Technical Writing & Communication Resources Dec 12 2022 🏟️ Organizations # 📑 Style Guides # ▶️ Videos # 🌐 Sites #
Stuff that pertains to other industries and specialties.
ℹ️ Information Architecture # 🎙️ Journalism # ⚖️ Intellectual Property #
IP is actually kinda funny, you gotta write clearly, but without giving away too much detail. Some spoofing is in order…
🖥 DevRel #
The difference between a software
developer and an engineer is that engineers document their stuff. Opinionated Developer Relations article. API Docs I like:
No better teacher than good examples. Copy and steal from the Old Masters.
Clearbit Structure is direct and straightforward. Not too many animations. Tables are clean (unlike some monstrocities that span the horizontal width and have 3+ columns for some reason). No collapsing menus in the body content. They hide the scrollbar and it’s 1 gigantic page (easy to Ctrl-F). 🛸 Professional Software #
This list contains software for business use, compared to the open-source/personal stuff listed on the
Writing Tools page. Each piece of software has a special niche, and you don’t have to use everything, however it’s good to know the special advantages of a software. Plain Text Editors #
A simple text editor is important for those times when you really just need to jot something down, and you don’t need fancy styles.
In general, HATs are the flagship tools of the trade, specifically designed to organize technical manuals and reusable segments. This style of composition is called topic-based authoring, and alternatively the tool may be known as a
CCMS. They allow setting variables for output targets, “programming” which tailors a written product to many audiences and consumption channels. 💡 Knowledgebase #
While HATs can be used to create a knowledgebase (KB). KB style is suited for customer support, which assumes a less expert audience, and typically hosts more multimedia outputs (videos, interaction, diagrams, learning material) besides the usual PDF or article.
Wikis are another… strange hybrid. It’s like a knowledgebase or cloud storage, but usually private, and sometimes you want to share with guests. They elicit a “yikes” from me. Kind of a necessary evil.
Wiki Confluence JIRA integrated wiki and notes repository. Free if under 10 users. SharePoint Integrated with OneDrive and hosts wiki/intranet portals. Notion A note-taking and sharing system. Has a free tier. Nuclino Similar to Notion. Guru Cheatsheet style cards, works well with Slack chat. 📰 Design and Publish #
Crossover into graphic design and communication with visual mediums.
General Canva Pre-made templates for print and social media. Adobe Photoshop Flexible and used for all kinds of graphics. GIMP It’s not as good as Photoshop for things like mockups, but it’s free.
Physical Adobe InDesign The current industry standard for print. Excellent control over typography and layout. Scribus It’s almost as good as InDesign for the unbeatable price of
MS Office Publisher Casual tool if you’re not a full-blown graphic designer.
Digital Adobe Illustrator An excellent program for creating clean illustrations for print or web, and even animations. Inkscape A free program with a similar niche to Illustrator, but has poorer CMYK (print ink color) support. It’s better for creating SVG.
UI/UX Sketch Shining paragon of UI/UX composition, but Mac-only requirement is limiting. Axure Has advanced interaction capabilities for high-fidelity demos. Figma A free collaboration platform offered by Google. Adobe XD Similar to the above. Balsamiq Wireframe designer, low-fidelty and UX focused over UI. 📌 Business Process #
The stuff that you need to make your point (slide decks, demos).
A lot of people use MS Office PowerPoint / Google Slides to create flowcharts, since they have templates and can insert shapes, but they’re not as good as dedicated diagramming programs.
Management Aeon Timeline If you’re a paralegal, you probably need something like this. JIRA Product development management used in a lot of enterprises. Trello A lighter version of JIRA. Asana Similar to Trello. Outlook #
If you’re entrenched in the Microsoft Windows ecosystem and use Outlook for email…
Desktop Sticky Notes app syncs with the . It’s pretty handy. Notes section of your Outlook client
Typically Zoom, WebEx and conference software have an inbuilt recording feature, but for extra polish you may need additional programs.
Images Snagit Screenshot tool that lets you add arrows, blurs and callouts. Greenshot Open-source version of Snagit. LICEcap Free, quick GIF screen capture utility
Video Recording OBS Studio Open-source, for recording and streaming. Camtasia Beginner-friendly screen capture program.
Post-processing Kdenlive Open-source, free video editor. Olive An up-and-coming video editor aimed at the professional market. Still in beta but usable. Davinci Resolve Professional-grade video editor made by Blackmagic Design with a free and pro version. 🤖 Automation #
If your department writes tests for UIs, get tech writers to become a stakeholder for test results, reports and screenshots.
OpenAPI Generators #
Title Note Rapidoc Generate beautiful doc pages from OpenAPI spec; a modern successor to SwaggerUI.