A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Microsoft Windows is a series of software operating systems and graphical user interfaces produced by Microsoft. Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal computer market, particularly in the field of technical writing, although in recent years it has come to be challenged more by Mac OS and Linux.



Aero, El Escritorio Que Viene

El futuro de Windows pasa por Longhorn, el nuevo sistema operativo que Microsoft prepara para 2005 y que supondrá, según ellos, la 'inmersión vital' de los usuarios en la nueva tecnología. Revisamos lo que se sabe de ello hasta el momento.

Dursteler, Juan Carlos. InfoVis (2003). (Spanish) Articles>User Interface>Operating Systems>Microsoft Windows


Cleaning Your Windows

If you're stuck in the rut of the default settings that Microsoft applies to its software, you're missing out: Here's a guide to customizing Windows systems to strip away annoying 'features' and enhance usability.

Garfinkel, Simson L. Technology Review (2004). Articles>Software>Operating Systems>Microsoft Windows


Console Accessibility

This white paper is intended to show how the console Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) can be used to programmatically access information about the console and applications running under the console in Windows XP.

Microsoft (2001). Articles>User Interface>Accessibility>Microsoft Windows


Don't Get Too Excited About Windows Source Code

Microsoft's offer to open the code to key protocols is probably not as revolutionary as it sounds.

McAllister, Neil. InfoWorld (2006). Articles>Technology>Programming>Microsoft Windows


Error Accessing and Displaying CHM Files: Reasons and Solutions

So, you've got in trouble. Some or even all of your CHM files seem to have gotten corrupted. They show a "The page cannot be displayed" error in the left-hand pane of the CHM viewer. There are several possible reasons why your CHM e-books and documentation files are unreadable.

Crane, Dennis. Dr. Explain (2006). Articles>Documentation>Help>Microsoft Windows


Error Message Gallery

A collection of humourous error messages and dialogue boxes that you can add to by making your own.

Atom Smasher. Humor>User Interface>Help>Microsoft Windows


Head-Tracking Pointer

An application that, using an inexpensive camera, lets users control a mouse pointer by aiming their face around the screen.

IBM (2006). Resources>Software>Accessibility>Microsoft Windows


Help.Longhorn - What is it?

The Help platform for Microsoft Windows is changing once again. Since 1995, Microsoft HTML Help has been the standard for Help systems for Windows applications, but the release of the next generation Windows operating system in 2005 will see a brand new XML-based Help platform. It is currently known as Help.Longhorn, or "Longhorn" Help, or sometimes as Help3 or TrésHelp.

Self, Tony. HyperWrite (2004). Articles>Documentation>Help>Microsoft Windows


The Helpware Group

Welcome to the home of The Helpware Group. Here you will find support for MS HTML Help 1.x and MS Help 2.0, FrontPage and Delphi. We are based in Melbourne Australia. Enjoy the site.

helpware.net. Resources>Software>Help>Microsoft Windows


How Microsoft Lost the API War

Microsoft's crown strategic jewel, the Windows API, is lost. The cornerstone of Microsoft's monopoly power and incredibly profitable Windows and Office franchises, which account for virtually all of Microsoft's income and covers up a huge array of unprofitable or marginally profitable product lines, the Windows API is no longer of much interest to developers. The goose that lays the golden eggs is not quite dead, but it does have a terminal disease, one that nobody noticed yet.

Spolsky, Joel. Joel on Software (2004). Articles>Technology>Software>Microsoft Windows


HTML Applications: Introducing the HTA File

The letters HTA are meant to stand for HTML Application. The technology was developed by Microsoft, so is a proprietary concept, and only works in conjunction with Internet Explorer (specifically version 5 and above).

HyperWrite (2005). Articles>Web Design>Standards>Microsoft Windows


Introduction to MLang

MLang implements a set of services that is designed to help make software that interacts with Internet data more international. More specifically, MLang helps solve problems presented by the multilingual environment that exists for software today. This article describes the services that are provided by the MLang Component Object Model (COM) object.

Microsoft (2003). Articles>Language>Localization>Microsoft Windows


Microsoft "Longhorn" Help Highlights

Microsoft’s specification for 'Longhorn' Help represents a major revolution in user assistance development for the Windows platform. Instead of simply refining the technical infrastructure of Help (windowing, links, search, etc.), Microsoft has given a good deal of thought to the needs of both Help authors and end-users.

Ellison, Matthew. WritersUA (2003). Articles>Documentation>Operating Systems>Microsoft Windows


Microsoft Accessibility

Microsoft Active Accessibility 2.0 is a COM-based technology that improves the way accessibility aids work with applications running on Microsoft Windows operating systems. It provides dynamic-link libraries that are incorporated into the operating system as well as a COM interface and application programming elements that provide reliable methods for exposing information about user interface elements. By following accessibility design practices and using Microsoft Active Accessibility, you can make technology products for your customers with accessibility needs.

