Re: Formatting Docs On-The-Fly

Subject: Re: Formatting Docs On-The-Fly
From: Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 16:29:50 -0500

Bonnie Granat wrote:

Editors are the ones who don't let holes get through. They're the ones who
get the holes plugged, enforce the standards, and encourage writers to
produce documentation that is of the highest quality.

Any documentation department that does not have at least one technical
editor is a documentation department without any quality control. Writers
themselves cannot perform the job of an editor, though many organizations
still are subject to that delusion. Were those organizations applying the
same principle to software development, there would be no application
testing and products would be designed, built, and sent out the door without
any testing whatsoever.

I agree with Bonnie up to a point...many organizations cannot afford an editor. However, this does not mean that the writer should not set high personal standards, unless they want to get a reputation for being a hack writer. In all my years of writing, I have never, nor would I ever, allow someone to get "wiggle room" by ignoring the company standards. Our customers deserve better and they are the ones that pay our mortgages, car payments, etc. This is not to say that company standards are totally inflexible, because there are always extenuating circumstances. A good editor will catch any "wiggling" to cover slopping writing and a lone writer would not do it in the first place.


Al Geist, Geist Associates
Technical Writing, Online Help, Marketing Collateral, Web Design, Award Winning Videos, Professional Photography
Office: 802-658-3140

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RE: Formatting Docs On-The-Fly: From: Bonnie Granat

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