How To Take a Screenshot of the Windows Start Menu Bar

Most screenshot software doesn’t let you take a screen capture of the Windows menu bar. Here’s a workaround.

Should I Join the STC?

Ben Minson makes some interesting points about the role of the STC (Society for Technical Communication) and the value it offers to its members. As an ‘outsider’ looking in, I have to confess to finding the STC a rather odd organization. A longer post is probably in order to discuss this.

Screenshot Tips #1 – Difference between Screen Shots and Screen Dumps

This is the first part in a series of lessons on how to create professional-looking screenshots. We’ll start with the basics and walk you through more advanced techniques, such as blending, merging and adding special effects to your screenshots.

Is it possible to get into technical writing without a degree?

I got this email during the week. The question was: is it worth the time and money to take a technical writing course? “I’ve been reading articles about Technical Writing and I’m thinking about a change in career. I’ve worked as a non-degreed Quality Engineer in the manufacturing industries. Writing quality documentations and SOPs was […]

Audience Analysis: Power Tools for Technical Writing

When discussing Audience Analysis, David McMurray points out that, “for most technical writers, this is the most important consideration in planning, writing, and reviewing a document. You “adapt” your writing to meet the needs, interests, and background of the readers who will be reading your writing.

How to Get Out of Technical Writing and into Better Paid Jobs

Many IT professionals, technical writers included, have seen their salaries frozen or reduced over the past 18 months. Contractors are suffering the same fate as short-term projects dry up. However, several of my colleagues have managed to move out of technical writing and into other, better paid lines of work. Here’s a roundup.

7 Ways to Improve Your Technical Writing

Here are seven quick tips to improve the quality of your technical documents. When you write a technical document, consider the following points:

Are Daily Rates for Technical Writers Collapsing?

Daily rates for technical writers are down to $30 per hour in some places in the Bay Area. Recent articles on other technical writing sites suggests that daily rates for technical writers is collapsing in the US, in particular the west coast, as more writers struggle to find roles that match their previous salaries.

How to convert Microsoft Word documents into Adobe FrameMaker

This article explains how to convert large files between Microsoft Word and Adobe FrameMaker.In this tutorial, the source file is the file being converted (Word) and target file is the file that it will be converted into (in this case, a FrameMaker file).

Why use Master Templates in Adobe FrameMaker?

Master templates let you control the format and positioning of every component in your FrameMaker documents.
In plain English this means that if you setup a footer as Arial, size 10, and then apply it to the main document, all footers will appear in this font and this size. Sounds good!

Top 50 Technical Writers on the Web

I’ve made a list of the top 50 technical writers with a web presence. Some of these you might know, such as Darren Barefoot and Tom Johnson. I have also added some other writers from India, Russia and Israel to reach out to a wider audience. I’m sure there are others that I’ve missed. Let me know and I’ll update the list.