1 Minute Writing Tip – Using Colons in Lists

In this 1 Minute Writing tip, we look at when to use colons in lists. Do you always need a colon? Would a comma do instead? When should you use one over the other. Let’s get into it. So, you want to start a list with a colon. Sounds easy, don’t it? Many writers assume […]

Difference Between User v End User in Technical Documentation

When should I use ‘user’ instead of ‘end user’ in my user guides? Let’s start with a definition of end user. Definition: Where does the phrase ‘end user’ come from? According to Wikipedia: An end user is a person who uses a product. The term is based in the fields of economics and commerce. A […]

How to Layout Data in a Table [Guidelines and Examples]

If you use tables in your business or technical documents, the following guidelines will help you structure and format data in your tables correctly. Use tables to help readers understand large amounts of data which otherwise may take several paragraphs to describe. How to Format a Table The APS Style Manual recommends that “Tabular material […]

10 Steps to Writing ‘Plain Language’ Business Proposals

I found the Plain Language writing technique by accident. It’s also called Plain English, by the way. I was reading a lot about Warren Buffet a few years back and came across a nice, short document he wrote for the SEC. These are the folks who submit legal and business document to Wall Street when […]

11 Quick Proposal Writing Tips

Looking for tips to format Business Proposals? These writing guidelines will help with Sales, Grant, Government and Research Proposals.

7 Ways To Avoid Crashing Long Documents in MS Word

If you use MS Word to write documents, you might find the following tips helpful. I use Word to write documents up to 200 pages, even longer, and have managed to keep the document in good shape by following guidelines. Formatting — avoid cutting/pasting material directly from one file into another as this brings unwanted […]

How To Write Public Service Announcements (For Non-native English Speakers)

When’s the last time you used the word ‘alight’? If you use the bus or train in Dublin, Ireland, you might hear or see: ‘Take care when alighting the bus.’ Yes. today’s culprit is the word alighting. Alighting means dismount. What they should say is something like, ‘Be careful when getting off.’ or even Mind […]

1 Minute Writing Tip: Active v Passive Voice

Know when to use the active and passive voice in your business or technical documents? Maybe? Let’s look at voice for a minute. What does it mean to write in the active voice? Is the passive voice as *bad* as people say it is? Obviously not. The voice tells us whether the subject of the […]

214 Style Guides with Tutorials, Examples, Guidelines

Looking for examples of how to write a style guide? We’ve compiled this list to give you different examples to get you started. How to Create a Style Guide Brain Traffic — Web Content style guides that Don’t Suck Creative Blog — Create a website style guide Gather Content — Developing a Content style guide […]

10 Writing Guidelines for SaaS Applications

SaaS and web-based applications are becoming more popular as they replace desktop or network installations. How you document them is mostly the same as documenting traditional but there are some difference. Let’s take a look. Registration – explain how to set up the account, register an account, common setup issues, and troubleshooting, for example, if […]

Screenshot Guidelines for iOS, Android, and Technical Documents

Summary: The quality of your screenshots affects how customers perceive your products, use your software, and deal with error messages. The following guidelines can be applied to different types of technical and business documents. The final section provides screenshot guidelines for Android and iOS applications, for example, if you want to submit apps to Google […]

[Checklist] Document Reviews

Use this checklist to review business, medical, or technical documentation. It is recommended to review the document for start to finish for each item on this list, instead of reviewing all items as you go through the document. In other words, check that all images are correct throughout the document. Fix any errors. Then go […]

How to Create a Small Business Style Guide

Style guides? Hmmm. A nice idea but are they really worth the effort? One of the difficulties for small companies is that the time and effort it takes to create a style guide doesn’t seem to justify the effort. There is always something more important to do. The problem is that the moment you bring someone into […]

Does your Small Business Guide have Style?

Style guides? Hmmm. A nice idea but are they really worth the effort? One of the difficulties for small companies is that the time and effort it takes to create a style guide don’t justify the effort. There is always something more important to do. The problem is that the moment you bring someone into […]

20 Proofreading Exercises For Important Business Documents

Remember, Dan Quayle and that potatoe? A recent bestseller details the world’s worst typographical errors, from hotel brochures advertising a ‘French widow in every bedroom‘ to Tea Party signs declaring President Obama’s ‘crisis of competnce’. Read it again. Proofreading should protect you from this. Of course, proofreading is not only about grammar and punctuation, but content, […]