Category Essays

Safely to the safety instruction

Of the many content modules that make up a manual, warnings are probably the most sensitive. If errors occur here, there is a risk of damage to property and, in the worst case, even personal injury. When migrating legacy data…

Guidelines, Style Guide, Editorial Guide

Editorial Guide, Style Guide, Documentation Guidelines – almost every team of technical writers has one or more documents that stipulate what to write and how to write it. Their names may vary, but the requirements they place on a document…

What Makes a Writer a Technical Writer?

“Doesn’t a technical writer just write down what the developer/engineer built?”. You still hear this misconception from time to time, but technical writing is actually a complex task that requires much more than technical expertise. Find out what really matters…

Technical documentation – Why?

Let’s consider the why question for a moment. After all, sometimes it’s not a bad idea to go back to basics. What actually is the point of technical documentation? What is its core function, how does the customer use it,…

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…

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