A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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The Academic Eye: Informing Visually   (members only)

What does it mean to be literate in the digital age? For many of us brought up in the world of print, it means finding ways images can convey information and argument. As academics, it means we need to develop the eye for seeing shapes in data, helping students learn and use images ethically and effectively, and understanding the demands on our counterparts in industry to be communicators skilled in words and images.

Barker, Thomas. Intercom (2011). Articles>Academic>Research


Accessibility on the Go   (PDF)   (members only)

Accessibility on mobile devices brings different challenges. Pappas and Roberts discuss how to evaluate your work for these devices with accessibility in mind.

Roberts, Linda Enders and Lisa Pappas. Intercom (2010). Articles>Accessibility>Mobile


Accessibility—Good Business, Best Practice   (PDF)   (members only)

Roberts and Pappas introduce their new column on accessibility by showcasing how accessibility can be a good business practice and increase a company’s bottom line.

Roberts, Linda Enders and Lisa Pappas. Intercom (2009). Articles>Accessibility>Business Case


Actively Managing Your Schedule   (members only)

Uncertainty is the only certainty of a freelancer’s life, but it’s also a problem that afflicts wage slaves, as I learned during the first 15 years of my career. Something unexpected always seems to be popping up, disrupting our carefully crafted plans and leading to long days and late nights. Fortunately, there are ways to make life less uncertain than it might otherwise be, and each involves actively managing our schedules rather than waiting for others to define them for us. Active schedule management involves three types of activity.

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. Intercom (2010). Articles>Project Management>Planning


Add Zip to Your Site without Coding   (PDF)

Wilkinson offers tips on adding free JavaScript subroutines to Web sites. She lists several Web sites that give away free scripts.

Wilkinson, Theresa A. Intercom (2000). Design>Web Design>DHTML


Adjusting to Changing Times in Technical Communication   (PDF)

Without the usual abundance of jobs, I was forced to re-evaluate my skills, my place in our profession, and, ultimately, myself. Slowly but surely I realized that I could find work if I was willing to let go of the past, re-assess the current playing field, and act accordingly.

Hall, Ceil W. Intercom (2003). Careers>TC


Adobe GoLive 5.0   (PDF)

Wallia reviews the latest Adobe Web-authoring software.

Wallia, C.J.S. Intercom (2001). Design>Web Design>Software>Adobe GoLive


Adventures in Collaboration: The Story of an STC Faculty Internship   (PDF)

Rentz relates the lessons she learned as an academic who contributed to a writing project for a private company.

Rentz, Kathryn. Intercom (2003). Articles>Collaboration>Industry and Academy


Altova Authentic: Tip of the Iceberg   (PDF)

Reviews Altova Authentic, a free, WYSIWYG, Windows-based, forms-based XML editor.

Wersan, Fred. Intercom (2004). Design>Information Design>Software>XML


And They Said Computers Were Just a Fad   (PDF)

Maslowski documents the rapidly changing technologies used by the technical communication profession.

Maslowski, David S. Intercom (2000). Articles>Technology>History


Annual Reports That Work   (PDF)

Offers suggestions for creating excellent annual reports.

Worth, Carol. Intercom (2000). Articles>Writing>Reports


Anyone Can Write

In today's world, anyone can write and publish on an equal footing with technical communicators. In fact, someone who uses your organization's products and blogs about them can easily acquire a bigger audience than the official technical documentation. Evangelizing for writing excellence and, therefore, content creation as the private domain of trained professionals is probably not going to work. Instead of arguing that others are not worthy/can't write/always forget to spell-check, technical communicators need to focus on bringing value to their organizations. This requires a reassessment of the technical communication responsibilities from the top down; that is, strategically. Most technical communicators are accustomed to thinking tactically.

O'Keefe, Sarah. Intercom (2010). Articles>Writing


Anything Worth Writing Is Worth Writing in XML   (PDF)

Tyson supports the claim of his title with a detailed discussion of three important benefits of XML.

Tyson, Paul H. Intercom (2002). Articles>Writing>Information Design>XML


April 15, 2002, through August 15, 2002   (PDF)

This report covers specifications, standards, and amendments received from April 15, 2002, through August 15, 2002.

Bach, Claudia. Intercom (2002). Articles>History>TC


Are You a Craftsperson or an Entrepreneur?   (PDF)

Discusses Michael E. Gerber's The E-Myth Revisited, a book that has led her to rethink her business and her approach to some key tasks.

Frick, Elizabeth G. 'Bette'. Intercom (2007). Careers>TC


The Art of the E-Zine   (PDF)

Walinskas provides several tips for creating readable and informative e-zines.

Walinskas, Karl. Intercom (2000). Design>Publishing>Online


Arthur Levitt and the SEC: Promoting Plain English   (PDF)

Intercom's assistant editor profiles a recent recipient of STC's President's Award. The Securities and Exchange Commission was honored for requiring plain English in all disclosure statements filed with the SEC.

Nielan, Cate. Intercom (2000). Articles>TC>History>Minimalism


Ask Your Phone   (PDF)

Grattan introduces Intercom readers to voice portals, an emergent technology that allows phone access to Internet-based information.

Grattan, Naomi. Intercom (2001). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>User Interface>Voice


Assessing the Overall Quality of a Document Based on Editorial Comments   (members only)

Technical writers are often responsible for creating and maintaining multiple documents. In organizations where a formal editorial review is integral to the documentation process, technical writers who own multiple documents might need to address a huge volume of editorial input, often received late in the documentation cycle. What do all of those editorial comments, when taken as a whole, really mean in terms of the overall quality of the document? Lots of red ink might mean either that the document is in bad shape or that the editor loves to explain every comment, however minor, in great detail. On the other hand, a short comment buried on page 63 might turn out to be the single most important editorial value-add for the entire document!

Dhanagopal, Kumar. Intercom (2010). Articles>Editing>Technical Translation>Documentation


Assessing Web Site Quality   (PDF)

Lists several questions to pose when evaluating a Web site's form and content.

Smart, Karl L. Intercom (2000). Design>Web Design>Assessment


Audience Matters   (PDF)   (members only)

By incorporating usability techniques--more commonly used in product design--writers can better understand their audiences and the ways they use (or have problems using) the content. Read on for tips on how to incorporate usability techniques into your work.

Stott, Susan. Intercom (2008). Articles>Writing>Usability>Audience Analysis


Authoring and Viewing Hybrid CD-ROMs   (PDF)

Lanyi discusses technologies for authoring and viewing hybrid CD-ROMs. He defines hybrid CD-ROMs as standard CD-ROMs that integrate updates users periodically download from the Web. This combination of storage space and timeliness, Lanyi argues, makes hybrid CD-ROMs an effective means of delivering documentation to users.

Lanyi, Gabriel. Intercom (2000). Design>Multimedia>CD ROM


Back to School: Convincing the Boss   (PDF)

Becker discusses how to convince skeptical bosses that allowing technical communicators to enroll in continuing education classes will benefit the entire company.

Becker, Lynn A. Intercom (2000). Articles>Education


Be Productive When a Project Stalls   (PDF)   (members only)

With more and more companies adopting the Darwin Information Typing Architecture, Baril discusses how to choose a compatible content management system that also supports your company's processes.

Gutowski, Amanda and Lori L. Pennington. Intercom (2008). Articles>Project Management>Planning>Collaboration


The Benefits of Having a Mentor   (PDF)

In the first article of a new section of Intercom devoted to students, Brown recounts her experience as a novice technical writer relying on a mentor for professional guidance.

Brown, Alison. Intercom (2001). Careers>Collaboration>Mentoring



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