Best Practices for CCMS File Naming Conventions

No matter how much technology advances, how to name files for easy organization and retrieval seems to be a perpetual challenge. One of the inevitable decisions to make when creating your content strategy is to develop a file naming convention for your thousands or millions of topics, graphics, maps, documents, and snippets you may end […] Continue reading ...

Tips and Tricks: What To Look for in an Online Tech Comm Program

As both a student and a teacher, I've had the opportunity to sample a variety of online learning experiences. While online programs are tremendously useful (save time and money for starters), you could find yourself sacrificing other key elements (like quality of learning content and social interaction) that can make a difference in the long run. If you have determined that an online course is the right move for you, how can you make sure you don’t enroll in a bad program, and can enroll in a good one? Use this list of key elements as a guide when you’re shopping. Continue reading ...

technical communication recap

TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for November 2, 2012

Halloween is over, and the second storm of the century has passed, leaving destruction, frustration, and remarkable resilience in its wake. As we move into November, it’s almost eerie that TechWhirl chose as our theme “Helping Society and Tech Comm,” with an eye towards exploring some lesser known edges of technical communication, such as disaster preparedness, accessibility, and using our skills in volunteer capacities. Fortuitous or serendipitous just don’t have the right connotation consider the struggles so many along the northeast corridor of the US are going through. But it’s a truly worthwhile subject to explore, and our Special Writers Unit has some fascinating content coming your way. Continue reading ...

Technical Communication, Data Conversion and the Entrepreneur’s Evolution:

I had the pleasure of speaking at length with Mark Gross, co-founder and CEO of Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL), and he has proven over the last thirty years that he can definitely handle both parts of the opportunity equation. DCL specializes in data and document conversion. Taking information in one type of format and transforming it into another format. Nobody does that better than DCL, and they have been doing it longer than anybody else in the industry. Continue reading ...

top 12 technical communication articles 2

Building E-Books: A Tool Overview for Technical Writers

As e-books become another option for publishing technical content, writers are faced with more choices among the tools to produce them. In my previous articles on e-book readers and formats, I noted the similarities between e-book formats and the online help formats that technical writers have been using for many years. In this article, I’ll look at some of the tools you can use to create EPUB books, the most common e-book format. I’ll also show how you can convert an EPUB to Amazon’s Kindle format. Continue reading ...

Tech Writer This Week

Tech Writer This Week for May 10, 2012

Our cruise around the web this week finds lots of insight, worthwhile tools, and new looks at good rules for technical communication, UX, and getting what you want from life. Posts and commentary on consistency in tech comm, and rules and tools for building good documentation and good user experiences. Continue reading ...

Enhancing Online Help with MadPak Suite Components

Patrick Calnan, Documentation Team Lead for N‐able Technologies has been using components of the MadPak Suite for a while, and presented at WritersUA on how MadPak Suite can enhance online help in a quick 30-minute session. Although he’s not a MadCap employee, Calnen packed a lot of useful information into a short session, effectively touching on several components of the MadPak Suite with insight on how his company has implemented them in their online help projects: Feedback, Analyzer, Contributor, Mimic and Capture. Continue reading ...

Astoria 6.2

Astoria Software Opens Enterprise XML Content Management To Mac OS X

Astoria Software, a division of TransPerfect, announced that its Astoria Content Management solution will embrace the Apple platform, Mac OS X version 10.6 (also called “Mac OS X Snow Leopard”). The Astoria 6.0 Workbench and oXygen Editor Bridge, are in preview release and under active testing by select customers, and allow technical communications teams to work in either Windows or Mac OS X environments. Continue reading ...