Re: Why We Need Good Software Manuals

Subject: Re: Why We Need Good Software Manuals
From: Jane Bergen <janeb -at- ANSWERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 09:26:26 +0000

> It's a shame when a technical writer won't even read a technical
> manual.
> Besides learning to use the product, it is good research to see how
> other writers solve thorny problems, what new tricks are being used,
> and how complex material can be organized. I think it would be a
> natural reaction for every tech writer to read (or at least skim)
> any documentation he can get his hands on -- especially for the
> software he uses.

I agree with this statement that tech writers need to read manuals. I
suppose I'm just weird because I "like" reading manuals (and
textbooks, too, for that matter). I even keep a clipbook for
reference. I borrowed software manuals all over the company for
various programs and photocopied certain pages that I liked. Maybe I
thought one manual had a clever way of displaying tips,
another had a nice table of contents, another had a great first page for
each chapter. I keep all those pages in a 3-ring binder now for
inspiration.

Jane Bergen
...............................................................
Jane Bergen, Technical Writer
janeb -at- answersoft -dot- com or janeb -at- airmail -dot- net
"The difference between the right word and the
almost right word is the difference between lightning
and the lightning bug" (Mark Twain)
...............................................................


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