How to Write a Software Documentation Plan

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 resources, requirements, costs, and deliverables. As this is for technical writers, the documentation plan will focus on the content you intent to deliver; […]

How to Write Your First Test Case

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 hoping to achieve. What’s the purpose of a test case? The purpose of a test case is to: Describe […]

The 10 Commandments of Software Maintenance Plans

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 now in operations. Most other documents focus on planning, development or testing. Download Now How to Write Software Maintenance […]

Should Programmers Write Technical Documentation?

Before you make your programmers write the next user guide, think again. Should they really be doing this? Or would you be saving money by giving it to trained technical writers? Developers are: Not trained writers Write documentation slowly and often incorrectly Have other things to focus on Technical writers: Are trained to write documentation Write […]

Two Ways to Chunk Content with MadCap Flare

Mike Hamilton on the MadCap blog wrote an excellent tutorial on how to chunk content. We’ve covered this subject before, especially when looking at information architecture and how to write for the web. What’s interesting about Mike’s article is how he uses conditional markers to do this in MadCap Flare.

Bling Your Technical Documents

Do technical writers like bling? You betcha. You can now give your MadCap Flare web output a new look by updating its skin. This makes the online documents look that bit flashier. You can also look at modifying the skins to give your technical docs an interested edge. Download MadCap Flare Skin Gallery To add […]

7 Skills Technical Writers Need

When you think of technical writing, what comes to mind?
Do you think of someone sitting all alone in a cubicle, glued to a computer screen, diligently documenting complex software?

Why Adobe FrameMaker Sucks – A Slight Rant

Ok, let’s start this product comparison between Microsoft Word (in the red corner) and Adobe FrameMaker (in the blue corner). Before we get into the actual review, I’d like to share how I first encountered FrameMaker and, more importantly, why its roots in an obscure DTP package are the reason why it is the strange beast we love and hate.

Is Adobe FrameMaker Worth the Money?

If you’ve been given a budget for a technical writing dept (tech comms), then you looking for value for money when it comes to buying new tech writing software. We all understand that. The problem I have at the moment is deciding how to use the budget I have. And Adobe FrameMaker is giving me a real headache. For writing long docs, it’s fine. But the cost is a real problem. Is it worth the money?

My Ten Favorite Technical Writing Tools

I’ll be honest. I love Microsoft Word! Adobe FrameMaker has it’s moment but, y’know, it’s can be so lame that it beggar’s belief. I’ve used the same technical writing tools for the last 5 years. A few products have come across my desk but nothing that really blown me away. Here’s a run-down of what I use to write my technical documents. No order of preference. Which should I keep? Which should I replace?