Re: Writing first user manual. Advice?

Subject: Re: Writing first user manual. Advice?
From: farfel -at- excite -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2000 10:50:20 -0700

Hi Meg,

I am fairly new to technical writing, myself. I have found the following
books very helpful for writing user manuals:

The User Manual Manual, by Michael Bremer, Untechnical Press, 1999
-Takes a sample user manual through the entire writing process, from
initial concept through production. I like his style of writing - it's
very readable and easy to follow as an example.

How to Communicate Technical Information - A Handbook of Software and
Hardware Documentation, by Jonathan Price and Henry Korman, Addison Wesley
Longman, Inc., 1993
-Also takes you through the process and provides many, many examples of
how to organize information and how to write easy-to-follow and
user-friendly directions.

Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications, Microsoft Press,
1998
-I use this for questions about terminology and word usage.

You can find all of these books at Amazon.com. Hope this helps - good luck
with your manual!

Amy McGowan
Technical Writer
IBM Center for Microsoft Technologies
Kirkland, WA


> I'm about to start writing a user manual for a huge leasing application.
> I'm relatively new to the technical writing field and have had no
> experience with user manuals (other than using them). Does anyone have any
> advice for how to approach this task? Should I just look at the
> organization of existing good manuals? Is there a formula?
>
> Thanks,
> Meg Bartelt




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