10 (Very Short) Web Writing Tips

If you want to improve your web writing skills, follow these 10 steps: Write in chucks. To create your hierarchy, outline the website as you would for printed material. Examine the site’s purpose and outline the main sections (e.g. words people use to navigate) and the links within those heads. Test it before it goes […]

MS Word: How to Create Vertical Text

In MS Word, you can add vertical text inside a text box, shape, callout, or table. If you want to create vertical text in MS Word, follow these steps: Right-click on the table cell that contains the text you want to change. On the Format menu, click Text Direction. Select the orientation you want. MS Word: […]

MS Word: How to Turn off Field Codes in Table of Contents

James asks, “In Word, the Table of Contents gives an error message: { TOCO “2-4″H Z T “HEADING 1,1″}. How do I fix this?” I think the problem is to do with Field Codes. If you want to turn off field codes from appearing your Table of Contents in MS Word, follow these steps: In Word, […]

How to Hire a Technical Writer

If you want to know how to hire a technical writer, read these guidelines. Jane R. in Texas asks for some tips on interviewing tech writers, especially when using assessment tests. Her company is about to hire their first full-time writer and they have not done this before. I’ve worked on both sides on the fence […]

How to Insert the Document Name in MS Word Header/Footer (using Document Properties)

Last week I showed you how to add a Chapter Heading to your Microsoft Word documents. The nice thing about this is that it shows the reader where they are in the document at any give time. That works great for long documents, such as Business Plans, where the reader may have hundreds of pages to read through. But, what if you only want to show the document title in the footer?

How to Write Your First Technical Documentation Plan

Use the following guidelines to plan, schedule, and writer the user and support technical documentation for your next software product. Examples of this documentation include user guides, admin manuals, online help, and release notes. Preparing a Documentation Plan involves several different activities. Let’s examine what’s involved. Work Breakdown Structure Template [Learn more about this template here] Depending on the complexity […]

Mac v PC for writing?

Every writer’s dilemma. Should I use a Mac (silver, cool, sassy) or a PC (grey, practical, and mother of Clippy)? Let’s pretend we’re rationale human beings for a minute. Someone asks if they should stick with the PC they already have or become one of the beautiful people by buying a Mac. Yes, it’s actually […]

What is a Technical Writer?

Technical writers write technical documents that explain complex issues in simple, plain English. Technical writers – also know as Technical Authors or Information Designers – write material that supports software and hardware systems. They design, write and produce material that is delivered in print, soft-copy or as Online Help, such as that found in the […]

How to manage large documents in Microsoft Word

The main issues with creating long docs in Word tend to involve formatting, styles, graphics, tables, and bullets. Formatting — cutting/pasting material directly from one file into another is best avoided as this will bring unwanted styles in the target Word file. Instead convert it to raw text and then import it. Styles — create […]

How to fix backward Ps appear in MS Word

If you open a Word document and see what looks like large Ps at the end of every sentence, then the Show/Hide marker has been turned on. Sometimes this gets turned on by accident or when you open a doc which as these turned on by default. The the Show/Hide marker is used for examining […]

How to Automatically Fix Typos in MS Word (and insert currency symbols)

You can automatically correct typos, misspelled words, and incorrect capitalization using the AutoCorrect feature in Word. For example, if you incorrectly type erport, AutoCorrect will replace what you have typed with “report.” Or if you type ‘Teh Executrie summary states’, AutoCorrect replaces what you have typed with “The Executive Summary states.” You can also use […]

How to Automatically Typing Mistakes in MS Word

To Automatically Fix Errors in MS Word, follow these steps: 1. Click File, Info, then Proofing. 2. In the Replace box, type a word or phrase that you often mistype or misspell – for example, type Oralce. 3. In the With box, type the correct spelling of the word – for example, type Oracle. 4. […]