Structured authoring is a publishing workflow that lets you define and enforce consistent organization of information in documents. In unstructured publishing, content is written according to rules and approved styles described in style guides and enforced by editors.
In an unstructured authoring workflow, you create relatively free-flow narrative based documents. For example, you can have headings, followed by paragraphs, or graphics with captions or alternate text. In case of structured authoring, the content rules enforce a consistent structure across similar pieces of information. For example, you can decide to enforce the following content rules:
•A bulleted list must contain at least two items.
•A heading must be followed by a paragraph.
•A table must have a heading row.
•A graphic must have a caption.
These content rules are defined in either a document type definition (DTD) or an XML schema. Conformance to these content rules is automatically checked against the DTD or schema.
For example, consider the structure of a home address. Suppose that the content rules require address to contain an employee name, house number, street, city, and ZIP code. In unstructured authoring, an address without a house number can be discovered only through editing or review. In structured authoring, the structure is validated and automatically checked for completeness. Consistent organization and sequence are therefore enforced and assured.