Lean Technical communication

Write better content with a rubber duck

In software development, rubber ducking is a method of debugging code, where you debug your code by explaining it, line for line, to a rubber duck. By describing what the code is supposed to do, and at the same time observere what the code actually does – discrepancies become apparent. I suggest you use the […]

Kanban Lean Productivity Technical communication Uncategorized

Keep it Lean – Become more productive and motivated

This article was originally published in ISTC Communicator, Summer 2016. Lean started in the automotive industry with Toyota’s Production System, but the ideas and principles are universal, and can be applied to any industry. The idea of Lean is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste, thus creating more value for customers with fewer resources. […]

Lean Technical communication Uncategorized

Getting Started with Lean Manufacturing Principles

Here’s a collection of videos, articles, books, and courses to help you learn more about lean manufacturing, and help you come up with some great ideas on how to implement lean in the field of technical communication. Enjoy! 🙂 PS. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn how to use a Kanban TOC  at my TCUK presentation in […]

Automation MadCap Flare Technical communication

Free Tool to Create MadCap Build Logs with Time Stamps

To troubleshoot a complex build process I needed time stamps on each line of the Flare build log. It’s not possible today, but MadCap has created a feature request for it… …and in the meanwhile, I’ve created a tool you can use to generate a log file with time stamps. You can use this tool for any […]

Automation MadCap Flare Technical communication

Automated QA: Checking for broken links in your Flare output – now also for HTTP links

The CheckLinks tool now also finds broken http and https links in addition to finding broken local relative links. Download CheckLinks version 2 The syntax for running the tool is, for example: C:\> Checklinks2 “C:\OutputFolder” “C:\LogFolder” For info about the existing tool, see http://techwritingengineer.com/automated-qa-checking-for-broken-links-in-your-flare-output/

Automation MadCap Flare Technical communication

Automated QA: Checking for broken links in your Flare output

Do you use relative hyperlinks (<a href=”../../folder/folder/file.htm”>File</a>) in your Flare projects? Would you like to verify that they work in the output without checking manually? Keep reading! I’ve made a tool that scans all .htm files in the output and tests the relative links. The result is a .txt report that gives you a list of all […]

Automation Excel MadCap Flare Technical communication

Generate 10,000 Flare topic files in 7 minutes

Tired of setting up Flare topic files manually? Got enough work to last until Christmas next year? Keep reading and learn how you can use Excel to create 10,000 topic files in less than 7 minutes. Click here to download an example spreadsheet. Set up or import your data to Excel (e.g. a list of topics). Set […]

Automation Excel MadCap Flare Technical communication

Convert CSV-data to XML-files

Here’s a tool I developed that transforms CSV-data into XML-data based on a template. You can use it to, for example: Create MadCap Flare snippet files Create topic files Create MadCap Flare target files Create MadCap Flare condition sets Create MadCap Flare variable sets You can use it to convert any type of CSV-data into text […]

Technical communication

The benefits of working with small batches

I just read The Lean Startup by Eric Reis, and found that the Build – Measure – Learn cycle can easily be adopted in technical writing. The idea is to build (design, and write), then measure (SME reviews, editor comments), and learn from the data from the reviewers to build better topics in the next […]