Re: Advice on starting out; dealing with employers

Subject: Re: Advice on starting out; dealing with employers
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2011 20:17:42 -0700

If you're writing for a use where double-spacing may still be required (it used to be expected in legal and DoD content, but I haven't done any work in either environment for nearly 20 years so I don't know about now), it's better to compose with it. It's easy enough to use search and replace or style sheets to replace period-space-space with period-space, but doing it the other way around raises the potential for period-space-space-space anywhere someone has already typed the second space in.

Gene Kim-Eng



----- Original Message ----- From: "Jimmy Breck-McKye" <jb527 -at- hotmail -dot- co -dot- uk>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2011 7:05 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on starting out; dealing with employers



In any case, it's a bad idea to double space when writing *content* - better to apply (or remove) at the formatting stage, for certainty and consistency.
Another caveat: if you *must* double space, be aware that some authoring tools disallow it by default. I'm thinking Framemaker and Syntext, here.

Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2011 10:35:33 -0600
From: lists -at- soph-text -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Advice on starting out; dealing with employers

Chris Morton wrote:
> [. . .]
> One tip I'm going to offer right away is to eliminate using two spaces > after
> punctuation in all further communications. Regardless of how you were > taught
> in high school or college, this convention became an anachronism as manual-
> and non-IBM Selectric typewriters became relegated to The Antiques Road
> Show.
>
Man, I can't believe that this keeps rearing its ugly head. I am not
going to try to start this same tired old fuss-session up again (well, I
guess I am, but only quickly), but other than the result being "pretty"
and that it's "just not cricket", do you think there might be another
reason why you might want two spaces after a period instead of one?

I would think that it would depend on your audience and not on your own
delicate sense of style. There are groups of people with learning and
reading disabilities (such as dyslexics) that find it difficult to read
through or scan a document that looks as if it is rammed altogether.
Since many of these people are taught to read patterns, they will look
for a larger space between sentences to give them visual cues.

Also, since the documents we create are suppose to be information tools
first and lovingly crafted examples of personal expression second, I
would think that we would be willing to over look the desperate need to
spend time debating one or two spaces and decide what is best for our
end-readers. If, in your best estimates, you are in a domain that
"would probably not have too many people who struggle to read", then one
space would be just fine.

It can also be argued that a work of fiction, which IS art (for the most
part), should have one space, because two spaces breaks up the aesthetic
of the page, but I don't think that we intentionally write fiction.

Just sayin'

--
Carter Campbell
Technical Communications
lists -at- soph-text -dot- com
Calgary Alberta

> On Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 8:31 AM, Joan Wamiti > <jwamiti -at- breakeveninc -dot- com>wrote:
>
>
>> Hey All,
>>
>> I'm new here, both to the list and to technical writing. I've been >> lurking
>> for a few weeks, browsing the archives and reading the daily digests with
>> interest.
>>
>> Some background: I've just been hired by a tiny software/consulting firm
>> as
>> a Business Analyst. However, since I have a little experience with
>> writing,
>> they'd also like me to be responsible for their documentation needs -
>> mainly
>> a help guide/wiki for the software that our clients use. There's also >> talk
>> of a blog...
>>
>> My undergrad was a combination of Math and Economics, and my writing
>> experience comes from writing personal projects and working as a
>> copy-editor
>> for the on-campus newspaper. Technical/scientific writing is something
>> that
>> I've been interested in for a long time, and I've done some investigation
>> into courses/online resources.
>>
>> Questions:
>> 1. What are some good basic resources for someone just starting out? I
>> was
>> thinking about a dictionary and a technical style guide (I'm used to using
>> a
>> journalism one), but I feel like I need more information specific to
>> writing
>> user guides. I'm ok on the language front, but I'm at a loss when it >> comes
>> to file formats, document layout etc. Right now I'm writing everything up
>> in Word 2010, then emailing it to my boss, who inserts screenshots and
>> converts it to pdf. In reading some of these threads, it's pretty clear
>> that I have a lot to learn, but I don't want to overwhelm myself with
>> unnecessary information.
>>
>> 2. What should I keep in mind when dealing with my employer? My bosses
>> have technical backgrounds and only have the haziest idea of what their
>> requirements are - they want a wiki, client-specific help guides, and a
>> blog. They have no idea of what a style guide is or why anyone would need
>> one. I feel like I come off sounding fussy and pedantic about getting
>> documentation right, but I want to do a really good job with it, even if
>> I'm
>> just a beginner. I've clarified who my primary audience is (the end-user)
>> and the blog isn't a priority right now.
>>
>> 3. Credit/attribution - how do I address this with my employer? I've
>> already written up some user documentation for clients. I'd like to be
>> able
>> to use some of what I've done for a portfolio, but I'm dealing with a lot
>> of
>> proprietary information, some of which I can't just scrub/block out
>> (describing processes etc.). I've only started working for this company
>> and
>> I'm hesitant to bring this up right away, but I don't want this to become >> a
>> problem later on. I know I could save all my work for a portfolio and use
>> it anyway, but I'd rather have permission.
>>
>> 4. How do I deal with previous documentation? There's already some
>> existing documentation that I'm expected to review (and most probably
>> revise). Some of it is inconsistent, jargon-filled and unclear, and
>> there's
>> a lot of Power Point presentation style to it (lots of unneeded bullet
>> points and sentence fragments). I don't lie when the previous writer asks
>> me about it - I do my best to be tactful with questions/comments since the
>> person who wrote it is my boss, but he doesn't seem to think that the
>> inconsistencies/lack of clarity matter. What's a good way of showing him
>> the importance of documentation?
>>
>> These are the main issues I've been thinking about. I'd appreciate it if
>> you could let me know if I'm on the right track, or if there's anything
>> else
>> I should think about.
>>
>> Oh, and this is supposed to comprise a fraction of my normal duties.
>>
>> Joan
>> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>>
>> Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with
>> Doc-To-Help.
>> Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
>> Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
>> http://www.doctohelp.com
>>
>> ---
>> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com -dot- >>
>> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
>> techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>> or visit
>> http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/salt.morton%40gmail.com
>>
>>
>> To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>>
>> Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
>> http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.
>>
>> Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:
>> http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/listinfo/techwr-l-chat
>>
>>
>>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with > Doc-To-Help.
> Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
> Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
> http://www.doctohelp.com
>
> ---
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as lists -at- soph-text -dot- com -dot- >
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> or visit > http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/lists%40soph-text.com
>
>
> To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>
> Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
> http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.
>
> Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:
> http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/listinfo/techwr-l-chat
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
http://www.doctohelp.com

---
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as jb527 -at- hotmail -dot- co -dot- uk -dot-
To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/jb527%40hotmail.co.uk


To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:
http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/listinfo/techwr-l-chat


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
http://www.doctohelp.com

---
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as techwr -at- genek -dot- com -dot-
To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/techwr%40genek.com


To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:
http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/listinfo/techwr-l-chat


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
http://www.doctohelp.com

---
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-
To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/archive%40web.techwr-l.com


To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:
http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/listinfo/techwr-l-chat


Follow-Ups:

References:
Advice on starting out; dealing with employers: From: Joan Wamiti
Re: Advice on starting out; dealing with employers: From: Chris Morton
Re: Advice on starting out; dealing with employers: From: Carter Campbell
RE: Advice on starting out; dealing with employers: From: Jimmy Breck-McKye

Previous by Author: Re: graphics designer needed for logo help
Next by Author: Re: Is there a free/cheap equivalent to Dreamweaver?
Previous by Thread: RE: Advice on starting out; dealing with employers
Next by Thread: Re: Advice on starting out; dealing with employers


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads