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 […]

3 Ways To Get Past Technical Writer’s Block

Ever hit Technical Writer’s Block? That’s when you sit down to write your next user guide or operations manual and… nothing happens. You don’t know where to start and end up staring at the screen while the Due Deadline gets closer in the background. How do you get past Technical Writer’s Block? Learn more about the […]

Using Fear To Motivate Technical Writers

I want you to think back to the best – and worse – boss you’ve ever had. Describe them in three words. Now, I want you to think of how his/her boss thought of this person. See any difference? One of the tricks on office politics is that what works for you is not acceptable for others. I’m mentoring some Technical Writers right now and each has their own style. But I have a problem. The best team leader is also the most obnoxious.

How 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.

How to Improve the Quality of Web Help and Online Documentation

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 […]

How Many Pages Should Technical Writers Write Every Day?

If I asked you how many pages you wrote every day, would you know? We calculated how many pages we wrote per week and then divided it across the team. It was less than we had thought. Actually, we felt guilty that we were performing so poorly. It turns out that other Publishing Depts across the company were more or less then same.

No Country For Old Tech Writers

What’s the average age of tech writers in your company? When you’re hiring, is it graduates or silver foxes that get the job? I ask this as several friends in the 40s have hit brick walls trying to find work. Some blame out-sourcing, others the recession. Maybe it’s more than that.

Kate Winslet’s 7 Secret Ways to Revise Technical Documents

What can Kate Winslet teach you about proof-reading technical documents? Watch the movie The Reader and it will make sense. If she was writing this blog, she’d probably say: “Don’t do it all at once! One of the biggest mistakes you can make when revising any technical document, is to do it all in one […]

Where To Get a Technical Writing Degree Online

Earlier this year we asked if Online Degrees in Technical Writing as Good as Real World Universities? The response was mostly positive. The University of Limerick, Ireland offers an excellent online course for those who want to study technical writing at home. This university has a fantastic campus, specializes in the Arts and provides a conveyor belt of freshly-