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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
Looking for tips to format Business Proposals? These writing guidelines will help with Sales, Grant, Government and Research Proposals.
A few weeks ago I wrote that I didn’t like business writing when I started out. Why? Well, it took me several centuries to write very long white papers, data sheets, and other sales collateral. Strange word ‘collateral’ isn’t it? The main reason we did this was the ‘assumption’ that customers preferred lengthy documents. These doorstoppers covered all aspects of the product/service. Sure, it had its place. But not all documents have to land with a thud. It’s the same with writing Business Plans. It doesn’t have to be fifty pages if you can get it under twenty and keep the material focused.
Look at how Hemingway does it. His writing style is crisp, direct and engaging. All the signs of a great writer. Look at how he makes long sentences short, mundane subjects interesting, and clips along at a nice pace. And without ever losing the thread. Us business writers can use these techniques to improve business […]
‘The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.’ Warren Buffett How to Write an Executive Summary that generates interest Your Executive Summary should excite the reader and help them understand the key results and conclusions in your business document, whether it’s your business proposal, business plan, […]
What can Kate Winslet teach you about proof-reading technical documents? Watch the movie The Reader and it will make sense. If she was writing this blog, she’d probably say: “Don’t do it all at once! One of the biggest mistakes you can make when revising any technical document, is to do it all in one […]