C#: how to write Hello World

The “Hello, World” program is traditionally used to introduce a programming language. Here it is in C#: using System; class Hello { static void Main() { Console.WriteLine(“Hello, World”); } } What’s the file extension? C# source files typically have the file extension .cs. How to compile? You can compile the program with the Microsoft C# […]

How to Write Release Notes: Faster, Stronger, Better

release notes template in ms word

So, you want to write release notes but don’t know where to start? Well pull you a chair and let me give you the lowdown. Download – Release Notes template with sample text. Introduce the release notes with text such as the following: These release notes provide information about the documentation for <your product> <version […]

Proof-reading Checklist for Technical Documents

Is there anything worse than sending out an important document and then, just when it’s gone, finding a typo? Always leave some time to check your documents before you send them out. Here’s a checklist to get you started. Proof-reading Checklist Select the entire document – CTRL+A – then click the Language option at the […]

User Guide Checklist

This checklist summarizes the recommended structure and contents for User Guide documents. Introduction In this section, introduce the User Guide and cover the following areas: – Intended readers – identify the different user types, for example, system operators, home users, and experts. For each, identify the assumed level of experience and highlight the sections of […]

How to Test Technical Documents

This checklist helps you test User Guides and other technical documents. The first step is to ensure the following is in place. Setup the necessary technical environment. Make sure this reflects the user’s settings or as close to as possible. Print out the procedures. Follow the instructions as per the document. Aim to identify any […]

Functional Specification Checklist

Writing the functional specification occurs after we’ve evaluated the product or technology. If we look at the project planning lifecycle, we can see it’s the second process: Evaluating products. Writing the functional specification. Packaging the master project plan. Creating the master schedule. Reviewing Project Plans. PS – you can download a Functional Specification Checklist template […]

Difference Between Run and Execute in Technical Documents

Technical writing is about getting the small details right. The difference between the almost right word and the right word is the “difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain So, when writing a user guide, should you say, Run or Execute? From one angle, it doesn’t seem to matter. Everyone knows what you […]

10 Ways To Improve Your Documentation Plan Right Now

One of the difficulties when creating documentation plans is determining the correct figures for the amount of work involved. For example, if you’re creating a user guide for an application you know quite well, then it’s easy to estimate the amount of work involved. And if you’re doing the writing, then you can also gauge […]

A Video Blog Post

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Just a cool blog post with Images

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5 Ways To Differentiate Yourself as a Technical Writer

Feeling ignored? What’s that? No pay respects the hard work you do as a tech writer. Sad, isn’t it? Very sad… Ever wonder why? Ever wonder what you need to do about it? Hmmm? Tom Peters says, “the value of services will continue to fall” and that the only way to survive is to differentiate […]

Who Makes More Money? Technical Writers with Language or IT Skills?

Kai raised an interesting point about which skill (writing/technical) takes longer to master. Knowing how to structure and present information to users? Or knowing how to use a product or application? That got me thinking. If you want to make money as a technical writer, which area should you focus on? Sharpen your writing skills or deepen your technical knowledge, for example, learning how to document an API?