The Well-Formed Document

Articles by publishing professionals

You Must Implement an XML Workflow

By Neil Litt of Princeton University Press

Princeton University Press produces multivolume, heavily illustrated textbooks filled with tables and references. When I started over twenty-five years ago, I considered a markup-based workflow to capture the structure of a document so it could be delivered through different applications and not be dependent on having to lay out the data in a particular format.

In the past, there were too many serious shortcomings for anyone publishing upper-level textbooks. An overwhelming number of technical problems

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The Table (Revisited)

By David Alan Rech of Scribe Inc.

In a previous blog posting, we addressed the use of tables in publications. Our conclusion has been that it is best not to use them, and if you are going to use tables make sure you are using them properly and sparingly.

Since then, better support for tables in desktop publishing systems and electronic devices has been developed. So we have reconsidered the use of tables and have reached some conclusions.

Tables are useful for comparing related information. If you wish to compare the features of

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Solidifying the Manuscript (Part 2)

By David Alan Rech of Scribe Inc.

In a recent blog contribution, Joe Vriend touted the value of solidifying the manuscript early in the publishing process. Requiring editors to finalize a manuscript as early as possible in the production process is the key to pursuing e-only or e-first publishing.

This got me thinking about another possible benefit of solidifying the manuscript prior to pages. What if this act and working in an electronic environment actually changed the way we organize information?

Drop caps or ascending capital

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File Format Essentials

By Craig Rairdin of Laridian Inc.

Scribe’s blog/e-mail blast is intended to help provide information and best practices for publishers. When we sent out a request to members of the community, Craig Rairdin immediately responded. Craig is the president of Laridian, which produces Bible study software. While his focus is primarily on biblical materials, the lessons that he espouses apply to all of us.

At Laridian, we create Bible study software for mobile and desktop computing platforms. Our products include PocketBible, MyBible

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Solidifying the Manuscript

By Joe Vriend of Zondervan

Scribe’s blog/e-mail blast is intended to help provide information and best practices for publishers. We have asked a number of talented, thoughtful people in the industry to share their ideas on topics related to the editorial and production process. This article, from Joe Vriend at Zondervan, is the first response we received. If you feel you have something to contribute, please contact us.

There is no question that the publishing industry is changing. From author to reader, acquisition to

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Demand for OCR

By David Alan Rech of Scribe Inc.

When Scribe began in 1993, we were responsible for the conversion of books into electronic form. At the time, scanning, performing optical character recognition (OCR), and verifying text made sense. Many publications had never been in an electronic form, so the conversion process was necessary.

In 2001, we tried to stop training entry-level personnel in OCR and verification (Scribe’s method is a linguistic approach to OCR verification and requires considerable training). We attempted this believing

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The Elegance of Templates

By David Alan Rech of Scribe Inc.

Publishers have been resistant to use templates in publications, believing them to limit creativity and restrict designs. In fact, using templates gives publishers a wider range of flexibility while keeping their workflow well-formed and consistent.

In publishing, we essentially use two types of templates: editing and typesetting. Editing templates are clearly of value. They contain the elements necessary for copyeditors to communicate. Applying styles through templates is more efficient than any

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Publishing Industry Standards

By David Alan Rech of Scribe Inc.

When faced with a crisis in quality, the Japanese developed standards and best practices. The changing electronics world created a condition in which it was insufficient for customers to dictate their wishes. As technologies rapidly developed, the need to adjust specifications without sacrificing quality became evident.

Output requirements and the supplies needed were changing, thus the standards impacted every process along the supply chain. Manufacturers and vendors sat on boards and worked to

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