Favorite 10 Technical Writing Tools

I’ve used the same technical writing tools for the last 5 years. A few products have come across my desk but nothing that really blown me away. Here’s a run-down of what I use to write my technical documents. No order of preference. Which should I keep? Which should I replace?

Robohelp vs Doc-to-Help? Which is best for Online Help?

Robohelp or Doc-to-Help? My client has given me permission to use whatever tool I want to do the next batch of tech docs — and they’ll buy the software. No cost to me. Which one should I choose? Robohelp or Doc-to-Help Doc-to-Help was the first help authoring tool (HAT) I used in my technical writing […]

Create Greek Dummy Text in Word

Image via Wikipedia Lorem Ipsum is dummy text that has its origins in the printing and typesetting industry. It has been the printing industry’s standard dummy text since the 1500s, when a printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It came back into popularity in the 1960s […]

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 […]

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 […]