10 Steps to Successful Bids

Business Owner’s Toolkit outlines the ten steps involved in making successful bids. “Although we are presenting the actions you need to take in a step-by-step fashion, it does not mean that they need to be done one at a time. They can be done simultaneously or in a different order, depending on your circumstances.” http://www.toolkit.com/small_business_guide/sbg.aspx?nid=P09_2000 […]

Make Text on Your Laptop Easier to Read

Microsoft offers a free online service that claims to improve font display quality over traditional forms of font smoothing or anti-aliasing. ClearType improves readability on color LCD displays with a digital interface, such as those in laptops and high-quality flat panel displays. The online tuner lets you tune your Windows XP ClearType settings. How it […]

What’s the right Style Guide for a new Tech Pubs Dept?

Amanda asks, “I’m setting up a Tech Pubs Dept for a Financial Services company. What is the best style guide to encourage the staff to use?” First off, the main benefit of adopting a style guide is that it puts guidelines in place to ensure consistency across all documents that go out the door. Sounds […]

8 Web Writing Tips

Writing for the Web requires new a different approach to the writing process. Before you start writing web content, try to understand the basics of information architecture and how navigation systems work. On the web, write in small digestible chucks, which fit into the information hierarchy. To create your hierarchy, outline the website as you […]

What exactly do technical writers do?

Technical writers write technical documents that explain complex issues in simple, plain English. Technical writers – also know as Technical Authors or Information Designers – write material that supports software and hardware systems. They design, write and produce material that is delivered in print, soft-copy or as Online Help, such as that found in the […]

How to Interview Tech Writers

Jane R. in Texas asks for some tips on interviewing tech writers, especially when using assessment tests. Her company is about to hire their first full-time writer and they have not done this before. I’ve worked on both sides on the fence in the past, (i.e. interviewed and been interviewed) and picked up a few […]

Problems with Table of Contents in Word

James in North Carolina asks, “In Word, the Table of Contents is not displayed. Instead, I get an error message: { TOCO “2-4″H Z T “HEADING 1,1”}. How do I fix this? Is it a bug? “ I think the problem is to do with Field Codes. Here are three suggestions: 1. In Word, go […]

Controlling large docs in Microsoft Word

The main issues with creating long docs in Word tend to involve formatting, styles, graphics, tables, and bullets. Formatting — cutting/pasting material directly from one file into another is best avoided as this will bring unwanted styles in the target Word file. Instead convert it to raw text and then import it. Styles — create […]

WEBSITES: DESIGNED BY DOGS, MANAGED BY CATS

A key danger in website design is over-ambition. We need to design a website we can professionally manage. I travel a lot. And when you travel a lot you discover a lot of important things. You learn the answers to crucial questions such as: Why is a dog a man’s best friend? Because a dog […]

Why do backward Ps appear in Word?

If you open a Word document and see what looks like large Ps at the end of every sentence, then the Show/Hide marker has been turned on. Sometimes this gets turned on by accident or when you open a doc which as these turned on by default. The the Show/Hide marker is used for examining […]