Become an Awesome Technical Writer with Help & Manual | Subash S L | Skillshare

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Become an Awesome Technical Writer with Help & Manual

teacher avatar Subash S L, Programmer turned Technical Writer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

46 Lessons (3h 5m)
    • 1. Welcome

    • 2. What is Technical Writing?

    • 3. Tips for better Learning & Study

    • 4. Two Small Utilities

    • 5. How to Download and Install Help & Manual 7.5

    • 6. A note about the Trial Version of Help & Manual

    • 7. Help & Manual versions 7.5 and 8.0

    • 8. What is Online Help?

    • 9. Creating your First Project in Help & Manual

    • 10. Creating your First Topic in your project

    • 11. Adding Keywords to your topic

    • 12. Version Freeze

    • 13. Gathering Information about your Application

    • 14. Top to Bottom Ordering

    • 15. Introduction Chapter Revisited

    • 16. Before you Learn Technical Writing Grammar and Style

    • 17. The Important Rules

    • 18. The Other Rules

    • 19. Common Errors of the English Language

    • 20. How to Login topic Assignment Review

    • 21. Assignment Review of subsequent assignment

    • 22. One more Rule

    • 23. Formatting Fundamentals

    • 24. Using Numbered Lists

    • 25. How have you been doing so far?

    • 26. Screen Capturing with TNT

    • 27. More Screen Capturing Techniques

    • 28. Creating A Style

    • 29. Editing Images

    • 30. Trimming Images

    • 31. More Editing of Images

    • 32. Even More Editing of Images

    • 33. Generating Online Help

    • 34. Context Sensitive Help

    • 35. Generating Other Help Formats

    • 36. Tweaking Pdf Templates

    • 37. Inserting Tables

    • 38. Inserting Videos

    • 39. Project Creating Functions

    • 40. Reusing Content

    • 41. Keeping Tech Writing Fun

    • 42. A peek into Freelancing

    • 43. The Brilliant Help and Manual Forums

    • 44. Bowl over your Client

    • 45. Congratulations

    • 46. Extending your knowledge

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About This Class

If you are a writer and want to move into the IT world of Technical Writing, if you are a Software Developer or Tester and want to learn Technical Writing, or if you are a Technical Writer wanting to improve your skills learning a Help Authoring Tool (HAT), then this is the class and course for you. You will need a laptop or computer running Windows 7 or higher where you can install the trial versions of Help and Manual and within 60 days (30 days of each trial version of Help & Manual) you can become a productive and skillful Technical Writer. You don't need to possess the English of a Journalist or a Writer or even possess a Masters Degree in English to become a Technical Writer. You can become a Technical Writer with High School English. All videos of the course will have English subtitles. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Subash S L

Programmer turned Technical Writer


Hello, I'm Subash. 

Hi, I am Subash Sarath Lakshmi and I have been working in the IT industry for three decades now (since 1991 to be exact), first as a developer and later as a Technical Writer and Blogger.  

As a Software Developer I have worked for Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies in the U.S.A. (Alcoa, Compaq, Thomson Medstat, Carrier Transicold, GN Resound, Fleetwood Enterprises) and Singapore (Compaq) supporting MRP2 systems on the HP3000 and DEC VAX systems.  

From 2003 I have been a Technical Writer. After working for Vizual Business Tools, Plc, a U.K based HR software maker, I have been freelancing since 2006. Thanks to the internet, as a freelancer I have worked for clients around the world (including clients in countries such ... See full profile

