Stepping Stone has been working with customers to implement best practices, migrate and manage their multilingual content management systems and structured documentation. We apply guideline/ best practice consultancy through to hands-on implementation (including the creation of FrameMaker DTDs, templates and EDDs) to clients who need to streamline large amounts of documentation.
DITA-based documents organise the data in a way to make it much more structured and accessible than other data formats. When adding translation memory tools to the equation, this structure helps manage and reduce your costs when translating content to other languages.
Considerations when preparing your files
- Source files
Do you have the source files of your manuals/brochures, etc. or are they only available in a .PDF format. Who will create the templates for your source files?
- Technical environment
A bit of forward planning will pay dividends later in the project. When setting up the environment decide on the software version, plug-ins and fonts. We may need access to the whole package including graphics files and fonts, so keep in mind there may be potential rights issues concerning these. Also let us know which formats you require.
- Links and references
Check whether the source documents have been compiled correctly and the book, index, TOC, etc. references are generated correctly and don’t throw up any errors.
- Error handling
How would you like us to handle errors in the source documents? Do you want us to deal with any formatting errors, irregularities and inconsistencies in the source files, i.e. are we allowed to fix them?
- Metadata, structured documents and integration
Are the documents structured or integrated with a document management system? How does the DMS handle multilingual versions?
Do you require us to keep the same number of pages in other language versions as in the source documents (for example, your technical support operators assist users by cross referencing information to the same pages in the translated manual, etc.)?