Alternatives to S1000D is the first question in this series looking at the five questions asked on my S1000D training courses.

The immediate answer is that yes, there are alternatives to S1000D, but I need to know the question’s genesis before I cover them. Why am I being asked this question? Depending on the audience, depends on how I will answer the question.

Often the root question is generated from fear, confusion or a passionate dislike of S1000D. Many students are confused between what is S1000D, what is structure and what is technology. Ensuring that we cover these bases before covering alternatives is key to ensuring that we have all of the knowledge we need before considering alternative options.

Being contracted for S1000D makes this a moot discussion, we need to accept that we need to look at how the adoption can be smooth and cost-effective and as pain-free as possible.

If technology is our concern, this too should be addressed head-on. Many students are misinformed or confused that using S1000D enforces us to use a specific piece of software. Of course, this is not true unless the business mandates software use. S1000D is software-independent, but many have an impression that, for example, we must use a specific viewer.

If there is a genuine reason not to use S1000D (of which there are many), we will look at alternatives to S1000D. Be it alternative specifications, methodologies and software tools.

Some of the tools we use at TDW include Adobe RoboHelp and MadCap Flare; both tools are powerful and provide deep flexibility in technical information production and deployment. We also use Adobe Indesign, a powerful document creation tool. On top of Indesign, we use a plugin called in5, providing the ability to export HTML5 and interactive content.

Watch the video over on our YouTube channel for more details on how I would specifically answer this question, some ideas I have and why there are sometimes situations when you want to use an alternative to S1000D.

Join TDW – send us your thoughts and tell us which questions you would like us to answer?

Mike Ingledew

A trained aircraft engineer (rotorcraft), I entered in to the field of technical information writing S1000D data modules on a major European military platform.

After a series of high profile project roles and the privilege of supporting clients worldwide, I ended my 'employed' career at a subsidiary of Boeing Aircraft after I decided to leave and focus on TDW full-time.

From my time supporting clients worldwide, I could see that there was a market need for an independent organisation that could be a trusted advisory source for those needing to implement successful technical information strategies.

I am passionate about the art of technical communications and the process, software and skills needed in our market.

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