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Technical documents rely on clear, well-crafted instructions to help guide users through complicated, and sometimes dangerous, tasks. Use the right tool Word processors are commonly thought of as the go-to software whenever it comes to any type of writing needs.
Technical manuals have so many requirements when it comes to document layout, however, that editing, collaboration and packaging tools like desktop publishing software or PDF software serve as a better choice. Desktop publishing software usually provides a number of attractive features for creating technical documents, yet PDF software suites make it easier to incorporate collaborative practices as well as security and digital signatures if you need them.
Use images and diagrams In order to provide the best instructions to the reader, your document should contain images that highlight the parts and components involved in each step. Clear, high-resolution images help the end user better understand what they need to do by creating visual cues and visual references.
Give clear instructions Good instructions start with step-by-step sequences that are in the correct order. Each set of instructions should build on the last series.
Make sure to write instructions in the present tense and use active voice. This not only makes for more professional content, it also helps bring end users into the process.
Also make sure to use parallel construction for each step and start each direction with an imperative word such as Enter, Click or Select.
Keep it succinct Whenever writing a list of steps that end users need to take, make sure that you break them into shorter tasks rather than creating a long list. Users find long lists of steps daunting and this can cause frustration when following directions.
Likewise, write shorter, more concise paragraphs. This is helpful for a couple of reasons.
It enables end users to come back to specific parts of the documentation using the search feature built into PDF readers. PDF software such as PhantomPDF allows you to move and resize paragraphs, edit content and arrange objects in the right place so your instructions are clear no matter what language they are in.30 Days Grain-Free: A Day-by-Day Guide and Meal Plan for Beginning a Grain-Free Diet - Improve Your Digestion, Heal Your Gut, Increase Your Energy, Lose Weight, and More!
Is writing a bestselling book a dream of yours?
There's no better way to spread your message, help other people, earn credibility in your industry, and even earn author royalties for your efforts. business communication becomes more personal and more human. try writing the story you developed over the last few days using each of the different structures.
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My 30 Days to Better Brush Calligraphy challenge is my most popular post of all time so I thought it would be fun to kick off the New Year with a similar challenge.
This challenge will focus on the Spencerian style, which was popular from about