Creating Dummy Text in Word

Image via Wikipedia Lorem Ipsum is dummy text that has its origins in the printing and typesetting industry. It has been the printing industry’s standard dummy text since the 1500s, when a printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It came back into popularity in the 1960s […]

Turn Google Docs into a Distraction Free Writing Tool

Looking for a writing tool that automatically hides your desktop so you can concentrate on your writing? Anil Atluri on Digital Inspiration has this great tutorial on how to make Google Docs your perfect free writing tool. Turn Google Docs into a Writing Tool Follow these steps: 1: Create a new document in Google Docs […]

How to Open a Corrupt Microsoft Word Document

The Microsoft Support center offers very details instructions on how to overcome this. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/926909/en-us?spid=2530&sid=106

Word To Framemaker Tutorial

Many tech writers have had to convert Word documents into FrameMaker. It is a very unpleasant and painful process! The good news is that Tech Knowledge offer a nice tutorial that explains how to convert documents as quickly and efficiently as possible. “The infamous Word2Frame document describing tips and techniques for converting from Word to […]

What’s the right Style Guide for a new Tech Pubs Dept?

Amanda asks, “I’m setting up a Tech Pubs Dept for a Financial Services company. What is the best style guide to encourage the staff to use?” First off, the main benefit of adopting a style guide is that it puts guidelines in place to ensure consistency across all documents that go out the door. Sounds […]

8 Web Writing Tips

Writing for the Web requires new a different approach to the writing process. Before you start writing web content, try to understand the basics of information architecture and how navigation systems work. On the web, write in small digestible chucks, which fit into the information hierarchy. To create your hierarchy, outline the website as you […]

What exactly do technical writers do?

Technical writers write technical documents that explain complex issues in simple, plain English. Technical writers – also know as Technical Authors or Information Designers – write material that supports software and hardware systems. They design, write and produce material that is delivered in print, soft-copy or as Online Help, such as that found in the […]

How to Interview Tech Writers

Jane R. in Texas asks for some tips on interviewing tech writers, especially when using assessment tests. Her company is about to hire their first full-time writer and they have not done this before. I’ve worked on both sides on the fence in the past, (i.e. interviewed and been interviewed) and picked up a few […]

Problems with Table of Contents in Word

James in North Carolina asks, “In Word, the Table of Contents is not displayed. Instead, I get an error message: { TOCO “2-4″H Z T “HEADING 1,1”}. How do I fix this? Is it a bug? “ I think the problem is to do with Field Codes. Here are three suggestions: 1. In Word, go […]

Controlling large docs in Microsoft Word

The main issues with creating long docs in Word tend to involve formatting, styles, graphics, tables, and bullets. Formatting — cutting/pasting material directly from one file into another is best avoided as this will bring unwanted styles in the target Word file. Instead convert it to raw text and then import it. Styles — create […]