How Do Tech Writers Use Visual Elements to Depict Data?

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Technical communicators have many reasons for incorporating visual data (specifically tables, charts, and graphs) into their work: they make text easier to understand, they often save on production costs, and translation to other languages is usually easier. So, the problem for many writers isn’t if to include charts, graphs, etc.; the problem may be when […]

How to Make the Most of a Style Guide

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What is a style guide? A style guide is a reference for writers. Think of it as a dictionary of sorts, but one that documents decisions rather than definitions. Style guides essentially serve as a roadmap to consistency. Let’s face it: writers have options, and most writers follow their own preferences where they can. But, […]

Guide to Successful Proofreading

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Proofreading a document can be a challenging assignment for many people. But proofreading your own writing can be downright impossible since we often read what we meant to write, and not what we actually wrote. How can you find mistakes in your writing? Here are some helpful tips you can use the next time you’re […]

How to Avoid Common Stylistic Problems in Technical Writing

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Technical writing isn’t just about writing on technical topics. It also includes writing in a style that allows your readers to quickly and easily understand technical information and put it to work. When writing has errors—grammatical, mechanical, or stylistic—meaning suffers and readers get lost. Many unskilled writers may write grammatically and/or mechanically correct documents that fail […]

Part II: Best Technical Writing Tools—Technical Skills

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You may be intrigued by the state-of-the-art electronic device you just bought—the technology, the innovation, the research and development. But have you taken into consideration what’s behind the documentation that came with the product? The writer, the tools, the training, the experience—these all are a part of the document you’re holding in your hand. A […]

Part II: How a Technical Writer Can Save You Money—The Hidden Costs of Outdated Technical

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Part One of How a Technical Writer Can Save You Money discussed how a technical writer can reduce your help desk support. But another way a technical writer can save you money is by ensuring your documentation remains current. Outdated technical documentation can cut into your profit in many ways and, in extreme cases, can lead […]

Part I: How a Technical Writer Can Save You Money—Reduce Your Help Desk Support

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That product you’ve been working on—the one you’ve poured your heart and soul into—has a beginning. Maybe it was the day the idea was born or perhaps the day the idea was approved for production. And since that time, many hours of research, development, and testing have gone into the product. Then, finally, you reach […]

Why Developers Shouldn’t Write User Documentation

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Product developers serve a very important purpose in today’s world. Through trial and error, developers use a range of skills to create a valuable product for consumers. In an effort to make the product as desirable as possible, developers maximize the product’s features—for example, by making it energy efficient, cost effective, multi-purpose, or low maintenance. In short, […]

7 Tips to Creating a Usable Technical Document

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For a technical document to be of use to its intended audience, its contents must be accessible. Since most technical documents aren’t intended to be read from beginning to end, the reader must be able to easily and accurately locate the specific information he or she needs. Key document accessibility features may include A table of […]