New software increases the language quality of technical documents

PRESS RELEASE dated 2012-10-29

If instructions are not clear, people can die.

To make sure that instructions are as clear as possible, some companies use ASD Simplified Technical English (ASD-STE100). ASD-STE100 specifies the words and the grammar that are permitted in an instruction manual. For example, a technical writer must not use the verb to carry out to mean to do.

Unlike plain English, ASD-STE100 is a specification. Therefore, a technical writer can evaluate text for conformity to ASD-STE100. Manually evaluating text is difficult. Spelling checkers and grammar checkers are not sufficient. Software can help technical writers to conform to ASD-STE100. However, until now, that software was very expensive.

Now, new open-source software helps technical writers to evaluate text for conformity to ASD-STE100. Mike Unwalla from TechScribe explains the benefit of the new software. "When I try to conform to ASD-STE100, vocabulary is a large problem. For example, I must remember to use attach, not fix. I must remember that sample is a noun, not a verb. I must remember that the customer's term is hard disk, not hard drive. The new software helps me to make sure that I use the terms correctly."

To use the software effectively, a technical writer must add the applicable project terms to the software.

Technical writers can change the software to solve other problems. For example, technical writers can use the software to prepare text for international readers or for machine translation.

The software is on

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