9 Best Software Tools for Technical Writing in 2018
As a technical writer the most important thing is to get the content right, however, having the right software tools makes work as a technical writer easier. There are different software tools for technical writing, which are used for different purposes, including image manipulation, editing tools, authoring, screen captures, publishing, drawing among many others. Technical writing involves writing in an easy to understand language; it is simply giving complex information in a simple format.
Not everyone can be a technical writer because such writing requires a specific set of skills. When using the right software tools to write they simplify the process of writing for newbie writers. The best thing is to know how to choose the best tools to use and how to use them.
Here is a list of software tools used for technical writing
- TechSmith Snagit
This powerful tool is used by technical writers because of its simplicity to powerfully capture the screen and support saving it or sharing it in different formats. It also supports video recording capability and for one to capture a step bus term action performed on the screen. This tool has been improved in such a way that it has a panoramic capture feature which supports scrolling. You can capture how the areas you want form the screen. With the screenshots you can format them to your liking by adding arrows or call outs and one is at liberty to combine multiple screenshots to form one image.
This tool is very crucial for multi-format documentation generation. No matter the kind of file you want compiled HelpNDoc is the easiest tool to write and export different formats of files by just a click of a button. This is essential for project management and planning and you can generate various documentation on the same platform.
Originally used by displaying content from Wikipedia, it is the best tool which gives you a tutorial on editing a page. The MediaWiki is easy to use, especially in defining sales and marketing information and how to pages.
This is amongst the most used tool by technical writers. Photoshop has been used to create images from scratch and one needs to understand better on the know-how on the use. Web page designs are used for special effects on images and it’s essential, especially where images are used.
No matter how simple technical writing is people will always have questions about the subject matter. The best thing is to allow comments and queries online. Disqus is a tool used to enhance interaction between you and the visitors of your online site. You add it to your website and visitors can leave feedback or discuss among themselves as well as get support from the team. A Disqus account gives you HTML markup which is easily inserted online in pages and even communities to allow a commenting area.
This is a popular Authoring tool which is developed by Adobe systems. Technical writers use this tool to publish online for help projects across different formats. This is very essential for delivering knowledge articles and help content online. It has the ability to put out different formats of documents online. The interface is friendly and the content is easily used without hassles. Though this software needs time to get used to it and the content resides within Robohelp making it difficult to share the content across.
- Spell check tools
Every technical writer knows how important it is to use correct grammar and correct spelling in every piece of content produced. The easiest thing is to write an article, but proofreading the content for perfection takes the most time. You need to produce a quality work article. Grammarly seems the best spell check tool a writer could use because it combines spell checking with improvement suggestions for writers. It also checks for content for plagiarism and highlights it.
The fact that you are creating content for an online site it means it will be available globally. However, for enterprises running locally, it is easy to determine the terms to use. Most of the sites target visitors from across the globe, meaning that there might be issues with terminology management. Different visitors will need to see the same product but in their version of the terms used. A writer can encounter different terms and spacing, capitalization, plurals and grammar which can eliminate confusion.
This is the greatest tool one can use for reading and scoring the content. Interestingly, it helps you improve your readability and clarity in your content. The tool checks everything, including the style used in writing, the grammar, terminology, and tone. It does more that the usual spell checker tool does. One has to be ready to understand the analytics on the quality trend and performance.
To be a good technical writer, you need more than good writing skills and high typing speed. You require a set of skills as you write a research paper to buy, though it might not be possible to remember all these when writing. The simplest way is to produce good quality content is by use of the best software tools in technical writing. You want readers of your technical content to enjoy it and understand it. Make technical writing easy with software tools available.