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1. Welcome: Hi there, I'm Subash and I welcome you to this course, Become an awesome technical writer, with Help & Manual. Are you looking forward to a career in Technical Writing, Are you a Software Developer or a Software Tester trying to get your feet wet in Technical Writing and make some extra income? Are you a writer looking forward to a career change or are you a Technical Writer looking forward to enhance or improve your Technical Writing skills by learning a new Help Authoring Tool? Then, this is the course for you. To be a successful Technical Writer. today, you will have to learn and master at least one of the Help Authoring Tools or HAT, as they are known in the Technical Writing world. The obvious question on your mind would be, why a Help Authoring Tool or why a HAT? To answer that question, we'll have to look into the technical Writer's most important task, and that is creating user manuals for software. User manuals today come in a variety of formats. They can be PDF and Microsoft Word documents, e-books, online help, HTML help and help for Visual Studio, Java, Eclipse and Oracle. And the most popular format these days are help files for the iPad and the Kindle, with a HAT, all you need to maintain is one source of documentation. And from this single source of documentation, different types of help formats can be extracted. The next obvious question on your mind would be why Help & Manual, when there are many other popular Help Authorining tools in the market today. Now, I have been working with Help & Manual longer than any of the other HATs. And I can clearly tell you that it is one of the easiest and yet one of the most powerful HATs l have worked with. But the biggest advantage of using Help and Manual when compared to other HATs is that it comes with its own image capturing and editing capability built right into it. With the other hats, you will need to buy these software separately. I must also add here that learning any one of the HATs makes it easy to learn the other HATs as well. There will be subtle differences, but this can be learned easily. As you learn Help & Manual, I will also be teaching you how to take various types of images and also how to edit them for our technical writing jobs. You will also learn the nuances of technical writing grammar and technical writing style. Now don't let the thought of technical writing grammar or technical writing style be intimidating. Because to become a successful technical writer, you don't need to possess the English of a novelist or a journalist. You also don't need a Masters in English. If you can manage high-school English, you can become a technical writer. I will also give you a peek into freelancing. though successful freelancing will require a course of its own. So I welcome you to this course. once again, Let's get started. and by the end of this course, I should see you as a productive and skillful Technical Writer. And to tell you a bit about myself, I've been working in the IT industry since 1991. I will Software Professional turned, Technical Writer. From 2003 have been working as a Technical Writer. And from 2006, I've been working as a Freelance Technical Writer. From 2014, I have been teaching technical writing. With the knowledge and experience I possess. Let me make you the Technical Writer you want to become. 2. What is Technical Writing?: So what is Technical Writing? Now we'll look at two definitions on Wikipedia. And later we'll go on to simplify Technical Writing down to its most simplest meaning. The first is for Technical Writer job. And on Wikipedia it reads any written form of Technical Communication used in a variety of technical and occupational fields, such as computer hardware and software, engineering, chemistry, and an optics, robotics, finance, consumer electronics, and biotechnology. The second definition is for Technical Communication. Now, I must mention that Technical Communication is another term that is used synonymously with Technical Writing. Though, Technical Writing is the most commonly used expression and on Wikipedia, Technical Communication reads. The Society for Technical Communication defines Technical Communication is 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. Communicating through technology such as web pages, help files or social media sites, or providing instructions about how to do something regardless of the tasks, technical nature. So these are the characteristics of Technical Writing and any activity falling under any of the characteristics described above can be called Technical Writing. So did that sound complicated or difficult? So let's simplify. Now, do you recall the user manual that came with your DVD player or your microwave or even that small instruction booklet that came with your cough syrup that you purchase from the pharmacy? Now, do you also recall when you first used the computer programs such as MS. Word and when you had a problem, what did you do? Bingo, If you said you clicked the F1 button on your keyboard, you might have also clicked a small Help button with a question mark. Or you might have clicked a link, that simply said Help. And what did happen at that time? A small window would pop up or a web page will open. And instructions on how to do that particular task or how to solve the problem would have been provided. Now, these instructions in the window or your user manual for the DVD player or the microwave were written by a Technical Writer. So a Technical Writer's job is to document processes, procedures, and functions in clear, legible and simple language using illustrations and images and in these days videos too, so that they can be referenced later. Does that sounds simple? In this course, we'll be looking at a Technical Writer's job for computer applications and Software. Today's Technical Writer seems to be doing a number of activities. He could be creating web content, creating PowerPoint presentations, even writing proposals. But a Technical Writer's most important task is documentation for software. Documentation for software falls under two categories. One is end-user documentation, and this involves creation of user guides, online help, e-books, and so on. Now, this course is designed to teach you end user documentation. There is also another expression that is used to define the end-user documentation. And this is User Assistance or UA for short. The other documentation is done when the software is being created. And these involve UML diagrams, entity relationship diagrams, data flow diagrams and database diagrams. And I have already discussed this in the introduction video. And user documentation can come in a variety of ways. Online help being a very popular format. The others being compiled HTML help, also known as a, .CHM help, PDFs and MS Word documents, eBooks, ePub, and format for the Kindle. There are others but less requested forms of end-user documentation. And these involve Java Help, Eclipse, help, Oracle help, and help for applications that use Microsoft Visual Studio. End user documentation can also target niche areas. And these could be Administrators Guide, installation and deployment guides, how to use, troubleshooting guides, knowledge basis, HR policies, and even ready reckoners. And the next bit is a revision of what I've already mentioned in the introduction video. To generate these different formats of help, we use the HAT, a Help Authoring Tool. And again, why do we use a HAT? Because we need to maintain just one source and extract various deliverables from this one source of documentation. In this course, you'll be learning Help & Manual. There are other popular HATs, and these are Adobe's Robohelp and Madcap's Flare, just to name a few. I also discussed why we are learning Help & Manual. 