Text development vs tech writing [NOT OT to me]

Subject: Text development vs tech writing [NOT OT to me]
From: Paul Hanson <PHanson -at- Quintrex -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2001 11:41:18 -0500

If you are the expert on the software/hardware the manual is documenting, I
can see this working.

I used to work with a woman who was an expert in the system we documented.
However, we kept getting bogged down in Word 95 issues and word processing
techniques. Before she could move on to a new section, the previous one had
to be 'right' as far as the formatting goes. I definitely picked that up
from her because I would be equally challenged if asked to work this way. I
think that if there is some sort of deadline crunch coming and the content
is way behind and just needs to be written, this way might work. This should
free you up to concentrate on the content of the manual, not the way
Word/Frame/whatever tool you are using handles specific things.

I can see this being an interesting approach, especially if you are the
expert on the system being documented and/or there is a deadline crunch.
However, if you spent all your time *just* writing, you may be hurting your
marketablility as you won't be learning how to use tools like
Word/Frame/whatever for a future position. Like it or not, I believe knowing
a tool that creates the targeted format helps you get in the door. Knowing
D2H and about .hlp file formats got me in the door here, even though I use

I'd find out if this is supposed to be permanent or temporary and go from


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Judy Ferril [SMTP:jferril -at- qwest -dot- net]

> Is anyone out there just developing text for user's manuals without regard
> to format, design, graphic choices, etc.?
> Judy Ferril


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