Multimedia Authoring Tools are also known as Author ware. It is a program that helps the author [user/programmer] write hyper text (or) multimedia application. Authoring tools usually enable a user to create a final application merely linking together. Objects such as paragraph of text, illustration (or) song can be embedded in a web page with the help of authoring tools. Multimedia authoring tools provide the frame work for organizing and editing the elements of multimedia projects. Authoring software provides an integrated element for combining the content and the functions of the project. It enables the developer to combine text, graphics, audio, video and animation into an interactive presentation. Authoring system includes editing tools to create, edit and convert multimedia elements such as animation and video clips. The process for multimedia involves story boarding and flow chart development. Visual flow chart (or) over viewing facility illustrates project structure at a macro level. In macro media flash, flash is used for delivering rich multimedia content to the web. It allows the creation simple; static HTML pages with the flash player Plug-in. 

Features of Authoring Tools

  • Basic features
  • Editing and organizing features
  • Programming features
  • Interactivity features
  • Performance timing and playback features
  • Cross-platform and internet features


There are 3 types of authoring tools and they are as follows:

1. Card and page based tools 

2. Icon based- event driven tools

3. Time based tools

Now let us discuss these three authoring tools in details along with their required software, their corresponding advantages and disadvantages.

 Card and page based tools:

This tool provides a simple and easily understandable metaphor for organizing multimedia elements. It contains media objects such as buttons, text files and graphic objects. It provides facilities for linking objects to pages (or) cards. The software required is Hyper card and Linked card tool box.


Easy to understand

Easy to use

Easy to link metaphor1=screen1=card1= page1

It consumes very less time for developing an application.


Few applications run only on one platform.

Card and page tools are not powerful as unique stand alone.

Icon based- event driven tools:

Icons (or) object based tools are the simplest event driven authoring object.  Its provision of simple branching has the ability to go to another section of multimedia production. Multimedia elements and interaction are organized in the flowchart. A flow chart can be build by dragging appropriate icons from a library and then dropping them in the required field finally adding multimedia elements to it. The software required is Icon Author and Author ware.


It has a clear structure [appropriately designed flow charts].

Easy to edit and update the elements.


Learning process is very difficult.

Very expensive in nature.

 Time based tools:

Time based tools are best suited for a message with a beginning and an end so that a message can be passed within a stipulated time period. Few time based tools facilitate navigation and interactive control. It has the branching technique so that different loops can be formed for different multimedia applications and time period can be set for these individual applications. The software required is Adobe’s Directors.


These tools are good for creating animation.

Branching, user control interactivity.


Steep learning curve for advance features.

Music and sound files embedded in Flash movies increases the file size and increases the download time.

Very expensive.

Multimedia data base contains still images, sound files, text, shapes, scripts, movies and other director’s files. Course is the sequence for displaying and animating cast and crew members. Lingo is the object oriented scripting language that enables interactivity and programmed control.