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Feedback Q&A on Technical Writing

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 105 comments and questions on Technical Writingissues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.



List of next 10 letters

Topic

Title

Country

Resources Looking for free software projects to document India
 
Type of Docs Needed Wants to track customers Ukraine
 
Steps in WebHelp How to use RoboHelp India
 
Process What software is used for manual? Australia
 
Skills Needed How to prepare for a job interview? INDIA
 
General Wants to be a technical writer India
 
Resources Looking for writers in India India
 
Managing Projects What is an initial requirement specification Pakistan
 
Salaries What is the rate for one page? Israel
 
General What is the end product of technical writing? Philippines
 

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First 10 letters


Looking for free software projects to document

Topic: Resources

Question

November 3, 2004

Hello, my name is Manoj from Bangalore, India. This query is regarding technical writing. I am presently doing a course on technical writing and as a part of the curriculum, I am supposed to complete a technical writing project. Can you suggest me few sites where I can download free software projects to document.

Thanks.

Manoj - India

4899

Answer

I'm not sure if I know of any free software projects to document off hand.

The best source is software that you already own. Most have manuals, online help and online manuals. But note that the manuals are often not that well written or are missing vital information.

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Wants to track customers

Topic: Type of Docs Needed

Question

October 25, 2004

Hello!
My name is Tanya, I am working at the software development company. I am responsible for technical writing: I have to create help files, user manuals, tutorials and specifications. Our company also provides Technical Support Services by chat and phone. I need to track each case of cooperation with the customers.
Could you please send me some sample of the document for proper tracking each contact with the customer?

Tanya - Ukraine

4786

Answer

Although you can track contacts with customers in a document, if your company gets more customers, the method will become cumbersome.

It would be best for your company to use software to track customers. You can use a spreadsheet or database. There are also software packages designed to track customers.

One inexpensive solution is at http://www.lobstersoft.com/sak/index.php. I have not used that software, but something like it could be good to use.

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How to use RoboHelp

Topic: Steps in WebHelp

Question

September 13, 2004

how to use Robo help tool while preparing documentation
pls give me the link or the manual format how to use the robo help step by step .

R.jayanthi - India

4246

Answer

See http://www.uah.edu/editing/Robohelp/robohelp_tutorial.htm for some tutorials. Also see: www.robohelp.com

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What software is used for manual?

Topic: Process

Question

September 10, 2004

I like to know what is the software used to develop the Technical Manaual.

Kandasamy - Australia

4226

Answer

I depends on what the company decides to use. Many companies use Microsoft Word. Larger companies use Adobe FrameMaker.

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How to prepare for a job interview?

Topic: Skills Needed

Question

August 27, 2004

Hi,

I live in India and is applying for the post of Technical Writer. This is a completely new subject for me.

How do I prepare myself for the job? What are the frequently asked questions in the interviews.

I have a Masters degree in Comparative Literature and little technical/computer knowledge. I have never taken a course in computers. WHAT SHOULD I DO? I AM RUNNING OUT OF TIME. SO PLEASE ANSWER MY MAIL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Thanks.

DEBASREE - INDIA

4113

Answer

Requirements and questions vary with location and company. It is good to know something about the product of the company, as well as writing tools.

Your best bet would be to contact http://www.stc-india.org to find out more about technical writing in India.

Best wishes in getting the job.

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Wants to be a technical writer

Topic: General

Question

August 26, 2004

I am a post graduate in Science. I have above average English skills. I am interested in pursuing a career in tech writing. Problem is I am not all that a creative person. So if somebody hands me a subject and some basic information, I can do all the research and put it all in an orderly and readable format. Is this enough? Or Should I have some specific skills. I am interested in taking up your online course.

Pls give me some clear answers regarding the above.

Regards
Gayathri

Gayathri - India

4102

Answer

Technical Writing is not necessarily creative. Research is more important. See out section at:
http://www.school-for-champions.com/techwriting.htm

Also check http://www.stc-india.org for contacts in India.

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Looking for writers in India

Topic: Resources

Question

August 25, 2004

I've been trying to hire a couple fresher technical writers in the Anand/Baroda area of Gujarat. Where should I look for canididates?

Paresh - India

4089

Answer

You could check the colleges in that area. Also see http://www.stc-india.org/ and contact them for information on available writers.

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What is an initial requirement specification

Topic: Managing Projects

Question

July 23, 2004

Good morning,
I want to know what is initial requirement specification (IRS)and standers for writing an IRS document for a project.
Thank you.

munem - Pakistan

3829

Answer

An Initial Requirement Specification outlines the requirements for a given product. The actual specification will go in great detail of exactly what is wanted.

The standards vary, depending on the industry. Often they have their own standards.

An example of an IRS can be seen at:
http://alto.aber.ac.uk/pastprojects/evaluation/reqspecintro.asp.
Examine it and its links.

Best wishes in your project.

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What is the rate for one page?

Topic: Salaries

Question

July 5, 2004

I would like to know what is the rate for one page that a technical writer can charge you did not write it on your site

thanks

ofeer - Israel

3691

Answer

That depends on the complexity of the page. A good rule of thumb is that a page will take 1 hour to write, including research and editing. If you are working as an independent writer--that is, not for a company but in business for yourself--then you would charge twice your hourly rate. But of course, you must be flexible, since it is often more important to get a job than to lose one over a rate too high.

You really must time yourself to see how long it takes to write a page of the type and subject matter required. Then you can go from there.

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What is the end product of technical writing?

Topic: General

Question

June 27, 2004

what are the end products of technical writing??

rainier - Philippines

3640

Answer

The technical document or user manual is the end product.

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Summary

Hopefully, this reader feedback has helped provide information about Technical Writing issues.


Write well


Resources and references

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Websites

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Books

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Feedback Q&A on Technical Writing




Technical Writing topics

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