Knowledgedoc Technical Writing Blog - January 2015

Word tips - How to set up numbered headings

Rachel Woolley
by Rachel Woolley

Numbered headings can be very useful for organising your document into sections. This article will cover using Word’s predefined numbered headings and setting up your own numbered heading scheme.

Before you start, check to make sure you are using Word’s built-in heading styles to format your document. This process won’t work if you’re formatting your headings manually.

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Capturing content for mobile devices

Neil Woolley
by Neil Woolley

I’m a dinosaur when it comes to mobile devices. What did I do when faced with capturing content for a mobile app from an iPhone? Call in one of the children to help of course.

One of our long-standing customers recently developed the second version of their mobile app, SynMobile, available from iTunes and Play Store.

In order to document the application, we needed to take screen captures from the various mobile devices that the customer’s app ran on.

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Creative traps in technical communication

Richard Kennedy
by Richard Kennedy

Creativity is an essential skill for technical communicators, but it must be carefully managed to ensure the quality of the content is not being compromised. The purpose of technical writing is to communicate instructions or information as efficiently as possible. Using flowery prose to establish an emotional connection while your user is trying to establish an internet connection is a recipe for disaster.

This article looks at three of the most common errors made by writers making the switch from creative to technical writing.

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Software documentation – How much or how little?

Sue Woolley
by Sue Woolley

Tony Self, founder of HyperWrite Consultancy and Training, wrote a thought-provoking article in the February 2009 edition of Southern Communicator entitled, “What if your readers can’t read?”. I read this article with a mixture of interest and trepidation. Interest because I have two teenage daughters, so I know that younger people learn and read in a completely different way to me. Trepidation because, well, are we technical writers all going to be out of a job in the next few years? Will the video-makers and podcasters take over our roles?

I started thinking about how we traditionally document software. Typically we describe all the screens, fields and buttons and then describe job processes, which might include some manual steps as well as system steps. My question is, how much do we need to document? Do we need to describe every last button and field within the software?

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