21 API Document Generation Tools You Might Have Missed

Want to document your Web and RESTful APIs but don’t know where to start? Me too.  APIs are great but they also need documentation. I did a bit of hunting and compiled this list. It’s in no particular order of preference. I sorted them A-Z. [Get the API Documentation Template here] 21 API Documentation Tools […]

NEW – Quality Assurance Plan Templates (MS Word + Excel)

This week we created a new set of Quality Assurance Plan Templates. I sat templates as we developed more than just the MS Word template, but sample materials, and also seven pretty slick Excel spreadsheets. If you’re involved in tech writing or software testing, I think these templates will be of real value to your Quality […]

The Definitive Guide to Writing Error Messages

These guidelines will help you write error messages that are easy to update and useful for customers. Error messages are the first line of customer support. Poorly written error messages increase technical support costs. A well-written error message tells you, the user, the following: What has happened Why has it occurred How it impacts you, […]

Sample Website Installation Plan

The following guidelines explain how to install a website application. Getting Started It is recommended that you install and verify the software in your test environment prior to deploying it to your production environment. Warning – When specifying an existing database as the installation target, this install process will replace that existing database. Be sure […]

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 […]

Documentation Plan: Which Technical Documents should I write first?

Documentation plans – where do you start? Which technical document should you first write when starting to a new tech docs project? KB emailed me this question. When starting as a technical writer, it can be hard to know where to start writing, especially if many people have different documentations needs. Here’s how to get […]

Recover Text From Any Corrupted MS Word Document

Even if your MS Word documents gets corrupted, you can still repair it in Word. Here’s how. If a Word document will not open and you need to get a copy of the text within the document, try the following steps. This will help you recover the text in the document, though you may need […]

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.

Sample Guidelines for Writing Online Help

If you’re looking for guidelines to write your online help documentation, then use this checklist to get started.

9 Ways To Peer Review Technical Documents

I’ve always had mixed feelings about peer reviews. What they’re done right, we all learn but like Lesson Learned review can easily degenerate into bitching sessions if not managed correctly.