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Controlled Authoring Workshop: Learn How Standardizing Content Will Improve Quality and Reduce Content Creation and Translation Cost
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Controlled Authoring Workshop: Learn How Standardizing Content Will Improve Quality and Reduce Content Creation and Translation Cost


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Presented by Berry Braster at Documentation and Training East, October …

Presented by Berry Braster at Documentation and Training East, October
29-November 1, 2008 in Burlington, MA.

In todays business, products and processes are becoming more complex,
while companies increasingly have to translate their information into
different languages as their products enter a global market.

However, information that is difficult to understand due to the use of
ambiguous words and complex sentence structures can lead to:

* Damage, injury and costly legal liabilities
* High translation / localization costs
* Unsatisfactory translation quality
* Higher technical support costs
* Unnecessary costs resulting from miscommunication (such as
recall costs)

Therefore, in order to better communicate technical information to a
global audience, it is essential to standardize on terminology and
style. Controlled authoring makes documents clearer and more readable
for a global audience, which applies to both non-native English as
well as native English speakers. Furthermore, controlled authoring
enables writers and editors to increase the clarity and consistency of
technical documents, resulting in faster, clearer and more accurate

Steps of implementation

In order to successfully implement the use of controlled authoring,
the following steps are necessary:

1. Standardize on company terminologyIn order to eliminate
ambiguity in company terminology, it is necessary to create a
dictionary that distinguishes approved words vs. non-approved words.
2. TrainingTedopres offers classes to train writers, editors and
engineers how to write in a clear and understandable way, and how to
optimize documents for translation. The training comprises lots of
hands-on exercises, focusing on workarounds for common problems.
3. Controlled authoring softwareTedopres HyperSTE controlled
authoring software helps writers and editors to ensure compliance with
corporate terminology and style guide rules; as an interactive checker
tool for the writer and as a quality measurement tool for the editor.


The use of controlled authoring will result in the following benefits:

* Quality assurance, quality control and quality measurement for
* Cost savings for translation and localization (up to 40% per
* More accurate translations and improved translation quality
* Compliance with corporate style guides and writing standards
* Reduced safety risks and liability claims
* Improved technical support
* Reduced time to market
* Efficient authoring
* Increased benefits for DITA, S1000D, SCORM, XML and Content
Management due to optimum reusability

