Technical WritingSponsored by Jamf Now

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Technical writing is any written form of writing or drafting technical communication used in a variety of technical and occupational fields, such as computer hardware and software, engineering, chemistry, aeronautics, robotics, finance, consumer electronics, and biotechnology. IT encompasses the largest sub-field within technical communication. The Society for Technical Communication defines technical communication as any form of communication that exhibits one or more of the following characteristics: "(1) communicating about technical or specialized topics, such as computer applications, medical procedures, or environmental regulations; (2) communicating through technology, such as web pages, help files, or social media sites; or (3) providing instructions about how to do something, regardless of the task's technical nature".

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Hello,

I'm documenting a data table where you can filter on various columns. e.g. you choose Name, State or ZipCode from a drop-down menu.

So, one of my instructions will read: Select your ________ from the drop-down menu.

But, for the life of me, I'm blanking on how to fill in the blank. Would it be "criteria"? "column"? "field?"

Thanks,
Steve
0
Free Tool: ZipGrep
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Free Tool: ZipGrep

ZipGrep is a utility that can list and search zip (.war, .ear, .jar, etc) archives for text patterns, without the need to extract the archive's contents.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way to say thank you for being a part of the community.

Hi,

My application contains a number of gray circles with a line though it e.g. Circle
But it's rather faint, and would be hard to read on an instruction set if I took a screenshot.

There must be instances of this symbol in a darker gray than I have here, but I'm not having any luck Googling it (e.g. gray circle with line through it)

Where can I find a suitable example? Or maybe I just need a better search term for this symbol?

Thanks.
0
Hi,
I'm documenting a web application and came across this icon:
ThreeVerticalDots
When I click it, it displays a drop-down menu of options.

Is there a standard name for this icon?

Thanks,
Steve
0
Log in to the payroll system
or
Log into the payroll system

Which one?
0
Dear all

I have been asked to write a report to implement new projects I.e upgrading switches, WiFi, access control etc.

What other ppl are doing ?

Many thanks
MS
0
I am planing to have a visit to my home town next month for 3 weeks.
presently I have only few scan copies, about my experience and Education.

If I miss to arrange the required certs in this visit, then,my subsequent visit would be only after 5 months.

therefore, please let me know

1)Full-list of documents required to have, to procede for PR

2)Do you consider any reduction of processsing fee

3)If I am fortunate to get the PR, I wish to take my family only after spending some amount of time,to make myself comfortable.
  In such scenario, please let me know whether I have to pay the dependents fee upfront ?
 
4) My graduation is from an Autonous college  which Affliated from   , Post Graduation Engg college affliated directly from XX University.
   In such case, which is better option to show about my education details, Graducation/post graduation ?.
   I am not sure whether I can get the required transcripts for my graduation in my case.
   
5)I have been working in current Organization/Role since 2 yrs.
   My current job contract most likely end by coming Dec,
   Once I left from here, little difficult to procure the documents that I may be needed for our PR-processing
   please advice, what kind of documents I may be needed from current organization.
   
   Kindly refer my brief  biodata submiited to you to advice me further
0
In a web application, I have a screen that includes the following (redacted):
What is this icon?
The functionality is that if the thingy to the right of "Confirm" is not present, you can click Confirm to approve a transaction. If the thingy is present, there's an issue with the transaction and you can't approve it at this time.

But, what do I call it? Magnifying glass icon? Or is icon even the correct word.

Oh, the hairs I split... :)

Thanks,
Steve
0
Hello,

Since I'm not familiar with the MAC, (in fact, I don't have access to one) I have not encountered this syntax before.

In a set of Release Notes, I need to document a feature involving the MAC key combination COMMAND and Click.  Two questions:

1. What's the preferred syntax here?

<Command>-<Click>
<Cmd>-<Click>
Something else?

2. What's the correct verb? Press? Perform? Do? e.g.
Press <Command>-<Click>


Thanks,
Steve
0
Hey everyone,

In the web app I'm documenting we have a number of text fields where, when you start typing something, it displays a list of matches. e.g. if it were a "state" field you might have

New

   New Jersey
  New Mexico
  New York

You can then click the state you wish to select.

