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Single Sourcing: Building Modular Documentation

Single Sourcing: Building Modular DocumentationAuthor: Kurt Ament
Category: General Reference
Audience: Technical writers and editors that want flexible framework for developing successful single-source documentation. Technical publications managers who want to standardize corporate publications to improve quality and save time and money. Teachers and students who want to learn successful single sourcing techniques that are actually used in corporate environments.

Table of content (PDF)

Language: en
Copyright: 2002
Pages: 225
6 x 6, Hardcover I
ISBN: 0-8155-1491-3


Single sourcing is more than mechanical document conversion. It is an information development strategy. Although it is often confused with the process of converting paper-based documents into online formats, single sourcing is a writing strategy that enables technical writers to develop centralized information modules, then map them to distinct audiences and media.

For technical writers, single sourcing means modular writing and information mapping. Rather than developing information for a given format, such as a user guide or online help, technical writers develop information modules at the element (section, paragraph, and sentence) level. They then map these information modules to preselected audiences and media.

This guide explains in plain language and by example how to develop single source documents. It shows technical writers how to develop standalone information modules, then map these modules to a variety of audiences and formats using proven information mapping techniques. In essence, the guide provides a flexible framework for modular technical writing that can be applied to any audience in any medium.

/ What I like best about "Single Sourcing: Building Modular Documentation" is that Ament practices what he preaches; the content is highly modular, consistently structured, and full of examples. He provides examples of common content and how the content could be changed to reflect the concepts he presents. The book is an easy read and is chock full of tips and guidelines.
- Ann Rockley - from review on


List price: 39,00 US$
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  • Usability—The book is designed to be scanned, not read cover to cover. It employs user-centered information mapping techniques that make it easy for a wide variety of readers to find exactly the level of information they need, when and where they need it.
  • Reusability—The book presents highly structured single sourcing guidelines that can be customized by technical publishing groups to meet the specific needs of their products, audiences, and media.
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