TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for March 8, 2013

technical communication recapTGIF—it’s been a busy week here at TechWhirl, and we’re ready for a little winding down time, with our technical communication recap. In addition to a First Look review on MadCap Flare 9 from Andrea Altenburg and an in-depth review from Lois Patterson, we spent an hour with those crazy MadCap product evangelists Mike Hamilton and Jennifer White in our Fast Five interview. We also published a new poll to get some conversation going around how technical communicators currently handle translation and localization projects. We’d love to hear from you about you current process, pain points, and plans for the future, so feel free to post a comment to the intro to the poll. Don’t forget to take a look at what else is going on around the web in Craig Cardimon’s Tech Writer This Week curation.

Lively discussions on all sorts of topics abound over on the email discussion list.  Add your thoughts to any of the threads going on:  FrameMaker to InDesign conversion, note-taking and learning cursive, single-sourcing and PDF, Linux and tech writers, who’s really using EPUB, your favorite project and deliverable, and building forms for tablet users, just to name a few.

As for the TechWhirl gang, it’s time to enjoy a little sunshine and good weather, and settle in for prepping a whole new week of great technical communication and content management goodness.  Stay tuned…

Have a great weekend!

-Connie and the gang at TechWhirl

 Tech Writer This Week

Tech Writer This Week for March 7, 2013

Crazy, busy technical communication, user experience and content folks always manage to find time to provide useful, fascinating and even controversial topics to blog about, and Tech Writer This Week likes to curate them to give you other crazy, busy professionals stuff to muse over.

 Flare9box-sm

MadCap Flare 9 In-Depth: Versatility for Complex Help Authoring Projects

I have been beta-testing MadCap Flare 9 as a TechWhirl assignment, but also with an eye for making a software tool choice for a company that has a huge quantity of complex legacy content. To that end, I tested Flare’s conversion capabilities with various documents, help systems, and books, which had been created over a long period of time in a variety of formats.

 technical communication poll - translation

Technical Communication Poll: Managing Translation and Localization

Perhaps in the past, the only folks in technical communication who had to worry about translation were those working for the very largest of companies, or in academia. These days, multiple language web sites, help systems, and a variety of materials printed in at least a few languages are the norm rather than the exception. We want to gauge how professionals are currently handling translation and localization work.

 MadCap Software

TechWhirl First Look: Madcap Flare 9

As usual, MadCap has listened to the users and made great updates to their flagship authoring tool, Flare 9. If you have never used any version of MadCap Flare before, this program is a must if you’re attempting any kind of single sourcing project. If you’re already a Flare fan, you may find that upgrading from version 8 just makes a good thing even better.

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