Keep the back cover as simple as you can. Rather, incorporate liberal use of graphics and screen clips. More important than a deep understanding of the inner workings of the software is an understanding of who the end user will be, what his educational level is, and how that end user will be using the software.
Click here for a more detailed explanation of how to design a great front cover for a technical document. FRONT COVER should be simple enough not to confuse the reader but still detailed enough to communicate the most important basic information about the product or software. Templates are available and can be a good starting point for uniformity, although these can certainly be adapted to fit each situation.
It includes copyright information, company web site, and any legal disclaimers, warnings or disclosures that might be appropriate. While executing each task, take time to write down each and every step, including clicks, drop-down menus, and other actions.
Center it immediately below the paragraph that first introduces the concept depicted in the image. An explanation of special terms, icons, abbreviations, acronyms and other special information that the user should know about to make sense of the manual… they all belong here.
A front cover should not have a page number. Chapters should closely follow the Documentation Plan, which in turn should be prepared in beginning of a technical writing project and approved by the management or the client.
Human attention wavers at anything deeper than 3 levels. There are a few useful rules of indexing that you should apply every time you generate an index.
Click here for a more detailed explanation of how to write a chapter for a technical document. Some user manuals for example will not have a Glossary or a List of Figures. Click here to learn more about this crucial task that needs to be performed correctly.
D to understand, software user manuals are sometimes written from the point of view of a developer rather than a user. Include both before and after views, to show what the screen looks like before taking each action, and what happens after the action has been taken. Interviews with subject matter experts and engineers should be recorded, with transcripts made for later reference.
Standards in both presentation, language, and nomenclature help avoid confusion. They even have their own associations. Creating multiple versions after each review cycle, each with a different file name, also helps the process along and makes sure all stakeholders are satisfied with the final result.
Versioning and Tracking More than any other type of document, a software user guide is likely to go through multiple iterations before it is complete, and it is likely to go through a review process by multiple stakeholders.
If you have just a few figures and tables and a short manual you would not need to have a list.
A simple screen capture utility such as the Snipping Tool included in Microsoft Windows works well for capturing these images. Description of an action is much clearer with text-based directions accompanied by a screen clip that clearly illustrates that direction.Feb 09, · How to Write a Manual.
Writing an instruction manual may seem like a daunting task, but it's easier than you think! How to perform the function can be left for a tutorial at the end, if desired, or left for the user to discover on their own.
This will set the tone of the entire manual, and will give the user an idea about what sort of 89%(9). May 10, · How to Write User Manuals. Software, computers, games, and devices require user manuals, guides that explain how to use the product (and how not to).
A user manual is a formal writing piece with a specific structure, and should be written 83%(85). A totally novice user may prefer a more incremental and gradual approach where one would start reading a manual from page 1 and proceed accordingly.
In that context an Introduction of course makes sense.
Dec 02, · A walkthrough screencast showing the steps required to create a manual in Microsoft Word User Guide Tutorial A User Guide explains how to use a software application in language that a non-technical person can understand. In general, user guides are part of the documentation suite that comes with an application for example, Data Sheets, Release Notes, Installation Guides and System Administration Guides.
The first step in writing a good user manual is to get the actual writing process as far away from the engineers as possible. The software developer knows more than anybody what makes the software work, but that doesn't mean the developer should write the guide.Download