There is also a revision history function that keeps a record of each file’s progress.

Proof and edit documentation from around the world

Staff with Author-itŪ access authorization can edit and proof files on a web browser interface from anywhere in the world. Author-itŪ reduces the amount of time needed for editing and proofing by allowing manual producers around the world to share information with product designers.

Subdivide content to manage and edit topics one-at-a-time

Author-itŪ enables each content topic to be managed and edited separately. This feature dramatically improves work efficiency, since work can be shared by multiple staff members, or separate processes such as translation and proofing can be carried out separately and in parallel for each topic.

Prepare source texts for translation rapidly and efficiently

When translating a revised version of source content that has an existing translation for the previous version, the system can automatically extract each change made to the new version, and create a source text that specifies the areas for translation and editing. This feature helps to reduce the time required to create source texts for translation and helps prevent errors such as inadvertent omissions of text requiring translation.

Easily reuse and revise content

Author-itŪ makes it easy to reuse repeated content in different documents. When revising existing manuals or creating new manuals, actively reusing existing resources greatly reduces the number of man-hours needed for production.


Advantages of ida’s multilingual, multiple-output-format manual production system

Major time and cost reductions

ida can coordinate all the processes required to produce manuals— we can create the source texts for translation, create the pilot (main) translation, create multilingual translations, create web pages, and more. By offering our clients an efficient and high-quality production environment, ida greatly reduces the time and cost needed for project completion.

Greater rapidity and flexibility, for manual production in parallel to product development and production

Utilizing Author-itŪ and drawing on the production and schedule management expertise we have gained, ida can rapidly respond to specifications changes and sudden revisions. Our expertise ensures that delays never occur when creating multiple documents in several languages.

High-level content management

Since Author-itŪ can manage multiple manuals in a single central library, any updates made to information are also applied to all the areas requiring changes in all the affected manuals. This feature makes it easy to maintain terminology and phrasing consistency, and since it supports the use of existing content for similar models, it is highly effective when developing new products.

Simplify the work flow to speed delivery

Simplify the work flow to speed delivery

Lower the cost of revisions

Using templates to convert data in a single operation enables a major reduction in the number of man-hours needed for production, and lowers production costs.
Automatically extracts changes, converts all the data in a single operation, and automatically updates all the affected areas.

Author-itŪ solutions to commonly-encountered documentation problems

You only produce printed documents, and don’t manage to create Help files.

Author-itŪ can use the same source to easily create documentation in different formats such as PDF and Help files.

Since you have a lot of different documentation produced by several different departments, you can’t keep track of all the different manual versions/states of readiness throughout the company.

Author-itŪ can manage multiple manuals in a single central library. When manuals are updated, the changes are applied simultaneously to all the affected manuals, keeping terminology and phrasing consistent.

When revising multilingual versions of documents, you have difficulty specifying the locations of the changes, so need to have entire documents re-translated (instead of just the changes).

Author-itŪ can automatically extract the changes and specify the revisions, saving labor when creating translation source texts, and making it easy to specify just the areas for re-translation.

You have documentation proofed by multiple employees in different locations around the world, so frequently have problems such as undoing/redoing previous processes, duplication of effort and unchecked documentation. You have no unified reporting procedure.

Author-itŪ supports live proofing by workers around the world on a web browser interface. You can protect data by setting access authorization levels for each document or each department, ensuring solid security.

Your limited budget prevents you from creating manuals of adequate quality.

Since Author-itŪ can simplify the production process and greatly reduce the number of steps needed to prepare source texts for translation, you can create manuals on an unprecedentedly low budget. You can allocate the resulting savings toward improving quality, augmenting content, creating translations in a greater number of languages, or wherever needed.

You want to create translations in over 30 languages for simultaneous worldwide release, but won’t make the deadline.

Author-itŪ can use templates to process multiple languages in a single operation, enabling all the translations to be completed simultaneously even if the number of languages increases.

You are anxious about relying on a single manual production company using a production system with a different format from conventional systems.

Author-itŪ supports output in formats compatible with other applications, such as Word and XML.

Companies using Author-itŪ

Fujitsu Services, Hewlett Packard, Honeywell, Philips, Siemens, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Agilent Technonogies