Am I correct in saying that the above is not a search box? (The database field is text.)
0
Hello,

To indicate an optional plural, I would write:

Select the checkbox(es) next to the item(s)

But, how about for a word such as "category".

Do I write:

Select the checkbox(es) next to the category(s)

(or)
Select the checkbox(es) next to the categor(ies)

While I suppose this sentence could be rewritten, all I"m looking for is the specific issue of (s) vs (ies).

Thank(s) :)
0
Cloud Class® Course: CompTIA Healthcare IT Tech
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Cloud Class® Course: CompTIA Healthcare IT Tech

This course will help prep you to earn the CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician certification showing that you have the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in installing, managing, and troubleshooting IT systems in medical and clinical settings.

I'm documenting a screen in a web app that has a field that can store a temporal value. It can be in days, weeks, months, years depending on the setting of an adjacent drop-down menu.

e.g. (redacted):

Length of Contract:  ______   <days, weeks, months, years>

My question:

1. What would be a general term for the value placed in the blank field above. I considered Quantity and Amount, but I don't think these terms apply to temporal values.

2. And, while on the subject, how about for <days, weeks, months, years>. Maybe Time Period?

Thanks,
Steve
0
I had this question after viewing I need a synonym for the word "field" (Database context).

I'm documenting a web application screen that contains numerous fields per this redacted example for running (race) data for an athlete.

Date: 02/09/18
Race Name: Experts Exchange Challenge
Distance: 5 miles

Result:   Time: 39:09   PacePerMile: 7:50

Date, Race Name, and Distance are fields.

But how about Result and its elements (Time and PacePerMile)?  I'm calling Result a "field" and it elements "subfields".  Am I on safe ground? (My audience is technical people such as UX designers.)

Thanks!
0
I need a synonym for "field"  as in the database usage of the word (e.g. the first name field, last name field, address field, etc.)
0
Hi,

Suppose (redacted example) I have an application to measure running statistics.

First field (UNITS) is a drop-down menu with the choices (MILES, KILOMETERS, OTHER)
The subsequent fields are determined by the first field.
If UNITS = MILES,:
    One field (Mi.) displays, with numeric input.
If UNITS = KILOMETERS
    One field (Km.) displays, with numeric input.
If UNITS = OTHER
    Two fields display:
        CUSTOM UNIT (text field to enter whatever you want (e.g. meters, furlongs, etc.)
        DISTANCE (where you enter a numeric value e.g. 3 for 3 furlongs).

Is it correct to say that there's a field dependency between the subsequent fields and UNITS? I've heard of that term used if a field's available values depend on some other field

http://www.salesforcetutorial.com/field-dependency-in-salesforce/

but how about in this case? (I'm not using Salesforce, my friend Google found it. :) )

Thanks,
Steve
0
Hi,

I'm documenting a set of (e.g.) ten screens. Nothing fancy, just a bunch of screenshots. Plus, tables containing:
  • Field Name
  • Datatype.

For three of the tables, I need to provide additional info, so I added a Remarks column. But, it's not needed for the remaining seven tables.

Is it considered better form to include the Remarks column anyhow, for consistency's sake? Or, does a column with no info look bad?

Thanks.
0
Hi,
I'm documenting a screen in a web application that contains multiple fields. I need to specify the "type" for each one (e.g. text). What would you call a field where you can check one or more checkboxes? Selection List?
What do you call this list?
Thanks!
Steve
0
Hi,

In a web app, I've encountered an icon that looks like that below. Is it called a balloon? Something else?
Balloon Icon?
Thanks.
0
Hey, everyone.

Maybe the falafel I tried to cook tonight is addling my brain :), but I'm drawing a blank here.

I'm documenting a feature that consists of three screens. But, I want to say it the opposite way. That is.

These screens ___________ a single, seamless interface, that allows you to declutter your widgets efficiently. (Obviously redacted. :) )

I'm looking to fill in the blank. I tried "constitute", but it doesn't feel right.....

Any suggestions?
Thanks,
Steve
0
Hey Everyone,

Maybe I'm jumping at shadows after a busy week so far... :)

I encountered the following in something I'm reviewing (redacted)
"This field displays the overall average for all vendors."

