Technical Communication with a Purpose

Library

Our aim with Expert Support’s online library is to share some knowledge and expertise with you that we have gleaned from over two decades in the business of technical communication. We hope this sparks conversations with you and encourages you to join our network.

Read these online or download a pdf for offline reading.

Defending the Documentation Budget

Balancing Time and Dollars

Money is tight these days, especially in the software business. When money gets tight, budgets get cut. Unfortunately, sometimes the wrong line items get cut. Often, far too often, software companies cut the documentation budget when they shouldn’t.

Developmental Editing

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What it is… As technical writers, we are often called upon to do a developmental edit on existing documentation. As a web search quickly reveals, “developmental edit” means different things to different people.

Did You Know You Can Rent a Doc Manager?

Balancing Time and Dollars

Do you need a documentation manager, but just for four weeks out of the year? You aren’t alone. Documentation is critical to the task of presenting products to customers, but small companies can’t afford to have a full-time documentation expert on staff.

Documentation as a Competitive Advantage – Hardware Products

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You’re working on the release of your new software, hardware, widget, or other technical masterpiece, and realize that you need to include documentation in the package to get your customers started using your product. The question is, what role do you want the docs to play?

Documentation as a Competitive Advantage – Software Products

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You’re working on the release of your new software, hardware, widget, or other technical masterpiece, and realize that you need to include some documentation in the package to get your customers started using your product. The question is, what role do you want the docs to play?

Estimating Software Documentation Projects 101

Balancing Time and Dollars

Oh my gosh, my meeting is in 30 minutes and I need a doc budget! The purpose of this article is to give you enough information about budgeting software documentation projects that you can quickly come up with a back-of-the-envelope estimate of the time and money required.

The Ideal API Reference Manual

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Definitions, suggestions, and examples to help you create an excellent API reference manual…

Quick and Easy Document Specifications

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Technical documents have a purpose. If you don’t understand the purpose of a document before you start writing it, you may deliver the wrong document. A document specification (doc spec) should define your document before you have a chance to get into trouble.

Schedule Chicken: Knowing When to Commit to the Impossible

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In Silicon Valley companies (actually in nearly all technology companies) people play “Chicken” with schedules. Huh, you say?

Working with a Professional Writer to Create Technical Documentation

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You have a new software tool project, and you know the finished product is going to need good documentation. What does that mean, and what’s it going to take? When should you get started working on the documentation, and how much of your team’s time will be taken up by it?

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