1. because it is so easy to use, easy to learn, and yet a very powerful help authoring tool. And it comes with its own image capturing and image editing capability. So I hope that's simplifies what Technical Writing is all about and how different Technical Writing deliverables are created. So let's move on. Let's learn Help & Manual. 3. Tips for better Learning & Study: Before we deep dive into Help and Manual, I would like to provide you with some tips so that you get the best out of this course. I would recommend that you spend at least 15 to 20 or even 25 minutes each day with your lessons, your quizzes and assignments, rather than spending two to three hours once a week. Also, it will be a very good practice to revise the previous day's work at least once before beginning the lessons for that day. And also, I cannot reiterate the importance of attempting all quizzes and assignments. This will really help you retain the concepts learned and also apply what you've learned, better. For this next bit, I would like to mention that the gadgets and accessories that I'm recommending here are not mandatory for this course. They are purely optional, but they will certainly help you if you are considering a career in Technical Writing or even writing. Even developers who type in a lot of code each day will benefit from these gadgets. Now the first in this list is the mechanical keyboard. The mechanical keyboard is very different from ribbon based keyboards and even the chiclet based keyboards that come on your laptops. Each key in the mechanical keyboard is a separate key, and they are tested for millions of keystrokes. They're easy to operate and they will cause very little fatigue on your fingers. And this means you can type away a ton of text without feeling really tired or without making your fingers tired. They're also easy on your wrists. The mechanical keyboard that you're seeing in the image here is the one that I use with my laptop. It's the Cooler Master, CMS Storm, quick fire rapid keyboard. And it is not a regular 101 Keys Keyboard. It is smaller in size, which makes it very portable. I use it at my laptop and this even extends the life of my laptop's keyboard. So that's another added advantage. If you live in India, You could buy the very affordable, TVS Electronics gold Barat keyboard. Now this keyboard is a regular keyboard, which means it has a 101 keys. Retails just a little over 20 US dollars. So if you can get this in your country, it would certainly be an asset. I would also like to mention that you can go ahead and buy your own brand. You need not buy the brand that I recommended here. You could buy one of your own choice. I also use a gaming mouse and a Gaming Mouse Pad instead of the regular mouse. and mouse pad. And I also recommend these devices too. But again, I leave it to you. It is not compulsory that you must use them. But if you were to ask me which of these gadgets is the most useful, I would still recommend the mechanical keyboard. And finally, whether you're working with a desktop or a laptop, sitting at your desk or on a sofa, make sure you are seated in a proper and correct posture. Now there are tons of websites out there that will give you a ton of information about sitting at your desk or in a sofa. But there are certain common points that are echoed across all websites. And these are 1. sitting straight with good support for your back. And this can help you avoid a lot of back pain. Angling the keyboard slightly upward. This can be done by extending the legs of the keyboard, which are located at the rear bottom of the keyboard. And using a footrest also angled in such a way that your toes point slightly upward. And while working, I highly recommend taking breaks every 20 to 30 minutes. And instead of staring at the monitor for a very long time continuously, which can cause a lot of ice stream. Make sure you blink frequently. I would like you to watch just one more video before we move on to the videos on Help & Manual. So go ahead and watch this video too, which is coming up next. 4. Two Small Utilities: Now before we move on to actually start using Help & Manual, I would like to show you two more small utilities that have helped me in my work and which I'm sure it'll help you too. Now you might have noticed my mouse pointer, which looks slightly larger than the normal Windows mouse pointer. Now this is called a Chunky cursor, and I obtained it from this website for free. It's called FX software, and it is located at www., forward slash assistive.HTM, right here. You could also go to, and click on this link where it says assistive software and would bring up this page and you could scroll down. I have actually scrolled down to chunky cursors. So all you need is download the entire set of cursors by clicking the download link. And install fonts just like you would install any other font in Windows. So what is the big advantage with chunky cursors? Take a look at these images here. Notice how I have captured the mouse cursor with the image because I need the cursor to point to an element or object in the image. And having a big chunky cursor adds clarity to these images. Here's another one, and here's another one. And here are some more. Going back to the webpage, I have another utility which I would like to discuss and it's called edgeless. Now as the name suggests, Edgeless makes , your most cursor, move beyond the edge of the screen. As you can see, right now, I have positioned my mouse cursor at the left edge of the screen. And if I were to move it horizontally, notice how it wraps around and appears at the right edge. And I could do it horizontally and vertically. Notice how when you go beyond the bottom edge, it appears at the top. And I could do it even diagonally. For instance, if I were to go diagonally, from the top right corner, it will appear at the bottom left corner. I could do that with the top left corner. And notice how it is appearing at the bottom right corner. Now this is a very useful utility too, but again, it's a matter of personal choice. If you want to leave it, you could do that too. Edgeless is also obtainable. On the same page here, all you need is to scroll up and there