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 […]

4 Golden Rules of Capitalization in Technical Documents

It is ebay or eBay or Ebay? How Technical Writers use capitalization in user guides creates many problems for editors, reviewers, and users. Part of the problem is a lack of guidelines and style guides. What you think looks fine break some style guide rule you were unaware of. The Capitalization of Microsoft A good […]

21 Words That Make Technical Writers Look Dumb

We both know that a Microsoft Exchange Server doesn’t have feelings, hopes and desires. But when we write technical documents, these type of human feelings can creep in. You need to be careful when writing user guides, design documents, and specifications as these false words give the wrong impression and undermine the quality of your material.

How to Setup a Technical Writing Shop On Amazon

You know you spend too much time on the internet when you search for technical writing software and find an Amazon shop for technical writing software… and then realize you built it. And forgot about it! Yes, this is what happened to me yesterday. Maybe I need to slow down because…

How Tai Chi Will Make You a Better Technical Writer

I spend 10 hours a day writing user guides, online help and other such delights. One of the hazards of working these long hours is migraine, back pain and (literally) a pain in the neck. You can get away with this in your 20s, but as you get older you need to take greater care […]

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?

Are Online Degrees in Technical Writing as Good as Real World Universities?

If you had a choice, would you hire someone with an Online Degree or someone who graduated from a real world ‘bricks and mortar’ University? I get emails most week asking if online degrees are worth the money, are they trustworthy, will people hire me, will I get ripped off… before we get into that, here are five universities that offer online degrees in technical writing. Are online degrees as good as real degrees?

How To Get More Traffic To Your Technical Writing Blog

To quote Van Halen, ‘everybody wants some.’ And what you want is traffic to your blog, right? Why write a blog if no-one visits? I have 17 technical writers’ blogs in my Google Reader & RSS feeds. Most are fine but… if they used some of the following tactics, they’d get more traffic, comments, money […]

How Social Media Will Make You a Better Technical Writer

Gina Blednyh launched the Technical Communication 2.0 group in Facebook in 2009. It explores the interplay between Web 2.0 and technical communication. It’s a terrific place to exchange ideas about collaborative technologies and new approaches to delivering information. In this interview, I ask her how Technical Writers can use Social Media and the types of […]