Structured authoring

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Structured authoring and structured content refer to development, deployment and management of structured contents.

“Structured authoring is a publishing workflow that lets you define and enforce consistent organization of information in documents, whether printed or online. (whitepaper on structured authoring)”


Writing structured contents is more difficult than writing with an ordinary word processor, but there are benefits like:

  • Flexible publishing (books on demand)
  • Single sourcing for many formats and devices
  • Better support for search and data retrieval
  • Easy redesign of style
  • etc.

(more later, this article is just a stub)


The most popular formats today are:

  • DocBook and DITA for single source authoring (both text and online)
  • Latex, an older less structured format that remains very popular in science.
  • XHTML (mostly just to author web pages, though the language is rich enough to markup moderately complex documents.
  • E-book formats such as ePub (often XML-based)

For educational contents, see:

  • eLML (eLesson Markup Language)

Note: IMS Content Packaging just packs sequences in XML format. Isolated contents themselves (modules) are not structured.

See document standard for more




O'Keefe, Sarah (2008) whitepaper on structured authoring, There is a list of other interesting white papers in tutorial format.

Propaganda articles