Another post with A Gallery

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Stephen King Can Make You A Better (Technical) Writer

Scott says, “If you want to improve as a writer, you not only need to write. You need to read. Writing and reading are two sides of the same coin. You need to do both to achieve your potential.” I head downtown most weekends and buy 2 or 3 books, mostly business, history and some fiction. Every so often I run out of options (we’re in Beijing) and get something I usually wouldn’t buy, for example, Iain M Banks. Reading outside my comfort zone stretches me. I encounter writing styles, opinions, and information that I usually side-step.

How I Set Priorities: Get Things Done

Ross Kimbarovsky asks: “How do you decide what to do next? Should you write a blog post? Answer emails in your inbox? Make several sales calls? Spend time on Twitter? Or should you call a team meeting to discuss a customer problem? Ross adds that successful people are successful in part “because they are good […]

How to Run (Structured) Interviews

It’s not the questions you ask that matters, it’s the way you ask them. Technical writers, business analysts, and developers all ask questions. They want answers. And some are better than others. Some ask many times to get the definitive answers. Others think they have the answer but, on closer inspection, have overlooked some vital […]

Robohelp: Why Short Topic Names Improve Navigation

The length of the topic title, i.e. the number of characters, needs to be considered when creating topics for online help. Let’s say you’re creating different topics in RoboHelp. Procedures, reference, and conceptual materials. Each of these needs an intuitive and meaningful name. That makes sense. However, you also need to consider the length of the topic […]

Using Weight Scoring Models for Technical Documents

Recently, we looked at how to determine the quality of your technical documentation. We suggested an approach where you: Identify the scope Identify quality criteria Review a sample of documents Create a baseline Expand the scope All this makes sense. However, we also need to look at how to define a fair scoring system. Why? […]

Mistakes to Avoid when Evaluating Technical Content

How do you evaluate the quality of your documents in a way that’s impartial, accurate, and easy to implement? Recently we looked at how to create scoring frameworks (usually in Excel) to evaluate and score technical documents. From one angle, the scoring is the easy part. What’s more difficult is getting people onside. Encouraging them […]

New Client Landed

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An Amazing responsive and Retina ready theme.

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Checklist: how to proofread technical documents in 15 minutes

You have fifteen minutes to check your technical document before it’s sent to the client. What do you do? Start at one page one and read every word out loud? Maybe, maybe not 🙂 Here’s one suggested approach to proofread any type of document when you’re under pressure. Checklist: how to proofread technical documents in […]

Adobe FrameMaker: 4 Ways to Find and Replace Conditional Text

When it comes to writing technical documents, the ability to create conditional text is one of the main advantages that Adobe FrameMaker has over MS Word. What is Conditional Text? Let’s say you have one document but you want to tailor some content for different readers. For example, you want to add a new warning […]