TCUK17 Speaker Neil Perlin – “Topic-Based and Structured Authoring – Keeping It Simple”


Neil Perlin will be giving a workshop at TCUK17 on “Topic-Based and Structured Authoring – Keeping It Simple”.

Photo of Neil Perlin

Topic-based authoring creates content in small chunks rather than long documents. Structured authoring applies a formal structure to those topics. They’re different processes but most effective when used together. Consistent structure makes content easy for authors to write and readers to absorb. “Bead-sized” content allows single sourcing to multiple formats and devices.

But these methodologies can be time-wasting, expensive, and over-complicated if they don’t fit your company. This workshop looks at various factors to see how to implement these methodologies as quickly, inexpensively, and simply as possible.

  • Definitions of topic-based and structured authoring.
  • Business factors – support for company strategy, handling legacy material, more.
  • Technical factors –trends that affect content development, maintenance, and distribution.
  • Implementation factors – information type definition, template creation, cascading style sheets, DITA vs. non-DITA, more.
  • Hands-on practice defining an information type and structure.

You won’t leave with all the answers. There’s too much to cover and companies differ. But you will leave with the concepts needed to implement topic-based and structured authoring.

Neil Perlin is also giving a presentation at TCUK17: “We’re Going Mobile! Great! Wait. What Does That Mean?”.

About Neil Perlin

Neil has 38 years experience in technical communication, 31 in development, training, and consulting for online formats and tools ranging from cutting edge to dead. He is certified for Flare, Mimic, RoboHelp, and ViziApps Studio and consults on them, along with single sourcing, structured authoring, and apps.

Neil was a columnist for STC and IEEE and is a popular conference speaker, recently at TCUK15. He ran STC’s Bleeding Edge, and represented STC to the W3C for four years. He has written eight books on computing, including Advanced Features in MadCap Flare 10 and Creating Mobile Apps without Coding.

In his spare time, Neil builds telescopes, flies aircraft carrier simulators, and barbecues meat. Contact him at or on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (@NeilEric).