What software tools should you use?
Manuals for Printing or PDF
I believe in providing documentation that my customers can maintain
themselves if necessary, to handle minor updates and changes.
Therefore, I use MS Word in .docx format because there's always
someone at the office who can use it.
have used Word for all the manuals that I have
written over the past 20 years or more, and have
learned how to tame its quirks. There are many
Time-Saving Tips in the training course.
This means that you can produce a
professional-looking manual, with an "automatic"
Table of Contents at the front and a very
thorough Index-at-the-Back, which is ever-so
useful for the end reader when they want to look
up something specific. I recommend an index for
any document of 15-20 pages or more.
By "automatic", I mean that as you update the
manual later on, adding or removing content, the
page numbers will update correctly, when you
refresh the links before printing.
technical writing course, the Resources CD provides a
specially-written Macro so that you can tag
keywords in an instant.
In my opinion, you don't need a special (and
usually expensive) desk-top publishing package
that only a specialist can use, unless you need
to spend big bucks on publications. The big
advantage to you is that almost anybody can do
an update. See
To create PDF outputs there are various
excellent packages available, including
I use a couple of these, as the occasion
Philip Tory, Technical Writer
to do Technical Writing with my self-study Course Manual. Follow
the link on the Home Page.