A multimedia document consists of different media objects that are to be sequenced and presented according to temporal and spatial specifications. Collaborative authoring helps in simultaneous editing and viewing of a multimedia document by multiple authors. However, it may cause the objects composing a multimedia document to be distributed over a computer network. In this paper, we propose a framework for distributed multimedia document authoring and presentation. The salient features of this framework are: flexible temporal specification based on difference constraints, system and user defined access filters, local editing, format conversions of media objects, and flexible object retrieval schedules for handling variations in system parameters such as network throughput and buffer resources. We propose shortestpath based algorithms for solving difference constraints. We show how the proposed algorithms can handle local editing and access filtering of multimedia documents. We also describe how the difference constraints based temporal specifications can help in deriving a flexible object retrieval schedule.