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  • 1. Simplified Technical English Quality Assurance & Standardization for Technical Documentation
  • 2.
    • Established in 1974
    • Services for technical documentation,
    • including translations and content
    • management solutions
    • Offices in Europe, USA, Singapore and Japan
    • References: Boeing, Black & Decker, Philips, Elekta, IMPAC Medical Systems, S iemens, FAA
  • 3. Outline
    • Controlled Language – why?
    • History
    • Benefits
    • Samples of writing rules
    • How to implement
  • 4. The risks of not standardizing
    • Turn off the engines not required
    • means…
    • Turn off the engines that are not required, or
    • Turning off the engines is not required
  • 5. The risks of not standardizing
    • Clean the turret dome chassis thermal window securing screw threaded holes and the thermal window 16 securing screws of all previously used sealant using solvent.
    • means…
    • Clean the screw threaded holes and the 16 securing screws of the thermal window. Use solvent to remove all sealant.
  • 6. A call to a help desk
    • Caller: "Can you give me the telephone number for Jack?"
    • Operator : "I'm sorry, sir, I don't understand who you are talking about."
    • Caller: "On page 1, section 5, of the user guide it clearly states that I need to unplug the fax machine from the AC wall socket and telephone jack before cleaning. Now, can you give me the number for Jack?"
    • Operator : "I think you mean the telephone plug-in point on the telephone."
  • 7. What can go wrong
  • 8. Avoid miscommunication
    • Be unambiguous
    • Be consistent
    • Provide your customer with quality
    • Consider your audience
  • 9. The Risks
    • Confused and frustrated readers
    • High localization costs
    • Bad translations
    • Safety risk
    • Damage
    • Potential for legal liabilities
    • Higher support costs
    • Ineffective customer service
  • 10. Simplified Technical English
    • STE makes technical English easy to understand
      • Writing rules for grammar and style
      • Keep it simple, be specific, be consistent
      • STE generic dictionary ( ± 900 words)
      • One word = one meaning
      • Add company-specific terms to dictionary
    • Technical names (approved)
    • Technical verbs (approved)
    • Non-approved custom words linked to synonyms
    STE Dictionary Company Dictionary
    • 900 approved words (900)
    • 2,000 non-approved words
    • linked to synonyms
    Writing Rules (57)
  • 11. Example Before and After
    • Shut down your computer. If you connect to the Internet through a DSL modem or cable modem, disconnect the power supply to this device. Disconnect from your computer the Ethernet cable that connects your DSL modem, cable modem, or other Internet connection to your computer. Connect this cable to the WAN port (labeled WAN 1) on the firewall.
    • Connect one end of the straight-through Ethernet cable supplied with your firewall to one of the seven numbered Ethernet ports (labeled 0-6) on the firewall. Connect the other end to the Ethernet port of your computer.
    • If you connect to the Internet through a DSL modem or cable modem, reconnect the power supply to this device. The indicator lights flash and then stop. The modem is ready for use. Attach the AC adapter to the firewall. Connect the AC adapter to a power source.
    • The power light on the firewall goes on and the WAN1 indicator lights flash and then stop. The firewall is ready for use. Restart the computer.
    • During restart, your computer will communicate with the firewall. One pair of the Ethernet port indicator lights flash and then stop. Your computer is now connected to the firewall.
    • If you circled DHCP Enabled = Yes in the TCP/IP Settings table on page, your firewall is now fully installed. You should be able to test this by opening your Web browser and browsing to your favorite Internet site. However, if you circled DHCP Enabled = No, please continue to enable DHCP on your computer and configure the firewall for a static IP or PPPoE address.
    • 269 Words
    • Connecting the firewall
    • Use this procedure to connect your firewall Ethernet and power cables:
    • Shut down your computer.
    • If you use a DSL or cable modem to connect to the Internet, disconnect its power supply.
    • Find the Ethernet cable between the modem and your computer. Disconnect this cable from your computer and connect it to the firewall external interface (WAN 1).
    • Find the Ethernet cable supplied with your firewall. Connect this cable to a trusted interface (0-6) on the firewall. Connect the other end of this cable to the Ethernet interface of your computer.
    • If you use a DSL or cable modem, connect its power supply.
    • Find the AC adapter supplied with your firewall. Connect the AC adapter to the firewall and to a power source.
    • The firewall power indicator light comes on and the external interface indicator lights flash and then come on. The firewall is ready.
    • WARNING: Only use the AC adapter supplied with the firewall.
    • When the firewall is ready, start your computer.
    • 177 Words
  • 12. History
    • 1932: BASIC English – Ch. K. Ogden
    • 1970: US Federal Government encourages
    • regulation writers to use Plain English
    • 1972: Caterpillar Fundamental English
    • (later Caterpillar Technical English)
    • 1980: AECMA Simplified English , to improve
    • the readability of aircraft maintenance
    • manuals: required by aerospace and
    • defense industries
    • 2004: AECMA becomes ASD
    • 2005: AECMA SE renamed to
    • Specification ASD-STE100
    • (Simplified Technical English)
    • Companies in various industries are discovering the benefits of
    • Simplified Technical English: automotive,
    • IT, medical equipment, pharmaceutical, etc.
  • 13. Benefits of controlled authoring
    • Reduced time to market
    • Quality assurance and improvement
    • Standardized way of writing
    • Based on an official Specification (ASD-STE100) and required by others
    • Improved safety
    • Efficient authoring
    • Good customer service
    • Burden on your customer reduced
    • Facilitates content management
    • Facilitates structured authoring (DITA, S1000D)
    • Considerable cost savings
    • Cheaper, faster and better translations
  • 14. Why STE as a basis
    • As with many high quality, safety and technology standards, STE derives from aerospace and defense
    • STE is a linguistic / international standard
    • STE is strict by nature:
      • So you don’t have to reinvent the wheel
      • But you can be flexible where needed
  • 15. Cost Savings
    • Reduced time to market – Time saving = cost saving
