Report: Author-it Workshop

Used with permission from Nirupama Singh. – Ramesh Aiyanggar

STC India organized a workshop “Introduction to Author-it” at Pune on Saturday, June 19, 2010.

This workshop was sponsored by Technowrites. Mark Trotter and Makarand Pandit were the presenters.

Mark Trotter is the Managing Director of Author-it’s newest office in Dubai. Mark has been involved with Author-it since 1999, and has used it for and managed it in various applications. He is an experienced Author-it trainer and consultant. Mark brings a wealth of knowledge to the Author-it community in the region and has recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Information Design. He is passionate about the information management field and feels that education is a life-long pursuit.

Makarand (Mak) Pandit is the managing director and chief executive officer of Technowrites Pvt. Ltd.(India). He has conducted corporate training for clients in India, Singapore, UAE, and Malaysia. Mak also works as a visiting faculty with leading institutions and Universities.  Mak is a senior member of Society for Technical Communication, and also a founder member of STC India Chapter. Mak has
served STC India chapter in various positions (including Chapter President in 2005).

The Author-it workshop was a practical one-day workshop, aimed at technical writers, to teach them the skills required to start using the Author-it enterprise authoring platform competently.

The Author-it Enterprise Authoring Platform (EAP) centralizes and streamlines the process of creating, managing and publishing formal business content.

The volume of written content within the world’s enterprises continues to explode. As the volume of content increases, so to do issues associated with searching for and finding relevant information. Today
it is not just a matter of getting information to people. It is about getting the right information, to the right people, at the right time.

Author-it EAP addresses the problems of poor knowledge sharing, duplication of content and effort, inconsistency of message and presentation, inefficient maintenance, high translation and localization costs by providing a powerful, yet easy-to-use, collaborative authoring environment that promotes reuse of content, enforces corporate standards and security, and maintains detailed audit trails.

Content in Author-it is created and managed as small reusable components, which are assembled into documents and automatically published into any number of print, help, or web formats. This results
in increased user productivity, and reduced translation costs.

During the workshop, Mark and Mak introduced the technical writers to Author-it, and helped them understand how to author, manage, publish and deliver documentation using Author-it.

Some of the topics that were covered during the workshop are as follows:
1. Overview of the workshop
2. Overview of Content Management
3. Introducing Author-it and Important Concepts
4. Installing Author-it on participant machines
5. Concept of Books & their Use
6. Objects the Powerhouse of Author-it
7. Working with Topic Objects
8. Special Objects
9. Templates and Media Objects
10. Reuse and Conditionality
11. Structured Authoring
12. Importing Objects

It was not all study, and no fun. To add some excitement to the workshop, the attendees participated in the musical chair game to compete for the lucky draw – Free Author-it license.

This game turned out to be lot of fun and there were some anxious moments too. Finally, Abhijeet Wakhare won the lucky draw and the free Author-it license. Thanks to Author-it.

The workshop came to an end with the closing remarks of Mark Trotter.

On behalf of STC India, Ramesh Aiyyangar presented the vote of thanks. He thanked the presenters, sponsors and the participants for attending the workshop and making it a success.

About the author:

Ramesh Aiyyangar is the STC City Representative for Pune.

About the illustration:

Used with permission from Nirupama Singh.


All product names, logos, and any trademarks used in the illustrations and elsewhere in this article are for identification purpose only, are the property of their owners, and their rights are acknowledged.


  1. What is the point in organising this workshop if people are not going to use Author-IT, or for that matter any software? If I am not using Author-It at my workplace, what is the point in attending a presentation?

    As a user, the website of any tool will have presentations and information on the software. As a technical communicator, I will be first checking the website and blog posts on the tools to know more about them. Is this nothing but a marketing gimmick?

  2. Yes, I found this to be a marketing gimmick. I attended the AuthorIT session conducted by Triumph India at Bangalore. We were asked to install the AuthorIT software on our systems, but hardly we were given any exercise to work on, nor they explained the functionality of the tool. What Mark was going on was with the extended version which was not in the installed trial version. Though it was a free workshop, I did not gain anything much from that workshop.

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