is Edgeless. Use them. This should help you. 5. How to Download and Install Help & Manual 7.5: If you don't own a copy of Help & Manual 7.5, you can still do this course by downloading the trial version from the Help & Manual website. Please take a look at the PDF file attached to this lecture. This PDF file explains how to download and install the trial version of Help & Manual 7.5. This PDF itself was made using Help & Manual 7.5. And by the end of this course, you'll also learn how to create similar PDFs. Also take a moment to look at the PDF and note how Help & Manual automatically creates a Table of Contents, the various chapters and also the Index. Both the Table of Contents and the Index have hyperlinks, linking them to the various topics and content in the PDF all this automatically created for you. Also notice how Help & Manual has aligned to the left and right pages of the PDF so that it's perfect for printing too. Ggo ahead and take a look at the PDF file, download, and install the trial version of Help & Manual, if you don't own a copy of the original. 6. A note about the Trial Version of Help & Manual: Before we move on, here are a few words about the trial version of Help & Manual 7. The free trial version, which is valid for 30 days from the day of installation on your computer, offers a fully functional version of the software. This is sufficient time for you to learn Help & Manual seven using the lessons in this course. However, although you can generate output files such as online help, e-books, and PDF files using the trial version, the output will have scrambled text and misspellt words. And not to forget the message made with a trial version of Help & Manual 7 that will randomly and frequently appear throughout the content of the ouput files. So when the 30-day offer is good for study, it must be noted that for producing help files for clients in a production environment, you will still need the licensed version. So if you have decided to go with help and manual, it pays to get a licensed version. In my opinion, it is still the best Technical Writing software you can get for your money. 7. Help & Manual versions 7.5 and 8.0: As of today, the 7th of November, 2021, Help and Manual 8.4.1 is the latest offering from EC software. So the obvious question that you would be having, "will learning help and manual 7.5, make me proficient with help and manual version 8 also?" And my answer to this question is an emphatic "yes". You must be able to perform 95 percent or more of the activities done here in this course using Help & Manual 7.5 with Help & Manual 8 also. Note that the trial version of both 7.5 and 8 last for just 30 days, and therefore, I would suggest downloading the trial version 8 after you complete the trial period using version 7.5, the one that you would be using for this course. That way, you get 60 days to practice the activities taught in this course. Please do not download both versions and install them simultaneously, because then you'd get only 30 days with both the trial versions running concurrently. So I repeat first download version 7.5, and after completing the course in 30 days, download and install version 8 for additional practice. This will give you sufficient time to learn and practice the techniques taught in this course. Now what if you didn't own a copy of the software and still wanted more time to practice and learn the concepts explained here. Though, 30 days with 7.5 and another 30 days with version 8 is sufficient time to learn. Help & Manual, trying to learn Help & Manual after the trial periods will not be possible. That is, for those who don't own a copy of the original software, but don't lose heart. I have good news. Here is where you can consider downloading another similar Help Authoring Tool, and this is discussed at the end of the course. Meanwhile, let's get started with Help & Maual 7.5. Let's dive in. 8. What is Online Help?: To create a help file using Help & Manual, we basically create a help project file. For instance, if our output deliverable is online help, then you create an online help project file in Help & Manual, if we require a compiled HTML output file, then our project in Help & Manual should be a compiled HTML project file. No matter what the product file is, As I've been saying all along, we can always generate other output formats from the single source of documentation that we'll be doing in a project. For example, if our output file where to be online help and we create an online help project file, we could always generate PDF output, compiled HTML output, and e-books from this online help project file. Or if our project where to be compiled HTML project file, we could always extract online help, e-books, and even PDF files from this Help project. For this course, we'll be creating online help and therefore will be creating an online help project file. And since online help is what we'll be creating in this course, let us talk a little bit about online help. As the name suggests, online help is help deployed online, either on the Internet or a network, on an Intranet and even on your local computer. Online help is also known as Web Help. And in these days, it also goes by another name, Nethelp. Online help can be accessed via an internet browser. It comprises HTML files and as far as web applications go, Online, help is the standard, but it can also be used for desktop applications too. A good example would be Help & Manual's own online help. And it is located at the web address mentioned in the slide. The advantages of online help is that it is available 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year. And it is available to anyone who can access the Internet or the network online help is also very easy to maintain. Imagine trying to make a correction in a PDF file that was already distributed. With online help. all you have to do is make a change online and it's instantly available for download or for viewing. These days, It is just not help applications that are making use of online help. Companies are putting their policies online, procedures online, schools and universities are putting their student policies online. Even clubs are putting up their rules online. The possibilities suddenly seem to be endless with the online help. Now if you haven't installed the free trial version of help and manual, now will be the best time because in our next video, we'll be using this trial software. Instructions have been provided. The manual has been provided in a previous lecture, and this manual has also been written using Help & Manual. So go ahead install the trial version, and I'll see you soon in the next video. 