How Do Tech Writers Use Visual Elements to Depict Data?

Chart

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 […]

Grammar for the Technical Writer: Is There an App for That?

iPhone

All technical writers, novice or expert, rely on tools to make their jobs easier. In a writer’s toolbox, you’ll generally find reliable references, such as a dictionary and/or thesaurus (although technical writers probably don’t use a thesaurus too often), a grammar resource, and a spelling correction resource. Below, you’ll find a list of resources—specifically mobile apps—that […]

How Do Technical Writers Use Social Media?

tablet

What’s the big deal? Social media is changing the way people communicate—communication is constant, prolific, and global. So, if you’re looking to share your craft with the world, you better jump on the social media bandwagon! This article will explain how and why technical writers are using some of the more popular social media outlets: […]

What Tools do Technical Writers Use to Collaborate?

woman_computer

Technical writing is often a boundary-less occupation. Rarely do technical writers collaborate with people “in the next cubicle.” More often, we work with team members—SMEs or other contributors—who are in geographically dispersed locations. So, we rely on tools to support the projects we complete. The key to a successful technical writing project is communication. No […]

How to Make the Most of a Style Guide

dictionary

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, […]

Can You be a Technical Writer?

glasses

Describing a Technical Writer If you have a knack for writing well, and you’re a lover of learning, you might just have what it takes to become a technical writer. The purpose of technical writing is to deliver quality technical communication that users may use efficiently, effectively, and safely. So, the two most important skills […]

How to Avoid Common Stylistic Problems in Technical Writing

pencils

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

typing

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 I: Best Technical Writing Tools—Personal Skills

Hand over keyboard

You may be a high school student on the verge of entering college. Or, perhaps you’re a seasoned professional looking for a career change. Regardless of the specific scenario, when you’re considering a career in technical writing, you should seek to own the same skills—both technical and personal—that every successful technical writer has. Below are descriptions of […]

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

money

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 […]