Re: Why'd that take so long?

Subject: Re: Why'd that take so long?
From: Doc <dlettvin -at- attbi -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 12:18:28 -0400

On Wed, 24 Jul 2002 11:23:27 -0400, "Martin R. Soderstrom"
<scribbler1382 -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:

>I got skewered for taking so long. I've since redeemed myself to some
>degree, but I'm still having to explain every little thing I do, now.

Ask your detractors if they have ever had to maintain undocumented and
unformatted code. If they have, they will start to understand the
problems you're facing.

>So my problem is, I don't have time to teach Technical Writing 101, but the
>product managers want me to "quickly explain" why technical writing takes
>longer than writing a memo or preparing a presentation in PowerPoint. Right
>down to what graphics formats are best and why it's better to use styles
>than just tweak the fonts, etc.

Steal someone's style guide (if you want I can point you at some) and
use that as a basis for your standards. Don't write one from scratch.

One of the best resources I know for using Word effectively (and for
providing the explanations you ask for above) is the following web

>Are there any resources out there that can help me with this? The resources
>should be Word-oriented, as despite my recommendations based on our needs,
>they want to stay in Word so SME's and managers can edit/markup the source
>files (I know, I know).

There's nothing wrong with using Word, but if the SME's and managers
are marking up your copy, you'd better institute version control
before things get messy. If you have SourceSafe or some other version
control software for the programmers, use that. Otherwise look for a
long post of mine
Re: Content Management (long) on 7/3/02.

David W Lettvin
South Hamilton, MA

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