However, most creators of software struggle to provide adequate documentation for their product.
The title is what the documentation is about. Each section contains detailed step-by-step instructions.
If you detect lost packets go to Appendix 3 The Appendix The appendix is used to place more information or detailed instructions on how to deal with specific issues.
For instance in the above example if lost packets were detected when you ping the remote station you would refer to Appendix 3. Appendix 3 would detail what to steps to take when lost packets are detected. By using this approach you keep your steps clean and easy to follow.
You do not want to clutter them with detailed instructions on how to handle each problem or issue that may arise. Use the Appendix for that. They are easier to follow and allow you to better support the documentation when used by someone else. For instance you create installation instructions for a vendor.
They call in and ask about a step in the process they are having a problem with. Now you do not have to hunt through the document looking for what the caller is referring to.
You know they are at step 3. Yes, keep it simple stupid. A very important philosophy when it comes to writing good technical documentation. Do not go into long detailed explanations or steps. Documentation should be short, clear and easy to follow. This makes it easy for the user and helps eliminate possible errors due to details that are not needed.
Use a Template Part of a good documentation system is consistency. By using a template for each type of documentation you write your readers will find it easier to use. Software such as Microsoft Word allows you to save a document as a template.
Once you have a good template use it for each new document you write. It will save you time and will produce consistent looking documentation. Organize With a Reference System Now where is the documentation on trouble-shooting connectivity issues?
Maybe it is under N for network, or C for connectivity. Avoid this problem by using a letter and number reference system for your documentation.
As you create documentation keep a log sheet. Assign each set of documentation with a letter number system. NS for network support and this is document number 21 in the network support reference library.
Log each set of documentation including the reference number NSthe title of the documentation Network Support — Troubleshooting Connectivity Issuesthe location of the soft copy of the document, the author of the document and the last revision date. When you print out your documentation you can put it in a binder and label it.
Put a copy of the log sheet on the location the documentation is stored for easy reference. Take Away, Literally There are many reasons to document something. One of the most important reasons is to retain the knowledge of key personnel.
If someone leaves the company they take all of their knowledge of your systems with them.Types of User Documents. Technical writers prepare documents for different types of users.
Typically, there are five basic types of user documents: Description Document - The functional description document provides information on the system requirements and the services offered.
This document should offer a detailed overview of the software. You can use the templates to create other manuals, getting started guides and different types of technical documentation.
And, of course, you can modify them to make different kinds of documents. There are no restrictions or limitations on the MS Word documents. While technical writing has been around since even before software, a standard for documentation whether it be creating documentation, updating documentation, managing documentation, and reporting on documentation has yet to formally exist.
Software Project Documentation. For each type of document mentioned here, there is: A brief description describing the content and purpose of the document. A template that shows major section headings and a brief explanation of . MS Word offers two different types of templates: (1) The first kind do not allow macros in them.
Their file extension leslutinsduphoenix.com It is safer to use these types of macros because Word macros can hide extremely dangerous virus and malevolent code. (2) The other Word template type allows macros and has the file leslutinsduphoenix.com Writing documentation is a different form of writing than most people have experience with.
Technical writing is an art that doesn’t come naturally. Writing documentation will start you down the road to being a better technical writer, which is a useful skill to have as a programmer. Writing also becomes easier over time.