[Checklist] Release Notes: 7 Don’ts and 13 Do’s

If your technical writing job involves writing release notes, create checklists for writing, reviewing, and production. Use the following checklist to review release notes. Avoid the following mistakes when writing release notes. When – use if instead use when. The difference between when and if is that when implies something has occurred, for example, when […]

Release Notes: 7 Steps to Better Enhancements

Want to improve the quality of the enhancements in your Release Notes? Here are seven ways. Enhancement Identifier Provide the reference number for the enhancement, such as Salesforce 12345. Business value Describe the benefit to the user if they use this enhancement. Usually, there is a specific business driver or customer request behind each enhancement’s […]

Context Sensitive Help: 13 Ways to Test and Improve

After writing the Content Sensitive Help, create a test plan to check that the Help works correctly. Before you start testing the Content Sensitive Help: Clear the cache. Open Excel to log errors. Don’t test your own work. How to Test Content Sensitive Help Use this checklist to test the Content Sensitive Help: F1 — […]

[Checklist] Documents Reviews with Indian Technical Writing Team

Does your technical writing team have offices in Bangalore? Many US software companies are moving technical writing projects to India, Romania, Singapore and Poland. I often help these teams setup their tech writing dept and mentor junior writers who are finding their way. Document reviews are one area you need to focus on to ensure […]

How to write documents for SaaS web applications

SaaS and web-based applications are becoming more popular as they replace desktop or network installations. How you document them is mostly the same as documenting traditional but there are some difference. Let’s take a look. Registration – explain how to set up the account, register an account, common setup issues, and troubleshooting, for example, if […]

How to Perform a ‘Post Mortem’ on Technical Documents

After every major release, do a post mortem of your technical documentation and look at how you can improve team morale, writing process, document reviews, and the documentation product. Post-mortems focus on two areas Quantitative data — such as, the difference between the project estimate and the hours worked. Qualitative data — such as, satisfaction, […]

Installation Guide Checklist: Sample Template For Technical Writers

In the introduction section, identity the software you are about to install, steps to prepare for installation, running installation scripts, and post-installation tasks after the installation script has completed. In general, your installation guide will include most of the following: Introduction Choose the Installation Type Concepts Setup Pre-Installation Requirements Pre-Installation Checklist Installation and Configuring Procedure […]

How to write Enhancements for Release Notes

What do you need to include in your enhancement release notes? At a minimum, you need to cover the following: Description – identify the new enhancement. Avoid the words new, enhancement, or feature in the title. You can drop these words as it’s implied that it’s an enhancement as it’s in the Enhancement section of […]

Release Notes: Sample Text for Writing Enhancements

An enhancement is a new feature, or an improvement to a current feature, included in the current release. To help the reader understand the enhancement, describe: Where the enhancement is located in the user interface. What parameters need to be configured. What is the default setting. Why you should use this enhancement, for example, a […]

Release Notes – How to Write ‘Known Issues’

This week we look at how to document known issues in release notes. The Release Notes web page on the NuGet site offers good examples of how to document known issues in release notes. We’re going to look at three common issues: Installation issues Known issues Workarounds Let’s see what we can learn from it. […]