Microsoft. Design>Accessibility>Software>Microsoft Windows


MSXML Tutorial

This article, the first of three parts, explains what MSXML is and how to access an XML document using JavaScript.

Keogh, Jim and Ken Davidson. ASP Free (2006). Articles>Information Design>XML>Microsoft Windows


MSXML, Concluded

This article, the third of three parts, explains what MSXML is and how to access an XML document using JavaScript.

Keogh, Jim and Ken Davidson. ASP Free (2006). Articles>Information Design>XML>Microsoft Windows


MSXML, Continued

This article, the second of three parts, explains what MSXML is and how to access an XML document using JavaScript.

Keogh, Jim and Ken Davidson. ASP Free (2006). Articles>Information Design>XML>Microsoft Windows


New Fonts in Windows Vista

Seven new fonts will make their public appearance in Office 2007. Segoe UI will be used as the Office user interface, and will also be the font used throughout the Windows Vista user interface. For documents produced by Office, Calibri (a sans serif font) is recommended for headings, with Candara (a humanist sans font) recommended for sans body text, and Cambria for serifed. Consolas is a monospaced font, while the remaining two having characteristics that suit particular types of paragraphs.

Self, Tony. HyperWrite (2006). Design>Typography>Fonts>Microsoft Windows



NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) is a free and open source screen reader for the Microsoft Windows operating system. Providing feedback via synthetic speech and Braille, it enables blind or vision impaired people to access computers running Windows for no more cost than a sighted person. Major features include support for over 20 languages and the ability to run entirely from a USB drive with no installation.

NVDA. Resources>Software>Accessibility>Microsoft Windows


Readability of Fonts in the Windows Environment

The readability of twelve different fonts and sizes in the Microsoft Windows environment was studied. The specific fonts were Arial, MS Sans Serif, MS Serif, and Small Fonts. Their sizes ranged from 6.0 to 9.75 points. These were presented using black text on either a white or gray background and either bold or non-bold style. There were significant differences between the various font/size combinations in terms of reading speed, accuracy, and subjective preferences. There were no consistent differences as a result of background color or boldness. The most preferred fonts were Arial and MS Sans Serif at 9.75. Most of the fonts from 8.25 to 9.75 performed well in terms of reading speed and accuracy, with the exception of MS Serif at 8.25. Arial at 7.5 and both of the Small Fonts (6.0 and 6.75) should generally be avoided.

Tullis, Thomas S., Jennifer L. Boynton and Harry Hersh. ACM SIGCHI (1995). Articles>Typography>Usability>Microsoft Windows


Software Driving Software: Active Accessibility-Compliant Apps Give Programmers New Tools to Manipulate Software

Starting from the basics of Active Accessibility, this article leads you through the development of a software testing application. You'll see how this testing application interacts with common controls and other UI elements, then processes the resulting WinEvents.

Klementiev, Dmitri. Microsoft (2000). Articles>Accessibility>Software>Microsoft Windows


Testing Assistive Technology for Compatibility with Microsoft Windows XP

This article prioritizes areas of the Microsoft Windows XP interface that can be tested to ensure compatibility between assistive technologies and Windows XP.

Microsoft (2002). Articles>Accessibility>Testing>Microsoft Windows


Texter: Timesaving Tool for Tech Writers

Texter monitors what you type. When you type in a pre-defined series of keystrokes (a ‘hotstring’), Texter replaces those characters with a longer section of text. For example, if your company name is Primatech Paper Company, you could set up a hotstring of ppc. When you type ppc, Texter replaces it with Primatech Paper Company. Texter works with any Windows application.

Blunck, Hamish. HamishBlunck.com (2009). Articles>Software>Writing>Microsoft Windows


A Tip on Record-Keeping in Windows

Microsoft Windows keeps all your files in folders (within directories and subdirectories), and allows you to have as many folders as you want. You can also name them in almost any way you want, but that sometimes leads to confusion, because Windows needs to be told how you want these folders ordered.

Pinkham, Gordon. MetroVoice (2004). Articles>Software>Operating Systems>Microsoft Windows


Transferability of Long File Names

If you use Win95, NT, Mac, or any other operating system that allows long file names, are you aware of the problems that can arise when files are transferred to Win 3.11 or DOS? The problems particularly affect files that have long file names in which the first eight characters are the same, e.g. 'minutes of 20 Sept meeting' and 'minutes of 14 Nov meeting'. The problem arises as soon as a file is opened in an operating system that allows only eight characters in the file name, suffix excluded.

Gärdegard, Karin. TC-FORUM (1998). Articles>Collaboration>Operating Systems>Microsoft Windows



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