Excel MadCap Flare

Keeping track of your Flare topics in Excel using pivot charts

If you are using file tags to keep track of your topics in Flare (e.g. 01 Created, … , 06 Published), and if you need a way to get a quick visual overview of all your files, keep reading. Keeping track of file statuses In the Flare File List, search for *.htm to display all your […]

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 […]

Technical communication

Social Hacks for Techwriters

As a technical writer, your job is to research and create information about technical processes or products for the benefit of your target audience. In the research part of the job, you’ll most likely come in contact with subject matter experts of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Your job is, much like a Special Forces  […]

Technical communication

User documentation at McDonald’s

In 2003 I spent six months working at the local drive-through McDonald’s restaurant. My daily work ranged from flipping burgers to taking orders from both walk-in and drive-through customers. The job was stressful, painful and a great experience: I learned first hand about the activities in the incredible value chain that keeps the McWorld in […]

Technical communication

From SME to techwriter in 7 steps.

I work as a professional technical writer even though I am really a subject matter expert. This provides a lot of challenges and opportunities.  Before my current job I couldn’t care less about the uses of en and em dashes, something that has now taken up at least an hour of my life. More importantly […]