9. Creating your First Project in Help & Manual : In this video, you'll learn how to create your very first project using Kelvin manual seven. If you have successfully installed the trial version of help and manual 7, or have installed a purchase version, you must be able to see the helping manual seven icon on your desktop. Notice how chunky cursors is helping me show you more clearly the husband manual icon. Now if you have successfully installed help and minimum seven on your computer and don't see the icon on your desktop. You could also search for the program using Windows search. From the start menu. I'm using Windows 7. And if your computer is also running the same OS, you could search for helping manual seven, as I'm doing. Notice how search has located the help in Mendel's seven program on my computer. If your computers running Windows 8 or liter, I'm sure you must be able to locate the program in a similar fashion. To open the program, you could either click a link to the program in the search results or double-click the icon on your desktop, and the program opens. Click on New Project, and the screen refreshes displaying additional buttons and functions. On the screen. You'll notice several options on how to import health projects. We created using other help authoring tools such as robo help. We'll look into this functionality in a subsequent topic. Since you're going to create a new topic, click the Create an empty new project option. Will also explore the new project with lifestyles and the new project with modern styles. Later. Clicking the Create, an empty new project option opens a new screen. On the screen, you will need to provide two important inputs. One, the title of a project and to the location of your project. For our example, let's create and all in help for the web application MS Outlook. And so in the project title field, I'm going to enter MS. Outlook online help. Next, the location of your project needs to be entered into the output file field. By default. Helping manual will suggest the location, but here is a very important. Make sure your project is not installed on the system drive of your computer. The system drive is the drive where windows, the operating system of your computer, stores its files. The reason why I'm strongly advising you not to create your help in manual project on this folder does because in the event of a re-install of the operating system, the entire folder is wiped clean and there goes your help and manual project as well. Not only you are helping manner project file, if you have stored in a video or audio or personnel files on the system, right? They are deleted two. That is the reason why it also peace to partition your hard disk and make sure you're working files such as your help and manual project are stored on a non-system drag. And how do you identify a system drive? If your drive on your hard disk has a Windows or a Windows 32 folder, then that is as a stone drag. Another simple method to identify your system drive is by clicking on computer from the start menu. You could also search for computer using the search that we used earlier to locate the helping Mammal Program in the window that displays the drives of your computer. Lookout for the Windows logo on my computer. The Windows logo is located near the C drive of my computer, indicating see is the system folder. If you had just one drive like a C or a D on your computer, then this will be the best time to partition your drive into two or more drives depending on the space available on your hard disk. If you cannot do it yourself, get a techie to do it. Bottom line, create your help and mangled project or a non-system drag. Since C is a system drive on my computer, I'm going to create my husband Mendel project on the D drive. By default, the project file has a dot hedge M Z extension. Leave it as it is, and just seeing the potion that reflects the name of your project. In our case, naming it MS. Outlook online help. And I'm going to create it in a folder titled hedging projects. Leave all other options as they are. They will be explained in subsequent topics. Next, click, Create. If the output folder does not exist, Hillman will prompt you asking me if it can be created. Click Yes. Had been manually refreshes the screen to display a project with the starter chapters introduction and Chapter 2, and their topics inserted into the project. In subsequent videos, I'll teach you how to flesh out these topics by adding text, images and video. I'll also be showing you how to rename, edit, and reposition these topics within the table of contents. Before you exit, always ensure to save your project file by clicking the floppy icon located on the top left corner of your program window. The floppy icon is enabled every time you make a change to your project. You could also press Control S to save the changes made. To close the application, you may either select exit from the file menu or click the Close button located at the top right corner of the application. Now go ahead create your Hellman mammal project. As I have done in this video, this will be your assignment and I'll see you soon. 10. Creating your First Topic in your project: In this video, you will learn how to create your very first topic for your project. Apart from learning how to create your very first topic, you will also learn how to rename chapters and topics, how to delete chapters and topics, and how to move chapters and topics within the table of contents, also known as the TOC. By now, if you've completed your assignment and have created your project file, you'll notice the project file being displayed on the opening window. As you open Help & Manual, Help & Manual will always display a list of projects you've been recently working on, on the opening window. Click your project, as the project is opened, motice the starter topics that Help & Manual has already created for you under the Table of Contents, there is a chapter titled Introduction with two topics underneath it, and another chapter titled Chapter 2. I'm expanding the Chapter 2, by clicking it's expand or collapse button to display the topics below it. Notice that there is also a sub-chapter and clicking its expand or collapse button, the topics of the Subchapter are displayed To hide the topics under a chapter Glick, the expand or collapse button, again. Let's flush out the welcome topic. As you can see, I have currently selected the welcome topic. The blue band indicates that I have clicked on the welcome topic. Before I begin adding contents to the welcome topic, I would like to rename the topic because the title Welcome topic doesn't sound very elegant. Instead, I'm going to rename the topic to just Welcome. For this, I have to first make sure the topic is selected, which I have already done. Next, press the F2 key on your keyboard. Notice how the topic name field has been enabled for editing. All I need to do now is to delete the unwanted characters in the title name. Once I'm done, All I need to do is press Enter on the keyboard and the changes are made permanent. At anytime. If you wish to discard the editing press Esc on your keyboard and your editing will be instantly terminated and the changes you made will be discarded. Also notice how the name of the topic changed on the editor page when I changed the title of the