Re: technical Writing in a Nutshell

Subject: Re: technical Writing in a Nutshell
From: lisava -at- psitek -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2003 04:53:06 -0600

> 1. I have heard that technical editing differs from regular editing. I
> believed that "editing was editing". What is the main difference and
> qualifications between a "regular" editor and a "technical" editor?

To answer your question - Although the two are very close in job function,
a technical editor also needs to know their subject extremely well to
ensure that the details for the document are correct. The types of
documents can very from user manuals to help files, technical
specifications, installation prodcedures, technician service guides etc.
The type of document needs to be edited by someone who knows the product,
not just has a Journalism degree. (Creative writing and Technical Writing
are worlds apart) - I am open to correction here.

> 2. I am reading a book on editing and it seems to portray management on the
> side of the editor. Is this true in technical editing as well?


> 3. As a designer I would like to know how technical editors prefer to
> display discontinuous phenomena such as AM radio broadcasting reception
> zones.

I don't understand the question

> 4. Again as a designer how do technical writers and editors handle artwork
> that is deemed offensive by management?

In our company, the artwork is channeled so that what I get is what I
insert into the document. It is the responsibility of the product manager
to ensure that the graphics are what he/she specified in the graphic

> 5. In design Illustrator and Quark are the main programs for prepress. In
> technical writing/editing is there one system, method or product more
> relevant in the process of preparing reproduction ready copy?

I use RoboHelp for HelpFiles, Authentic for XML editing and SiberSafe for
Content management and translation control. It all depends on the company
software standards - if you are lucky enough they ask you what software
would be suitable.
> 6. As a writer/editor, which is the most important part in language to
> avoid: Hyperbole, Rhetoric, or Jargon?

Depends on what kind of documentation you are writing.

Hope this has helped you.


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