Planning Your Documentation

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Table of Contents

Planning Your Documentation

Documentation and the documentation cycle

Document Types

Document types

Introductory documents

Tour

Welcome card

Installation guide

Main documents

Userís guide

Userís guide: Conceptual

Userís guide: Procedural

Userís guide: Troubleshooting

Reference guide

Reference guide: Error messages

Glossary

Tutorials

Tutorial: Paper-based

Tutorial: Computer-based

Tips: Keyboard shortcuts

Other

Readme

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Writing Styles

Writing styles

Conceptual writing

Conceptual writing

Procedural writing

Procedural writing

Reference writing

Reference writing

Educational writing

Educational writing

Procedures versus tutorials

Tutorial scenario

The Documentation Cycle

Documentation cycle

Documentation cycle

Planning

Planning your documentation

Planning

Planning

Planning

Adapt your documentation to your audience

Write to your audience

Audience analysis

Audienceís background

Audienceís level of experience

Make conclusions about audience and what they need

May include more than one audience

Writing Exercise

Planning

Product profile

Concepts

Tasks

Features

Writing Exercise

Planning

Beginner users

Beginners: Get users started

Beginners: Troubleshooting procedures

Beginners: Name procedures carefully

Intermediate users

Intermediates: Shortcuts

Intermediates: FAQs

Expert users

End-user documentation

Programmerís documentation

Audience / documentation matrix

Documentation plan

Writing Exercise

Writing

Writing Phase

Outlines

Outline contents of each document

Writing drafts

Types of editing

Developmental edit

Copy edit

Proofread

Style guide

Author: Karin Gallagher

Email: kgallag@rpbourret.com

Home Page: http://www.rpbourret.com/kgallag/index.htm