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To-do list before you publish a Word doc

Without a moment’s hesitation, I can name the most stressful phase of documentation development. It’s pre-publishing. The tension grows when you realize the importance of the release. You try to do your best, but very often the stress plays a trick with you. You neglect misprints, broken links, and messed up page numbering. And these minor mistakes can make a huge trouble for you.

To be sure that your document is of the superb quality, follow the pre-publishing checklist. It covers every troublesome aspect of document pre-publishing and will help you not to miss a thing.

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Made to Stick: SUCCES against the Curse of Knowledge

… people don’t buy quarter-inch drill bits.

They buy quarter-inch holes

so they can hang their children’s pictures.

‘Made to Stick’ by Chip and Dan Heath

A young and passionate CEO carefully crafts new strategy that will revolutionize the company standing and even the industry itself, yet his brilliant idea falls on the deaf ears of the stakeholders.

A dedicated scientist discovers a dead-sure cure for an untreatable disease, yet the scientific community dismisses the idea and leaves thousands of ill people in the dark although their lives could so easily have changed for better.

The marketing department of a food chain finds a customer success story that will make into a beautiful campaign for the brand, yet the management shrugs off the idea 15 minutes into the presentation.

It doesn’t have to be all that tragic, and contrary to what is seems, the actual villain here is not at all the thick-skinned management.

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Navigation Links: Types and Usage

In the previous article “Navigation Links: Introduction”, we discussed typical mistakes that Information Developers make when creating navigation links and established some guidelines on how to use navigation links correctly to make the content more concise, accurate, and scannable for users.

In this article, we are going to discuss the most common types of navigation links, their usage, as well as tips and tricks on how to use them correctly.

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A True Detective: an InfoDev in a Project Team

The skill of being a good detective lies at the very heart of the InfoDev profession. My personal impression is that among many other roles, such as being a writer, a linguist, and a “user prototype”, an InfoDev on a project is also a detective, an investigator – especially, at the early stages of involvement.

Imagine that you have just been assigned and welcomed to your new project. Congrats! Now, consider this scenario: “When you arrive at the scene, the crime has been committed, and the evidence is partially corrupt or hidden. The potential witnesses are reluctant to talk about what they saw, what they did, and where they were on that distant day. The culprit is on the run. You realize that what you deal with is a cold case”. Does that ring the bell? After a couple of days of work, does this detective story sound strangely familiar? Continue reading

Navigation Links: Introduction

One might think: “How difficult can it be to use navigation links in technical documentation? I know where they are in my application, so I just use them.” Well, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to screw things up with navigation links and make your readers frustrated and helpless. This article will explain what a navigation link is, its purpose, correct usage, and much more.

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How Not to Write Technical Documentation: 10 Tips to Render User Helpless

0. Ghost-Tip. Never waste your time for introduction.

1. Be general. Don’t go into details, you don’t need to provide actual information. Write “The software is useful.” Enlisting the spheres of application is for dummies. Your readers are the best. They are working as prophets and reading your mind in their free time. Why spell it out for them?
Other questions you definitely don’t need answering:

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