TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Do you know exactly how the product works, how it will be implemented and used,
and what the possible problems might be? Are you an expert user of the product?
In order to pick the "important 75%" you had better know that product and all
related technologies backwards and forwards - otherwise its just guessing.
Yestersday I read a technical manual from, oh I won't even tell you who, but
suffice to say I know their products very well. The document was utterly devoid
of any useful information. It focused almost exclusively on meaningless things
like how to open a menu or copy files. Given the type of people using this
product (highly technical folks), this kind of "granny" level info was totally
worthless. And in the process they left out mammoth chunks of important technical
> Dilemma: I'm almost done with my first document. It's 20 pages long. I called
> a user guide and sent it for review. Then I realize, I didn't really cover
> absolutely every aspect of the software. I covered about 75%. The important
> Is it okay to have called it a user guide? Is there a rule that says when
> calling a document a user guide it has to cover 100% of everything? Or does it
> depend on what the company/team/department has deemed "user guide" for
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