Blanar & Associates, Technical Writing - Annette Blanar, Proprietor Photograph of a Keyboard
 
 

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Software Documentation Skills and Techniques

At one time or another, most computer users have experienced a problem with the documentation that came with a piece of software. Sometimes the information isn't well organized. Sometimes the material isn't well indexed. Sometimes the layout of the page or the writing style is confusing. When we author software documentation, we take into consideration these kinds of problems and write to solve them.

Whether you are a small or large company, when writing your documentation, we can perform any of the following tasks as necessary to produce a quality manual or help system for your software.

Make the content of your documentation as user-friendly as possible by using standard terminology and conversational words.
Write for the appropriate audience their knowledge level, the problems they may encounter, and how they think.
Make answers available and easy to find to help reduce your technical support calls.
Develop specialty content, such as glossaries, quick reference charts, tutorials, or troubleshooting sections.
Use tables and bulleted lists to make relevant information more readable.
Create schematic diagrams, flowcharts, or graphs to explain concepts visually.
Incorporate icons or small graphics to enhance your the content or visual appeal of your documentation.
Design the layout of your documentation following good design principles.
Create a table of contents and index to help the user stay organized.
Create digital versions of photographs or outside artwork for incorporation into the documentation.
Capture, re-touch, optimize, and include screen shots of your software.
Create a variety of help systems including WinHelp4, MS HTML Help, PDF-based, or HTML pages.
Use our own tools to create your documentation, so that you don't need to buy any software unless you want to specific tool used.
Beta test your software on our computer systems, providing you with a list of bugs discovered and suggestions for your user interface.