topic in the TOC. Also, when I change the name of the topic, a small pencil icon has shown up on the side of the topics name. This is to indicate that a change has been made to the help file. To save the changes, either click Control S or click the floppy icon in a similar fashion, you can also rename a chapter. Now to add some content into the welcome topic. Select the topic in the TOC and click inside the editor on the right side where it reads "Enter topic text here." Delete the existing line and start typing away your content. To save time, I'm going to copy and paste content already prepared by me. At this stage. Do not worry about the font or the font size. They'll be discussed in subsequent topic. You may also post the video and use the content you see in my welcome topic as a guide to create your own. Use the introductory topics to establish a good rapport with your user. It also helps in reassuring the user about the usefulness of your user guide or manual. And this certainly speaks volumes about your service or product. Notice how I have used placeholders for email and telephone numbers in my content. Now here's another important advice. Not all clients would want to divulge their company email or telephone number in a product help file. So do check with them about including them here. However, some clients do want support information to go into a separate topic such as contact us, support, etc. In any case, make it a point to check with your client before publishing these details. Next, let me show you how to delete a topic. Let's delete the second topic under the introduction chapter titled "second topic". As we did earlier, first, select the topic by clicking it. Now do a right-click on your mouse. And from the shortcut menu that appears, select Delete TOC entry / Topic. A confirmation dialog opens and here select "Delete entries". Notice that the topic has been deleted in the TOC. This way, you could also delete an entire chapter. Next, we'll look at moving or rearranging topics in chapters in the TOC. You'll notice that the topic Welcome is located below the chapter Tntroduction. What if I wanted Welcome to be a standalone topic and not under the introduction chapter. All you have to do is select the welcome topic and then click on one of the relocation buttons located here. There is another method to move topics, and that is by clicking and dragging the topic or chapter to a new location on the TQC. For now, let us look at the relocation buttons. A I am pointing to the relocation button, if you notice the tooltip, it reads "move topic one level up and left". And that is precisely what it will do to the welcome topic. As I click this button, notice how the welcome topic has been pushed out of the introduction chapter as a standalone topic. And since there are no topics below introduction, it has become a standalone topic. We could also do away with the introduction topic by deleting it as we did earlier, by first selecting the topic, then right-clicking with the mouse to invoke the shortcut menu and then selecting delete TOC entry / topic from this menu and then. finally, clicking Delete Entries from the confirmation dialog. Remember that once deleted a topic or chapter cannot be cleaned by an undo or Control Z. You could of course create it. So let's go ahead and create the introduction topic. I would like the introduction topic to appear just above the welcome topic. So I first select the welcome topic. Then I right-click. And from the shortcut menu, I select, Add before selected topic and thw dialogue pops up. And in the Topic heading field, clear the suggested topic name and enter "Introduction". And when done, click Ok, and the dialogue closes. And notice the Introduction Topic created in the TOC just above the Welcome topic. Now to make the Introduction topic a chapter again with the Welcome topic below it, all I need to do is click the Welcome topic and this time, select the relocation button whose tooltip says, "move topic one level down and to the right". As I click the button, notice how the welcome topic is moved below the interaction topic. Making introduction a chapter as before. We could also make the welcome topic a chapter by creating a topic under it. Let's go ahead and add the same. Once again, we select the welcome topic. Then right-click it to invoke the shortcut menu. Then from the menu, select Add child topic. In the dialog that pops up enter Login as the name of the topic in the topic heading field. Click Ok, and the new topic is inserted below the welcome topic. Now making welcome a Subchapter below the introduction chapter. So go ahead and attempt the next assignment where you'll be asked to create the welcome topic. Create, delete, rename, and rearrange topics in chapters. You could also play around with the second chapter titled Chapter 2. Feel free to break something. This will only help you to learn faster. Remember to save your work by clicking the floppy button or by pressing Control S. And I'll see you soon. 11. Adding Keywords to your topic: In this video, you'll about keywords and how to link keywords to your topics so that your topics can be indexed based on these keywords. Users can then search the help for relevant topics and content associated with those keywords. First, a small look at keywords. Do you recall searching for something in Google or any of your favorite web browsers using words and phrases? These are keywords. Similarly, you could also let your user, particularly with online, help, search for relevant content using keywords. Here is an example of online help. In fact, this is Help & Manual's online help developed using Help & Manuall itself. And it is located at the URL displayed in the callout below. To search the help click the Search button indicated by the lens icon and search fields appear. Enter a keyword, a word or a phrase. In the Search for field and click Submit. Notice how Help & Manual returns results related to the keyword "print manual". The user can then browse through the results list and click on the link of any one of the topics to view its contents. To facilitate this type of search, you must link relevant keywords to topics. I would advise that you perform this step as soon as you create a topic for three reasons. One, the keywords related to the topic will still be fresh in your mind, 2. You don't have to do it later. And worse, even forget adding keywords to your topic. And 3. An index of your keywords can be built. To check the index of our online help example, Click the keyword index button located next to the search button. Back in Help & Manual. Let's look at how we can add keywords to topics. Let's select the welcome topic that we created earlier, with the topic being visible on the editor page. Click the Topic options Tab and the following screen is displayed. All we need to do now is add relevant keywords into the keywords box. As a general rule, enter keywords in the lowercase, unless they are pronouns, such as Help & Manual, Microsoft, a