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Knowledgedoc Technical Writing Blog - March 2015

Introduction to RSS feeds

Rachel Woolley
by Rachel Woolley

For years I’ve seen the acronym RSS around, or the bright orange symbol RSS icon but it wasn’t until I started managing the Knowledgedoc blog that I actually investigated what these things were. It turns out that an RSS feed is a really great tool for following a blog. In this article I’ll introduce you to RSS feeds and how to follow all your favourite organisations.

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Writing creatively for documentation projects

Richard Kennedy
by Richard Kennedy

Technical documentation must always be accurate and easy-to-understand. This means using unambiguous terms, avoiding long sentences, and enabling users to easily find information. This can sound a bit dry, but crafting good documentation requires a creative mindset during each project phase.

In my last article I discussed how creativity is essential in the planning phase of a documentation project. In this article I will look at the writing phase and discuss the role creativity can play in the creation of superb technical communication.

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Preparing online content for Word and PDF outputs

Neil Woolley
by Neil Woolley

In a previous article, I discussed reformatting and preparing Microsoft Word documents to import into our authoring tool; enabling us to create a variety of outputs, including online help.

A bit like a hobbit’s tale ‘There and back again’, our customers often want Word/PDF versions as well as the online content. So once we’ve gone to the trouble to bring in Word documents into our authoring tool, we need to be able to:

  • publish the reformatted and updated documents back to Word
  • save from Word to PDF.

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Making the Word Quick Styles gallery useful

Sue Woolley
by Sue Woolley

Last month I talked about the importance of using Microsoft Word’s styles. In this article I discuss ways to get the most out of the Word Quick Styles panel. On the Home tab, Word displays a Styles list, called the Quick Styles gallery.

This is a very useful shortcut for applying styles to text. You can select a section of your document and click on the style to apply it to the text. The Styles list that Word gives you by default is not completely user-friendly, so here are some tips for making it more useful.

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Planning creatively for documentation projects

Richard Kennedy
by Richard Kennedy

Technical writing is consistent, unambiguous, and uses graphics and videos to complement words. Meeting this standard requires a lot of creativity – it’s just behind the scenes.

This is the first in a series of three articles about ways creativity can be employed during a documentation project.

This article looks at creativity employed during the planning stage of documentation projects including:

  • defining the scope of the project
  • communicating with subject matter experts
  • managing risks.

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