Technical authoring (Advanced)
- 2 days
- Full time
- Public | Classroom
Teaches further techniques for producing professional standard technical documentation that is clear, concise and successfully meets the needs of users.
Those embarking on a career in technical authoring (after attending the introductory and intermediate level courses), and existing technical authors who want to improve their skillset.
Delegates should be familiar with the fundamentals of technical authoring
Introduction and overview
The technical writing process
• Building readability
Given/new and readability
• Given/new – using a universal glossary • Structuring for readability
Signalling in your document
• Signalling with headings
Business and design standards for technical documentation
Standards for technical writing
• Darwin Information Typing Architecture • DITA and XML
Types of style guides
• Example style guide content
Creating better graphics
Designing the page
• How readers process technical documents
• Improving your document’s functionality Basic rules of graphics
• Controlling layout with tables and grids
• Microsoft Word vs DTP software Page design:
• Typefaces, fonts, and white space
• Layout and alignment
Checking document integrity
Formal document structure and templates
• Headings and the ToC • Other tables and lists • Checking
Online vs print
• Checklists for print and online
• Checklist for online
• Marking up proofs
Writing for multiple platforms
Targeting your platforms
• Size and shape of the screen • Using responsive design
How readers scan pages online
• Identifying what must be written • Building the inverted pyramid
Headings, menus, and links
• 3-step process for effective menus: • Menus vs. links
The online hierarchy
• 4 key criteria for an effective home page • Creating transitional and content pages
• Basic accessibility guidelines • BBC online rules
Focusing sentences to communicate to the reader:
• Putting the reader first
Key grammar problems in technical authoring
• Subject-verb agreement
Grammar and syntax
Editing and writing with others
Planning to meet your deadlines
• Planning and estimating
Feeding back to team members
• Putting it all together
Delegates learn how to:
- Develop a clear writing style.
- Use a writing and editing process structured around industry-standard best practice to improve the quality of your documentation.
- Use fonts, graphics and page layouts to effectively convey information and enhance the look and feel of your documents.
- Explore writing content for multiple platforms.
- Give editorial feedback to help your team improve their performance.
You will also be able to:
- Identify current standards for technical writing (including DITA).
- Create a style guide for documentation.
- Use BSI standard proofing marks.