Articles about technical writing

Article groups: Language  | Document design  | Online documents  | Costs  | Standards and laws  | Production

Language

Accuracy in website terms and conditions shows why you must change a template to your requirements.

ASD Simplified Technical English is a standard for writing clear English.

Copywriting and technical writing compared explains some basic differences in the language used in these two types of communication.

Glossaries aid clarity shows the benefits of a glossary in a technical document.

Plain English makes text clear to readers, and saves money for organizations.

Problems with plain English explains why plain English is not sufficient for some documents.

Removing unnecessary words shows how to decrease the number of words in a text.

Writing for an international audience explains some of the problems that occur when English documentation is supplied to an international market.

Document design

Alternatives to software documentation gives alternative methods of helping people use software.

FAQs: do better solutions exist? shows why 'frequently asked questions' are not a good method of helping people to find answers to their questions.

Information Mapping is a proprietary method for the design of documentation.

Indexing technical documents explains why an index is necessary, even when you can search the contents of an electronic document.

Printed and online documentation trade-offs compares the advantages and disadvantages of printed documentation and online documentation for different types of user.

Software usability and documentation shows how a user-centred strategy to software design can decrease the requirement for documentation.

Usability, testing, and documentation discusses the relation between these three areas of product development.

Users' documentation preferences (1) shows users' preferences about documentation. All the users work in the jewellery trade.

Users' documentation preferences (2) shows users' preferences about documentation. All the users are engineers.

What is good documentation? gives some basic metrics for evaluating whether documentation is useful or not.

Why subject-matter experts struggle to write user documents explains why using a technical writer is usually a good strategy.

Online documents

Context-sensitive help explains context-sensitivity and supplies a sample application and a sample help file.

Electronic Performance Support Systems compares EPSSs and online help.

Website design and technical communication discusses website design from a technical writing perspective.

Costs

Decreasing the cost of software documentation shows how to decrease costs without decreasing the quality.

Relative costs of printed and online documentation compares the costs of development, production, and maintenance.

The cost of bad documentation gives a list of costs to your company.

Translation memory systems decrease the cost of translation

Standards and laws

New opportunities for P&P writers, 279 KB. Guest writer Ralph E. Robinson discusses the effect of international standards on the writing of policies and procedures. The article first appeared in Intercom (www.stc.org/intercom/), November 2005.

The development of ISO/IEC 18019:2004 explains how Guidelines for the design and preparation of user documentation for application software was developed.

Section 508, software documentation, and the US software market explains how to make sure that your software documentation conforms to the accessibility laws in the US.

Production

Bindings for printed manuals explains the trade-offs between the options.

Digital printing for software manuals explains the advantages and disadvantages of digital printing compared to litho printing.

Objections to outsourcing a technical writing project discusses some objections that possible customers have.

Single-sourcing and small projects. Single-sourcing is useful for large documentation project. However, it is not useful for many small documentation projects.

See also

Technical writers' resources

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