[How to] Write a Customization Guide

The first question is: who are you writing this customisation guide for? As a technical writer, the skill to developing a useful guide is to keep the reader in mind. Who will be reading this customisation guide? What’s the most important thing they need to know? How can I make this more helpful to them? […]

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 […]

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. […]

Using AutoCorrect To Fix Mistakes In MS Word

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 long run. Here are three ways to use AutoCorrect to fix errors in your technical documents: […]

Microsoft Word v Adobe Framemaker

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 you agree. Which is better for writing long technical documents? Adobe FrameMaker or MS Word? […]

How to Fix Errors in Technical Documents Automatically

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 to change rpt1 to a specific sentence or sentences with formatting applied. You can save […]

Guidelines for Interviewing Technical Writers

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. Guidelines for Interviewing Technical Writers How much time should be allotted to complete the test? I’d […]

Improve Your Technical Writing in 3 Steps

In technical writing, aim for clarity, not style. Don’t annoy the reader with useless information that clogs up the user guide and obstructs them from finding the answers they’re seeking. Get to the point. Fast. Here are three ways to do this. Improve Your Technical Writing in 3 Steps Aim for brevity. Be useful. Stay […]

7 Ways To Position Yourself as a Technical Writing Expert Online

Can you make real money as a Technical Writer on the Internet? Let’s say you want to make more money as a Technical Writer (especially online) but don’t know where to start. You have the expertise and experience but don’t know how to use the Internet to find work, attract clients or sell goods. How […]

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.