The Method M blog for technical writers, marketing staff, product managers and others who spend hours each week creating documents. This blog is dedicated to helping you work more efficiently and create better documents.
Because of a bug in Microsoft Word (both Word 97 and Word 2000), it's difficult to number lists automatically. The Numbering Numbering toolbar button toolbar button doesn't work reliably, and neither does RoboHelp's Topic Text Numbered style. Even if you install Microsoft's SR-1 or SR-2 patch to Word 97 or upgrade to Word 2000, you are still likely to encounter problems with any complex numbered list formatting. As a result of these problems, many RoboHelp users have reverted to “manual” list numbering, which is both time-consuming and error-prone. Using the procedure described here, you can automate the process of creating numbered lists in Word and completely insulate yourself from the Word bug that has plagued so many Help authors. To accomplish this, you'll need to take steps detailed on this page.
We hope that this online version of The Bedford Bibliography for Teachers of Writing will be an efficient reference tool. In the future, we will be able to update the online version more frequently. Moreover, we will provide direct links when possible between bibliographic entries and online versions of the resources themselves. Note that we include annotated listings for six online journals. To go directly to the World Wide Web page for one of these journals, simply click on the highlighted address (URL) given immediately after its title.
In today's complex global economy, good technical documentation is essential. We have all been frustrated when it is lacking -- when we can't find what we need in an owner's manual, when on-line help is no help at all, when newsletter articles are confusing, when installation instructions are incomplete, or when we can't find what we need on a web site.
This collection of thirty-six articles exposes the problem and the promise of historical research in technical writing. The central problem is that historical research in technical writing has too often been focused only on celebrated authors or scientists as technical writers. The central promise contained in some very recent essays is that historical research in technical communications is beginning to consider the slow evolution of technical communication taking place across a broad spectrum of both celebrated and uncelebrated writers. This historical approach, though more difficult to carry out, is immensely more accurate and meaningful.
This library is a free community resource to be shared and contributed to by users and readers across the world. The overall goal of the library is to provide leaders and managers (especially those with very limited resources) basic and practical information about business, management and organizations. Items in the library are relevant to both for-profit and nonprofit organizations unless otherwise marked at the top of the Web page containing the item.
Often conflicting pressures to produce communications that better fit customer demands as well as stay within tightening constraints on budgets and schedules are leading many technical communications organizations to a topic-based approach to authoring. In fact, 58% of participants in Aberdeen Group's October 2008 DITA and the Technical Communicator’s Transformation study report that they currently follow author content in a topic-based manner, with a vast majority of those remaining planning to implement one in the future. A topic-based approach promotes greater content reuse and is seeing a considerable impact on the authoring efficiency of technical communications projects today. The benefits of topic-based authoring can be compelling, with findings from the The Technical Communicator’s Transformation study indicating that when pursued the right way, topic-based authoring can have a broad range of benefits, enabling an organization to meet authoring and localization cost targets as well as documentation quality expectations, among others. However, as the adoption of this approach spreads, the advantages seen by today's leading organizations will flatten out. This Sector Insight provides a guide for current adoption of topic-based authoring and those still considering it; outlining the changes that are expected to take place in as topic-based authoring goes mainstream.
College Writing Assessment is a website containing research and information on the evolving field of teaching of technical communication at the college level. It will include the results of our yearly assessments at New Jersey Institute of Technology, changing technical communication criteria, and our collaborations with other institutions.
Scott Adams created a character named Tina the tech writer for his comic strip Dilbert. She’s brittle, humorless, literal, and wonders why she doesn’t get any respect or interesting work. Like many caricatures, Tina has a basis in reality. This blog will explore issues in technical communication and its professional association the Society for Technical Communication.