How Much Time Do Technical Writers Spend Writing?

How much time do you spend writing every week? Remember, you have 37.5 hours (I know!) for technical writing every week, but how much is actually spent writing? When I say writing I actually mean developing content, so this includes illustrations, diagrams, publishing etc – whatever goes into the final deliverable.

How to Write a Target Audience Questionnaire

Creating a training plan? Before you do this, you need to step a step back and work out what your colleagues need to learn.

How to change 100 Screenshots with a Single Click

All the screenshots in your Word document are different sizes. What’s the quickest way to get them all the same size? Is there a shortcut? Yes!

How To Write Technical Documents Faster

What to know how to type faster and get those documents out the door quicker? Most people don’t know what the AutoCorrect feature in Word really does. Most people think it’s there to correct the odd typo and clean up your document AFTER you have written it. That’s true but… I use to correct the document […]

Can Outsourcing Help Your Technical Writing Career?

Image by Ivan Walsh via Flickr Most technical writers see outsourcing as a real threat. But, if you look at it from another angle, it’s one huge business opportunity.

How Apple’s Setup Guide Shows that it Thinks Different

Seth Godin believes that everything reflects what you stand for—right down to your technical documents. Ever looked at Apple’s tech docs?

Review EPIC Editor – XML and DITA Authoring Software

Of all the technical writing tools I’ve used over the years, Epic Editor was probably the most impressive, especially when it came to doing tech documents that involved DocBook and Dita. It was difficult to learn – no point pretending otherwise – but once I got the hang of it, I used it non-stop for […]

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 […]

Make Text on Your Laptop Easier to Read

Microsoft offers a free online service that claims to improve font display quality over traditional forms of font smoothing or anti-aliasing. ClearType improves readability on color LCD displays with a digital interface, such as those in laptops and high-quality flat panel displays. The online tuner lets you tune your Windows XP ClearType settings. How it […]

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: { TOC\O “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 […]

Why do backward Ps appear in Word?

If you open a Word document and see what looks like large Ps at the end of every sentence, then the Show/Hide marker has been turned on. Sometimes this gets turned on by accident or when you open a doc which as these turned on by default. The the Show/Hide marker is used for examining […]

Podcasts about technical writing

Check out the excellent Harry Miller’s Technical Writing Blog Podcasts about documentation, technical writing, and technical editing. http://blogs.msdn.com/harrymiller/default.aspx