SOP v Work Instructions v Procedures

by SiobhanWalsh on May 31, 2014

How can you tell if a document is a SOP, Procedure, or Work Instruction? Also, what are the connections between each of these documents? Is one more important than the other? Do you need to write an SOP before the…

How to Write a Better System Administration Guide

May 27, 2014

What do System Administration Guides and Mozart have in common? There’s a scene in the movie Amadeus where the Emperor asks Mozart to take out the boring notes. He found it too long.

“Cut out some parts here and there.”…

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Operations Plan: The Definitive Guide

October 12, 2011

Want to write an Operations Guide? This tutorial explains how to write your first operations manual. It helps you get started, suggests how to format the document, create the table of contents and what else…

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How to write a software documentation plan

October 7, 2011

What is a software documentation plan? This is a project plan for the technical documents you plan to write for the next software release. Like a standard project plan it captures the…

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How to make detailed Business Process Flowcharts easier to read

September 9, 2011

Isn’t the advantage of creating process flowcharts to help the reader see how it works instead of having to read the MS Word document?

But what happens if the process is so complex that the diagram…

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How to Write Your First Test Case

September 2, 2011

One of the difficulties in writing your first test case is that it’s hard to know where to start. Writing test cases is not that difficult if you understand who you’re writing for and what you’re…

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The 10 Commandments of Software Maintenance Plans

August 26, 2011

What’s the best way to write a Software Maintenance plan? Software Maintenance Plans are different than other technical documents in that the focus is on how to modify software AFTER it has been released and is…

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How do you know whether you’re writing well?

August 25, 2011

How do you know whether you are writing well?

There’s only one test that really matters: when your audience understands your information and is moved to act in accordance with your goals.

But how will you know when this happens?…

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Difference Between Operations Manuals & Procedures Guides

August 24, 2011

What’s the difference between an Operations Manual and a Procedures Guide? At first glance, it’s easy to see the confusion as both contain procedures that need to be followed. However, if we look at them a little more closely, we…

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Using AutoCorrect To Fix Mistakes In MS Word

August 21, 2011

Do you keep making the same mistakes when typing? Microsoft Word has a couple of built-in features that fixes your mistakes as you type. It takes a bit of tweaking to get it right, but worth the effort in the…

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Microsoft Word v Adobe Framemaker

August 19, 2011

This post needs an update as both Microsoft Word and FrameMaker have both improved in the past three years. So, bear with me as I work on the update. In the meantime, take out your red pen and see if…

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How to Fix Errors in Technical Documents Automatically

August 17, 2011

Do you keep making the same mistakes when writing in Microsoft Word? One of the hidden features is that you can replace snippets of text with formatted text.

In other words, say you typed, rpt1

You can setup Microsoft Word…

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How to Write ‘Sticky’ Web Content

August 15, 2011

Why do technical writers struggle to write web content? Maybe it’s because writing for the web requires a different approach to the writing process. Here are some ways to stop thinking like a technical writer and more like a web…

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How to Choose the Right Style Guide for Technical Writers

August 13, 2011

How do I choose the right style guide for my technical writers? I’m setting up a Technical Publications Dept. for a Financial Services company. What is the best style guide to encourage the staff to use?

The benefit of adopting…

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Guidelines for Interviewing Technical Writers

August 11, 2011

What guidelines can you offer when interviewing writers? I’ve worked on both sides on the fence in the past, (i.e. interviewed and been interviewed) and picked up a few things in the process. Hopefully, these will be of some help.


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