But isn't "average" by definition, imply "overall"? I'm thinking I should remove "overall".

Thanks,
Steve
0
Cloud Class® Course: C++ 11 Fundamentals
LVL 12
Cloud Class® Course: C++ 11 Fundamentals

This course will introduce you to C++ 11 and teach you about syntax fundamentals.

Hi,

I've encountered the below icon when documenting a web application. In Chrome (and in my app) it seems to be used to access various applications.

What is the icon?
For documentation purposes, does it have a formal name other than (e.g.) "Applications Icon" that most/all readers would understand? (My audience has decent technical knowledge.)

Thanks.
0
Win10:

Happy Holidays!

Silly question:

What's the term for the Windows button I've highlighted below?

Is this button called RESTORE?
There's Maximize:

(Maximize button)

minimize, close, and this doo-hickey. I've seen it referred to as "restore" on the drop-down menu at the upper-left of the screen. But, is it correct to say,

"When you restore a window to its default size, the data displays yada yada yada..."

Thanks!
0
Hey everyone,

Trying to figure out if something I wrote would be clear to someone familiar with data concepts such as fields, columns, rows, etc.

In this scrubbed example, the data consists of Widgets, each of which belong to a Widget Group.  One of the columns is "Type" (e.g. Utensil, Appliance, etc.)  A report exists that has one row per group, with its widgets below it, if you choose to expand the row with the group. Some report columns (e.g. Type, Manufacturer, etc.) apply to both groups and widgets.

I describe the Type column as follows:
"For widget groups: various if Types differ. Otherwise, the uniform Type displays.

How would you interpret the meaning of "The uniform type displays"?  I want to be sure the reader will understand my intent. :)

Thanks.
0
Hi,

From what I know, if you are documenting a data structure (e.g. JSON) with embedded objects, you might have something like this for the data schema tables:

DISCLAIMER: In the real world, I doubt you'd have a full (e.g.) doctor object embedded in the prescription object. More likely, you'd have a record number for patient, doctor, drug, but the below is useful for this example. :)

PRESCRIPTION OBJECT
Date
Time
Rx Number
Patient Object
Doctor Object
Drug Object
Directions
etc.


You'd then have tables for the aforementioned objects, which themselves could contain objects:
DOCTOR OBJECT
LastName
FirstName
IdNumbers Object
Address
etc.

And in turn...
ID NUMBERS OBJECT
Licence
DEA
NPI
-----------
Now, to the question. I'm documenting an API where some of the embedded objects contain only one field/object. To use the above example, something like:

PRESCRIPTION OBJECT (as before: contains many fields/objects)

DOCTOR OBJECT (Contains one object)
IdNumbers Object

ID NUMBERS OBJECT (Contains one field)
License

Per the above, would I be overdoing it to have separate data tables for these objects containing only one field/object? If so, I'd need to find a clean way to embed everything in the parent table.

Thanks!
Steve
0
Hi,

When we add a new feature to our web application, I insert a "NEW FEATURE" banner into the appropriate page. e.g.

NEW FEATURE: The system now supports reciting pi out to 20 decimal places. Click here for details.

I'm now documenting a change to existing functionality and want to announce this update in a similar manner. But, it's not a new feature. What would be a viable alternate term? ENHANCEMENT? SOFTWARE CHANGE? <Something else?>

Thanks,
Steve
0
What are the rules/guidelines regarding the use of "You",  "I" and other pronouns in writing user manuals and other documentation.
Are there any specific rules for tutorial scripts which will be used by on-screen narrators/talent or tutorial voice over talent?
0

Technical WritingSponsored by Jamf Now

304

Solutions

274

Contributors

Technical writing is any written form of writing or drafting technical communication used in a variety of technical and occupational fields, such as computer hardware and software, engineering, chemistry, aeronautics, robotics, finance, consumer electronics, and biotechnology. IT encompasses the largest sub-field within technical communication. The Society for Technical Communication defines technical communication as any form of communication that exhibits one or more of the following characteristics: "(1) communicating about technical or specialized topics, such as computer applications, medical procedures, or environmental regulations; (2) communicating through technology, such as web pages, help files, or social media sites; or (3) providing instructions about how to do something, regardless of the task's technical nature".

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