Re: Using Word as an Authoring System

Subject: Re: Using Word as an Authoring System
From: Nathaniel Wilson <nwilson120 -dot- nw -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2017 16:02:21 -0500

Hi Craig,

I have been using Microsoft Word to create documentation for a few months,
since I landed my new gig creating SOPs for a telecommunications company.
Microsoft Word isnât the best thing to use, but not bad either. I think it
all depends on what type of documentation you need it for. The
straightforward instructional guides that I create and that are shared on
the Intranet really donât need anything more than Microsoft Word, so itâs
fine.

Here are some of my best tips:

-

Screenshots are fairly easy to capture- I recommend saving the images on
PowerPoint (if you have it) before copying and pasting them into your
document. This way, you can add arrows or circles to highlight certain
areas in the screenshot.
-

To move a screenshot around on a page, right click on it and select
Format Picture. Then click on the Layout tab. Selecting Behind or In Front
Of Text will allow you to move an image around as you like. Clicking on the
Advanced button and then choosing to place the image in line with the text
or placing your text above and below the image will cause the screenshot to
be fixed in a given location.
-

If youâre creating steps, I recommend using the number formats and
bullets at the top of the screen. I number all of the steps in my documents
and use bullets for all information that is not a step for the user to
take. Also, I make use of indentation to differentiate things in my
documents.

Thereâs more that I could share, but this is good for a start. Hope it
helps.

-Nathaniel

On Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 3:58 PM, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:

> Consistency is essential. The DTP tools that are the most popular with
> tech writers tend to impose consistency through their structure. Word
> doesn't do that, so you have to do it yourself. Not just yourself, but
> across your entire organization. And make sure that nobody outside the
> documentation group ever gets to edit or even open any of your Word files.
>
> Gene Kim-Eng
>
>
> On 11/28/2017 12:05 PM, Cardimon, Craig wrote:
>
>> At my company, we are drifting away from our old authoring system and
>> moving toward using Microsoft Word.
>>
>> Do you knowledgeable folks have any advice, suggestions, tips, or tricks
>> for me about using Word for product documentation?
>>
>
>
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Using Word as an Authoring System: From: Cardimon, Craig
Re: Using Word as an Authoring System: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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