Documentation Introduction and Index

Scribe’s Well-Formed Document Workflow (WFDW) is a combination of workflow and technology that allows publishers to move from manuscript to print or electronic book with ease.


Supporting the WFDW, includes resource pages about Scribe’s tools, specific procedures and checklists, Scribe’s standards, and key concepts encountered in the workflow.

Pages are listed in the side menu and can be organized by the tools being employed or by the process being followed. Users have the flexibility to choose the menu most suited to their needs.

Users can search our documentation using the search bar at the top-right of the page. Additionally, an index of all documentation is included at the end of this page in alphabetical order.

How It Works

Files can enter the WFDW at any point. Even if a project began outside of the workflow, the first step is to make the file compliant with the standards for WFDW files, whether it is a Word document, InDesign file, InDesign Tagged Text (IDTT), ScML, or sam. Scribe’s processes can accommodate starting at any point in the publishing chain.

For a full-service project, subscribers use the Scribe Add-In (SAI), a Word-based tool set that helps in the composition and copyediting processes, to impose structure on a book in manuscript form. Once structure is imposed, copyediting and author review begin. When the manuscript is finalized, it is uploaded to Scribe’s Digital Hub to process into IDTT. Typesetting is done in InDesign, and the book then goes through review and proofing. When a book is ready to print, the typesetter distills a PDF for the printer. Next, the content is exported, re-uploaded into the Digital Hub, and processed to an archival XML file (.scml). The Digital Hub uses this file to produce the e-books (ePub and Mobi). Alternatively, e-first, or e-only, books can be created without the typesetting stage by converting the Word document directly to .scml and e-book formats.

No matter how you work, the WFDW assures that you:

  • Can use an XML-first workflow without having to learn additional programs; only a working knowledge of Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign is required;
  • Always have the latest version of the book and only need to enter alterations once;
  • Can derive XML at any stage of the process;
  • Can generate any output at any stage of the process.

Scribe Add-In (SAI)

The Scribe Add-In is a set of tools that allows you to compose (properly structure documents) and clean up manuscripts within Word.

The SAI automates many of the routines in the preparation and copyediting of manuscripts. It allows you to associate the styles that authors use with the structure necessary in the WFDW and helps you to eliminate many of the formatting problems often found in author submissions. The SAI assists with the editorial process and facilitates internal communication through a comment system.

Digital Hub

The technological heart of the Well-Formed Document Workflow (WFDW) is the Digital Hub. The Digital Hub is set up to ensure that the working document is always the point document for other editions and that you can publish in any order. Thus, users can create a print edition first, an e-book version first, or both products simultaneously without ever losing corrections and alterations. This is accomplished by imposing structure on a document (“composing” the file) at the earliest possible stage. Once the document is composed, it can be processed through the Digital Hub from one format to another.

The Digital Hub is divided into several transformation modules that take advantage of the WFDW’s capability to publish in any order. The Digital Hub features several modules all based on Scribe Markup Language (ScML). Conversion options include processing Word documents to IDTT or .scml; converting InDesign XML to Scribe Abbreviated Markup (.sam); converting .scml to ePub and Mobi; and round-tripping .sam or .scml back to Word .docx. Breaking up the tasks this way enables WFDW users to overcome the technical limitations of off-the-shelf software and also allows information to be augmented to make the transformed files easier to use. These modules can be updated whenever new software versions are released or Scribe adds new features to the WFDW.

Scribe Tools for InDesign

Scribe Tools for InDesign are a suite of integrated scripts that make it easier to typeset Well-Formed Document Workflow books and to export adaptable content. The Scribe Tools automate a number of processes to facilitate good typography and add features that would otherwise require manual intervention, all the while maintaining best practices to produce functional files that can be repurposed as templates and from which content can be extracted for other purposes.

Documentation Index

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