person's name, et cetera. For the welcome topic, some appropriate keywords would be Help & Manual, introduction, support, contact us, if support and contact information had been included in the welcome topic. You could also Club related keywords as you might have seen them in the index of books. For instance, suppose the welcome topic had e-mail addresses for technical support and sales. Instead of entering two separate keywords such as technical support, email, and sales e-mail. You could club them as I'm doing. Type e-mail on the first line. And then press Enter and on the subsequent line, press Tab, and then type the keyword technical support. And then click Enter again. And in the subsequent line, press Tab and then type the word sales so that it looks as this. The search will ensure that the relevant topic is fetched for either of these keywords, that is technical support, e-mail or sales email. Finally, save your work by clicking the floppy button or by pressing Control S will look into how the search and index functions for these keywords become active when we create online help. 12. Version Freeze: Before we proceed any further, there is one very crucial step that needs to be performed. And that is to ascertain 100 percent that the online help that we are writing or the user manual that we are creating is for that particular version of the software that is being released. For example, if Version 2.5 of the software is being released, you have to make sure that the online Help or the user manual refers to that particular version, that is 2.5 of the software. It should not refer to an earlier version such as 1.5 or 2.0, neither should it reflect a future version such as 3.0 or 3.5. So how do we ensure that this is an order? You do this by requesting a sign-off from your client, either on paper or even an e-mail confirmation would do. Do not forget the importance of this very crucial step. I repeat, do not forget the importance of this very crucial step as it would prevent a lot of headaches leader, and the software is being released. The bottom line, the user manual or the online Help must reflect the Version that it is being written about. There is yet another crucial thing that needs to be borne in mind. Even if you're sure about writing the online help, or creating the user manual for the correct version of the software. Make sure you get a clean go signal from the client before taking images of the product or the software. Now if you've already commenced work, you could use placeholders in your content. And then after you get the "go" from the client, you could insert images into your user manual. If your product is an ongoing one, clients would give you more flexibility and in which case you could use placeholders. And as and when the client agrees for the images to be taken, you can take them and place them in your content. But makes sure you take the images only after the client has agreed for you to take them, Next, try and get an estimated date of delivery. if not an exact one from your client. Now this also helps the progress of the project in the long run. And so trying to get a date of completion only increases the trust between you and the client. If the product is an ongoing one, there will be more flexibility. But make sure you keep your client abreast of changes that are happening because there'll be more time involved incorporating functionality changes into the help file. Also in an ongoing project, try your best to focus on functionality that is already frozen because these are the places that are least likely to change and which means less updates to your online help and the user manual. In any case, keep the client informed in an ongoing project of big functionality changes. In most cases, clients will only be understanding and will offer cooperation. It is certainly good practice to keep them informed of the changes happening to the program. If a client asks for milestones, for example, dates for 25 percent, 50 percent, or 75 percent completion of the project, by all means, comply. Some clients are flexible and they may even ask you to deliver after 50% of the project is completed. And a second milestone when the entire project is to be delivered. Even for ongoing projects, make sure you provide a weekly report to your client, sending completed portions of work, plants only be happy to be informed of the progress. Bottom-line, try best to genuinely impress your client. 13. Gathering Information about your Application: In this video, we'll look at the process by which we start gathering information about the application or product for which wie'll be writing the online help or creating the user manual. For first-time applications. that is, for applications and software for which no user manual has been done so far, you'll be provided with the demonstrations and walkthroughs and so make sure to take as many notes as possible, wherever and whenever possible. Also, this would be a good time for you to gather any functional specification of the product and any other related documentation that was used in the making of the product, because these will only help clarify functionality of the application. Next, for newer versions of the product, that is, those applications that already have user manuals, and user guides written for them. Make sure you sit through demonstrations and walkthroughs of the product, taking notes, but this time also request for the existing manuals of the older versions because these can give you a wealth of information. Also newer versions of the Help manual may also include a what's new in this release topic. And so comparing older mammals with new functionality of the new product could provide you with information for this topic. Also, try and source for help files of the previous version from which you could reuse a ton of content. Just that, when you reuse content, you make sure that the functionality matches that of the current application and that the content is written with good technical writing style and grammar, which you'll be looking at in a subsequent topic. Now, a word about demos and walkthroughs. Remember that in most cases, you haven't created the application or the program. So never hesitate to ask questions, even if they are stupid, because it'll only help you understand the product better. Make sure you contact the project lead or the project manager and get them or the team to explain to you whatever that is not clear with the application. If you work from a distance, request for demos or walkthroughs online via Skype or GoToMeeting or Team Viewer or similar software. But make sure you get a demo of the program that you're writing about. If you work in the Office of a company try best to join Testing teams whenever product demonstrations and product walkthroughs are given to them. Also, whenever functionality changes are made in the application as it is in, the case of an ongoing project, ensure that you are also intimated about them. Bottom-line, learn functionality