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Have you ever put vendor documentation in your instruction manuals? If so,
did it turn out well, and you've continued, or bad, and you've stopped?
I write and illustrate (some new, mostly maintenance) instruction manuals
for liquid packaging machines, the kind that fill cardboard cartons with
milk, juice, fabric softener, etc.
Our machine are made up of hundreds of parts, some of which come with
vendor documentation. My manager told me this afternoon that one of the
engineers suggested we include some of the vendor documentation in the
appendix of our manuals. We could then refer to the appendix from the
parts of the manual that we write ourselves. The engineer thinks it would
save him and us time, because we wouldn't be reinventing the wheel, so to
speak, by rewriting information that already exists.
I have some objections to this technique (will my user be able to find
information easily, translation issues, and copyright issues are at the top
of the list), and I would appreciate any feedback you can give me.
Associate Technical Writer
Evergreen Packaging Equipment
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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