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A design term.
It means a software application that has been developed to allow you to create original content in some form i.e. to let you become of an author of some creative work, the software is there to provide support.
It will do the mundane, non-creative but essential part of the work whilst you can concentrate on the creative side.
For example, if you are a web designer, your main way of making a living will be to create web sites. For this, you can either do it the hard way, by coding every line in a text editor such as Notepad or you you can invest in a website-authoring tool that makes the job much easier.
If you are an illustrator, you could do all your work using pencil and paper then somehow create an electronic version of your work. But an easier way would be to purchase a professional authoring tool designed to create illustrations and artwork that can output your work as an electronic file.
A computer programmer may use authoring tools. It creates the basic framework for the software, for instance the skeleton code for a Windows or Unix application, then the programmer adds their specific code to finish the code.
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Click on this link: Authoring tools
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