Author-it Xtend authoring memoryJune 5, 2008
I’ve started to use Author-it Xtend and I’m very impressed. It’s very clever and very useful. Even though I’m using it as a lone writer, I can see the value of it for a team of writers, or a company that has a core team of writers with occasional contributors from outside the documentation team. And for any company looking at translation into other languages in the future, it would be almost essential in my opinion.
So what’s Xtend and how can it help? Well, it’s pretty hard to explain without demonstrating it, but in essence it’s a indexing service that you can set to displays fuzzy matches for any words that you type in Author-it. For example, if you set the match to five words, then after you type five words that match any other phrase in the Author-it database (even a 50% match), you will see a list of the matches. If you decide that what your typing *is* matched by an existing text snippet, you can click on that text snippet and add it directly into your topic.
Another feature is colour banding or highlighting for paragraphs in your existing topics that correspond to paragraphs in other topics. If a fuzzy match is found, you can make the paragraphs the same.
What Xtend does is:
- Offer matching text to writers, thus maintaining the same ‘voice’ throughout a document.
- Allow writers to use a similar and more frequent text snippet to replace the existing text, thus maintaining consistency between topics.
- Allow writers to use the same text snippet, thus reducing the overall cost of translation.
- Display what percentage of your paragraphs are reused (via Author-it Administrator: Settings > Author-it Xtend Settings).
If you’re an Author-it user, consider purchasing Xtend. It adds significant granularity to reusability.
Posted in Author-it v5 |