Technical Author Training

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Instruction Manuals

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Technical Writer
Gloucestershire

Instruction Manuals for Equipment or Software

I have written a vast range of Scientific, Commercial and Technical documentation in the form of Manuals, Help Guides and Handbooks. 

Instruction Manuals for Printing or PDF

Documentation such as Instruction Manuals for Equipment and Software applications, for Business / Operating Procedures, and so on.

Plain English: The readers need to understand what they read, so we specialise in writing that is clear, to the point, thorough, and in the Plain English for the target reader groups.

Target reader groups: Each manual is targeted at its reader groups, so you need to know who these people are, and what they need to know. Will the manuals need to address many reader groups, or only one? Will they be non-technical? Fitters? Technicians? Graduates? IT professionals? Engineers? Clerical staff? Reception desk? Are they computer literate?

Content: Good manuals normally include:

  • Table of Contents

  • Proper structure

  • Comprehensive text, descriptions, instructions, etc

  • Relevant Diagrams / Photographs

  • Screen images (for software)

  • An index-at-the-back to help people find the information.

  • Training Course outlines, etc.

Writing Style

I firmly believe in "Plain English Plus", based on my research into best practices and resources from English-speaking countries.

I write for the end reader, and often the style is very different from the way technical designers and developers would write. (For example, programmers often find it hard to describe their software to a new, non-technical user.)

I also avoid "jargon", unless it is the normal everyday language of that target reader group.

What kinds of manuals?

User Manuals:

These are often designed for the layman or non-technical reader, who wants to start with "How do I switch it on?"

Technical Manuals

Aimed at the more technical readers, often graduates, and may cover subjects like the complete setup of a software system, an X-Ray scanning machinem, medical equipment, and so on.

Support Manuals

These would be a resource for Help Desk or Contact Centre staff, who need to know how the overall system should be set up. Often it includes full support information. This would normally include Technical and User Manual content.

Training Manuals

These might be written for your training staff, or for your customers' trainers on site. They include material for training other users of the equipment or systems; or they may just complement your own Customer Training process.

Testimonial:

"We engaged Philip to rework a user manual for one of the machines we manufacture - the SmartMover electric tug.

"Philip's attention to detail and highly methodical approach have produced a superb, user-friendly document which is a quantum leap on what we had before."
Hugh Freer - International Sales Manager - MasterMover Ltd.



To read more about the Training Course Outline, follow the link on the Home Page.