It’s time for technical writing lifehacks!
Copy Without Copypasting
Sometimes technical writers need to “branch” the documentation for a new version of the software while keeping the older version of the project to maintain it further. Imagine, you have a large manual, it will be painful and unproductive to copy past it using ctrl+c and ctrl+v. In the HAT that I use, you can make a copy of your document effortlessly. Here is how it works:
- Click the three vertical dots button, then click Copy.
- Specify some details
- That’s all, copying is finished.
Release Notes for Your Documentation
What is a release note?
“It’s a document that describes what has changed in a product. It can contain a description of the new features, bug fixes, upgrade guides and so on. Usually, a technical writer creates release notes according to the information of marketing advisers, product managers, engineering teams and other subject matter experts.” ~ ClickHelp Glossary
Usually, release notes are written for product changes but it will work also for your documentation. You can keep notes to reflect what topics were changed, what topics were added, and so on to make your future doc updating easier.
Preview Your Documentation as a User
Another great idea is to preview your documentation as a user to make sure that the content and UI look great. If you use an online help authoring tool that allows you to publish your manual not only export them, here is a lifehack. If your content is published, just use an incognito mode to preview your content. If you need to check your content before publication to look through topics objectively do the following: publish your doc using the restricted visibility, and create your personal account with the relevant permissions. Then log in using that account and open your home page to preview a list of your publications and the content.
What are your best practices that ease your technical writing?