Common errors in technical writing

Intrepid offier notes from a session of the Mumbai chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. The first session was by Gurudutt Kamath, who is probably the most well-known figure in the tech writing community in India. “My interest in attending the session arose cause someone I know was also speaking there, and also because […]

7 FrameMaker Fails

Kohsuke Kawaguchi explains just why FrameMaker is so brain-dead. He explains why not to use FrameMaker and lists some of its problems: No undo stack No color No mouse wheel support Windows 95 UI No keyboard shortcuts Font selection via menu Resizable dialog that doesn’t expand controls.  

How to Optimize PDF Files for Blogs

What’s the best way to optimize your PDFs for blogs and websites? While PDFs have become quite popular on the Web, many PDFs used in web sites are designed for high quality print output and are not optimized for the Web. Even PDFs designed for Web use can have a wait problem, weighed down with excess […]

Web-based training on FrameMaker

“My job involves writing and editing documents. I also coordinate with the graphic designer for layout and look and feel. Can you please let me know details about training for FrameMaker?” Apologies for the delay – I couldn’t find the link I wanted to send to you. Here it is: http://apex.vtc.com/framemaker-7.php Regards, Ivan PS – […]

How to Break into Technical Writing

Allan Hoffman on Monster.com offers some excellent advice for anyone considering a move into Technical Writing. “To some people, any job with the word “writer” in the title looks like it must be a blast — the next best thing to working on episodes of “Desperate Housewives.” If spotting the job title technical writer in […]

How to Create a Drop Cap in MS Word

Want to  insert drop capitals for chapters or paragraphs using Microsoft Office Word 2003 or 2007? To create a drop cap in Word: Select the first letter in the paragraph. Select Drop Cap from the Format menu bar. Choose None, Dropped, or In Margin. Select the type of font, the number of line to drop, and the […]

Recommended Reading on Content Development

You might want to look at Ron Scheer’s approach based on two user-based principles: 1) Making information easy to find, and then 2) Easy to understand and use. Also, take a look at his newsletter. saywhatyoumean.com Heather Martin provides top-notch online copy, print and ezine articles, web search engine optimization content, corporate communications, and much […]

Is Information Architecture worth it?

Let’s start out and define Information Architecture.One definition of Information Architecture is “the organization, labelling and structuring of data for content-based applications such as websites.” This emerging field has become more prominent in recent years as websites have grown increasing complex and users demand more friendly navigation systems. Information Architects organize content, such as text, […]

How to Create User-Focused Blogs

For your site to succeed, arrange the content around the user’s needs. Many novice web designers underestimate the difficulty in designing an effective site structure, especially one that will be appreciated by novice and experienced users. We are trained in childhood to retrieve data in certain ways. For example, in libraries we refer to chronological […]

Difference between Usability and Information Architecture

Though the terms Usability and Information Architecture are often understood to be the same thing, this is not true. Usability This tends to study a person’s ability to do (i.e. use) something, such as reading text on a webpage. Usability is not restricted to the web and is used across many industry sectors. For example, […]