Category Essays

Agile documentation – how development and technical writing complement each other

Aren’t we looking here at something that is almost an oxymoron? You could be forgiven for thinking so. “Agile” – a word with a spontaneous, quick or flexible ring to it. “Documentation”, by contrast, conjures up an image of something…

How to warn – a skill that has to be learnt

One of the most important objectives of an instruction manual is to ensure that the product is used safely. This comes as no great surprise, as no one wants to cause any damage when using a product, neither do they…

Norms and standards for technical documentation – where to look

Technical writers must be able to handle the wide range of tasks involved in creating a document. Not only do operating instructions need to be understandable, they must also be easily accessible, ensure safe use of the product and, ultimately,…

Terminology management – a call for clarity and comprehensibility

When it comes to good technical documentation – such as a manual, online help or a knowledge article in a service database – nothing is left to chance. What should the first chapter of the document be called? What is…

Modularisation for beginners

Getting modularisation right is a critical success factor when working with content management systems such as SCHEMA ST4. However, many questions arise for those switching to these systems if they have previously been using a traditional linear writing style. In…

Less is more: controlled language for more efficient documentation

The verb “to sanction” can mean “to approve” as well as “to punish”. The Oxford English Thesaurus apparently lists 380 synonyms for the word “good”. In Thomas Mann’s original German version of his novel “Joseph and his brothers” is a…

The major advantages of a component content management system in technical writing

Authoring processes can be optimised with a content management system, because such a tool provides efficient solutions for different application areas. Every technical writer benefits from the advantages of working with such a content management system, regardless of the fact…

Achieve optimum text intelligibility in technical writing

Imagine that your company produces fan heaters. Winter is slowly approaching and you know that the coming months will be the most lucrative for your company’s products. You receive feedback from three retailers about complaints from end customers in just…

Simple steps to optimise your documentation for translation

If your company wants to market its products abroad, it goes without saying that you’ll need your documents translated into other languages. Regardless of whether the translations are being completed in-house or outsourced to external agencies, the basic requirements are…

Challenges of software documentation and how to master them

Working with software is nothing unusual in this day and age. There are hardly any professions that can manage without a multitude of digital assistants for communication, organisation, management, design, configuration, control or monitoring purposes.

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