    • Decreased word count (up to 20%): decreased volume of manuals
    • Cheaper to translate (up to 30%), print and maintain
    • Avoid costs resulting from unclear communication :
      • Liability claims
      • Confusion
      • Recall
      • Lost production time
  • 16. How to implement
    • Three steps:
    • Create company-specific dictionary
    • Train writers on writing rules
    • Check your documentation with HyperSTE checker software
      • Quality Assurance / Quality Control / Quality Measurement
      • Faster time to market
      • Efficient authoring
  • 17. Writing Rules
    • Words
    • Noun phrases
    • Verbs
    • Sentences
    • Procedural vs. descriptive
    • Warning, cautions, notes
    • Punctuation and word counts
    • Writing practices
  • 18. HyperSTE - features Comply with corporate style guide, standardize way of writing Customizable for all industries, including pharmaceutical and medical Customizable and configurable to your technical documentation needs Distinguishes different types of text, e.g. procedural vs. descriptive text Allows rules to be added or disabled (e.g. incorporate company style guides, check for correct use of terminology only, allow for step by step conversion of legacy data, etc.) Profile management : apply different sets of rules to different parts or types of documents Supports semantic checking Quality Assurance : create reports for quality measurement Exports interactive feedback to HTML: allow suppliers and contractors to access HyperSTE feedback interactively Converts units of measurement , US English to UK English and vice versa Dictionary Maintenance Tool available: manage your dictionary Available as a plug-in for Arbortext Epic Editor, Adobe FrameMaker, XMetaL, Microsoft Word and as a PDF checker Supports the use of multiple dictionaries
  • 19. HyperSTE Screengrab # 1 EPIC document HyperSTE is available as a plug-in for Epic, FrameMaker, Word, XMetal and as a stand-alone checker for PDF files. Interactive check in Epic: check an element or the entire document.
  • 20. You have the option to select which language you would like to receive interactive feedback in. Available languages for interactive feedback: English (US or UK), French, German, Spanish, Portuguese (BR), Russian, Japanese and Bahasa Indonesia.
  • 21. HyperSTE Screengrab #5 HyperSTE errors wrong spelling/capitalization HyperSTE: in addition to writing rules, HyperSTE checks for the correct use of terminology. In this case, “ma-osc module” is misspelled. HyperSTE provides linguistic feedback: ma-osc module is a singular noun and has approved forms. Origin: which dictionary is loaded. Messsages: HyperSTE provides feedback on which error occurs, which rule applies and approved forms. Semantic information: definition of the approved form. List of unknown words in the document. Suggested correction: by clicking on ‘update document’ the incorrect word will be replaced with the suggested correction, and the sentence will automatically be rechecked.
  • 22. Although ‘higher’ is approved, it is not precise enough. HyperSTE informs the writer to use clear references.
  • 23. ‘ acceptable’ is not clear enough. HyperSTE gives several suggestions. In this context, the word ‘permitted’ is the best option. Synonyms: by clicking on each synonym you will be given a definition, as well as a non-approved sentence and an approved sentence. This will help the writer to determine the correct word.
  • 24. Do not use the ‘genitive s’. HyperSTE suggests either ‘system performance’ or ‘performance of the system’. Synonyms: either use the phrase performance of the system or the noun system performance.
  • 25. HyperSTE informs the writer to use the active voice in procedural writing: ‘when you use the system..’.
  • 26. Warnings must start with a simple and clear command. The writer knows the correct command: “Warning: do not touch the housing because it can be hot.”
  • 27. Words that are not in the dictionary can be added to the user dictionary, and can later be added to the main dictionary.
  • 28. HyperSTE supports semantic checking: approved words only have one approved meaning. Wrong meaning: although ‘follow’ is an approved word, it is not allowed here as it has the wrong approved meaning.
  • 29. Quality assurance / quality control (QA/QC): create a report on a single or multiple files for validation purposes.
  • 30. HyperSE Screengrab #9 HyperSTE errors Create report Statistics are provided in an Excel or XML sheet. Click on a rule to see which sentences include the error.
  • 31. HyperSTE Screengrab #11 HyperSTE errors Create report Unknown words and unapproved words can be identified quickly to help maintain the dictionary.
  • 32. HyperSE Screengrab #10 HyperSTE errors Create report The XML report shows the compliance rating.
  • 33. Share HyperSTE’s interactive feedback with your colleagues, suppliers, or contractors by exporting to HTML.
  • 34. HyperSTE Screengrab #12 HyperSTE export feedback You will only need an Internet browser to view the same interactive feedback as the writer.
  • 35. HyperSTE allows you to automatically convert between units of measurement: metric to non-metric and visa versa.
  • 36. HyperSTE settings menu: configure text rules to meet your authoring requirements. HyperSTE checks for over 57 rules on terminology and grammar: words, nouns, verbs, numbers, punctuation, sentences, paragraphs, warnings/cautions/notes and part of speech. HyperSTE allows you to automatically convert between American English and British English. Select or unflag the rules to meet your business needs.
  • 37. Determine the sentence length for procedural and descriptive writing. If you want to omit certain rules, you can do so by simply not selecting them. HyperSTE complies with ASD Simplified Technical English (aerospace and defense standard), but also includes corporate style guide rules, and can easily be customized to any industry.
  • 38. HyperSTE supports the use of multiple dictionaries: in addition to the primary ‘company’ dictionary, you can create project-specific dictionaries. Additonal dictionaries can include company, product, project, or customer specific technical names.
  • 39. Create profiles to apply different sets of rules to different parts or types of documents. Profile manager: by simply loading a profile all predetermined settings (such as which rules, which dictionaries and which types of text should be checked according to which rules) will automatically be loaded.
  • 40. Thank you
    • For more information, please contact:
    • Tedopres, Inc.
    • 1705 S. Capital of Texas Hwy, Suite 500
    • Austin, Texas 78746
    • USA
    • Tel: +1 512 306 8601
    • Fax: +1 512 306 9320
    • E-mail:
    or visit our website at: