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Autodesk, Inc., one of the world’s leading 2D and 3D design software companies, creates tens of thousands of pages of product documentation and help for its users every year. Because Autodesk operates internationally with users in more than 106 countries, its software and the associated content needs to be localized into as many as 18 languages. Such localization has proven to be a time-consuming, highly manual, and costly process, yet it grows in importance each year as the company and its global user base continue to grow. The documentation and localization teams at Autodesk have long been interested in the adoption of a new system that would improve on the management of the authoring and localization functions. In 2003, the company formed a cross-functional team to evaluate potential systems, and recommend a new system and processes and tools for implementing the system. The result of this cross-functional project was the adoption of Idiom WorldServer, together with Adobe FrameMaker for structured authoring in XML. Following an initial pilot of the system, Autodesk has since migrated more than eight million source words of content into the system, resulting in localized content totaling more than 74 million words. Impressively, users have highly automated workflows and powerful tools for automatically creating outputs such as PDF, Compiled Help (CHM), and HTML.

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