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.
Subject:Re: Figures From:Susan Gallagher <Susan_Gallagher_at_Enfin-SD -at- RELAY -dot- PROTEON -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 5 Nov 1993 14:50:00 EST
Text item: Text_1
I was working at my first tech writing job in 1983 -- and
simultaneously taking my first (night school) tech writing
class. My homework assignment was to diagram a process and
I was really stumped as to what to diagram.
I put the problem into background processing and went to
work on the task at hand -- creating user training for the
_brand_new_ Wang PC -- explaining the concept of formatting
diskettes and the File Allocation Table! Before long, light
dawned! I killed two birds with one drawing and learned, at
the molecular level, that sometimes a picture really is
worth 1,000 words.
Back then we did _real_ paste-up, with formaline tape and a
sticky sheet of 1/2 tone dots. Drawing programs have made
life so much easier, although it took a while to make the
mouse move where I thought I wanted it to.
I think that after a while it becomes (should become?)
second nature, whenever it's hard to find the words, to draw
a picture. That picture can help you organize your thoughts
and help the reader make that mental leap to understanding.
Sue Gallagher |
Sr. Technical Writer | "Updating a manual
Easel Corporation | is like changing tires
Enfin Technology Lab | on a moving car."
San Diego, CA | -- Edmond Weiss
Susan_Gallagher_at_Enfin-SD -at- relay -dot- proteon -dot- com |