“Push me, Pull me” dilemma for technical authors

There are a number of posts on various Blogs, at the moment, concerning documents as conversation and moving beyond the traditional manual. Some of the comments suggest implicitly  that technical authors (aka technical writers) could end up having to resolve two conflicting views regarding communicating with users.  The problem is that many technical communicators work in hierarchical organisations where… Read more »

Manager’s guide to single sourcing: What’s the problem, why is there a need?

I thought it might be useful to look at a simple question: Why is there a need for single sourcing technical documentation? For people who aren’t technical authors, it’s often unclear why technical authors talk so much about “single sourcing”. Isn’t that just cutting and pasting? What’s the problem? In later posts we’ll look at the… Read more »

Microsoft asks for suggestions wrt. more collaborative document authoring capabilities in Word

Spotted on the Microsoft Office Word Team’s Blog: “I’m curious what everyone would like to see enhanced in Word in terms of collaborative document authoring. Francis suggests the ability to “…break down (and recombine/build back up) our documents simply and reliably into (from) chunks/blocks/sections/subdocuments that individual authors could work on…” I’d love to hear more… Read more »

AuthorIT Version 5

At last week’s Online Help Conference Europe 2007, AuthorIT’s Austrian distributors demonstrated AuthorIT version 5 and AuthorIT Xtend. These were officially released this week. Verison 5 has a new UI (similar to the latest versions of Word and Outlook) and additional capabilities for controlling the published outputs. They also demonstrated Xtend, which suggests reusable content… Read more »