thoroughly because you cannot make a mistake when you write about the functionality of the program. Another important thing is to make sure you're in touch with a person who understands the program well. This can be a techie. Make sure you have the techie's number or email so that you could contact them in case you run into a problem or a situation where you don't understand the functionality of the application. And finally, make sure you have access to a working copy of the application that you're writing about, whether it is a web application or one installed on your computer. Make sure it is the one for which the online Help or the user guide is to be written. Once you have access to the application, you could also double-check with the tiechie to make sure the functionality is working perfectly as it was explained in the demos. And remember, when writing the user manual, you will be studying its functionality by using the program and simultaneously writing about it. And if the GO has already been given by the client, you would also be taking images of the application. So that is three things being done simultaneously. Learning to use the application, writing about it, and taking images, after the client has given the green signal for you to take the images. 14. Top to Bottom Ordering: Every help file or Online Help and that you create can be compared to a story, one that has a definite introduction, a body, and a conclusion. There is a logical flow of functions, of one function leading to the next. For example, in a payroll application, first, employee information, and later, their salary information has to be entered into the system before one can run payroll and generate the salary slips. So in the payroll application, functions such as creating an employee, adding salary and wage details, etc., appear before other functions, such as run payroll or generate salary slips. We'll see soon how these functions can be ordered in our Help file. If you are guessing, it is the TOC, Table of Contents. you're spot on. Similarly, in a financial application before the Profit and Loss statement can be generated, entries of financial transactions have to be made in the ledgers and book of accounts. So in this financial application, functions such as ledger entry or maintaining book of accounts appear before. functions such as generate profit and loss statement, and generate balance sheet. If you have used programs such as Microsoft PowerPoint. You might have also noticed how functions have been arranged in the menu's, starting from a left to right and top to bottom manner. In the image on our slide. notice how the file operation menus are on the far left with the other more advanced functions such as insert and design, located further to the right, even inside a menu, as in this slide, with the image of the File menu expanded, notice how the initial tasks such as opening a file, saving a file, etc, are on top. The subsequent and final operations such as print, Save and send and Exit are located way down the menu. Most programs and applications follow this rule, left to right and top to bottom in sequencing the functions of the program in a logical manner, helping the user, to use the program efficiently. Our help files must also reflect this logical flow. So where do we go about doing the sequencing of topics in functions in our Help file? In the TOC or Table of contents. I explained in an earlier video how we can insert, delete, and rearrange, that is, sequence topics inside the table of contents. There is only one caveat. In our Help file, there is only a top to bottom ordering unlike programs and web applications, there is no left to right organizing of functions. Some typical beginning or introductory topics are, Introduction, where you introduce a product or program, a "What's New in this release" of the product or program. Where you explain new features or updates of an existing program or product, sometimes contact information is also provided. And, I have also been insisting that while divulging contact information of your client or your company, you must take their permission. For a web application such as Gmail or Yahoo mail or MS Outlook, the initial topics may also include the How to login topic. At this juncture, you may ask, where do downloading an installation procedures go? Here's a tip. If the procedure is too elaborate, complex or delicate, then they need to go into a separate download and installation guide. If they are small, they could go into the User Guide, but then again, get the final word from the client. And finally, to highlight the purpose of a user guide or help and what it is not, here goes. The user manual is not a tutorial, one that has quizzes and exercises, one that is normally used for product training. Also, a user guide does not explain things other than the functionality of the product or application. For example, a user guide for a financial application does not explain financial accounting. Similarly, the user guide for a hi-fi product does not explain electricity, capacitors or resistors. Sometimes clients may not be well-informed about this. In such cases, it is your duty to educate them politely. 15. Introduction Chapter Revisited: In the video on How to create your very first topic, we discussed the Introduction folder and the Welcome topic. In this video, we'll take a closer look at the Introduction chapter and the topics. I will also explain a subtle difference between Help & Manual's Chapter page and the same if you're working with other Help authoring tools such as Robohelp. For your Introduction, you could either have a single topic or keep a chapter where you would like to have one or more topics. We saw how we could create such a topic in an earlier video where we created the Welcome topic. Now what if we also wanted to include information about new features of the product and a complete page on help and support with contact information. This is where an introduction chapter will come in handy. As you might have noticed in the TOC, I have created three topics under the Introduction chapter. These are, Welcome. What's new in this release and Contact and Support. Here are the contents of the What's new in this Release topic. And here are the contents of the Contact and Support topic. You could pause the video to take a look at the content in each of these topics, you may also use these lines of text to create your own. Another reason why I wanted to make this video is to explain a subtle difference in the property of a chapter in Help & Manual and the same in Robohelp. In Help & Manual unlike Robohelp a Chapter also comes with a page. So do not leave this page blank as it will not look good when your users stare at a blank page, in your help file. You can always fill it with some lines as I have done. I Robohelp there is no such page for a chapter. There are only topics underneath the chapter. So in Help & Manual, don't leave this header page blank. Bear this in mind when you create your chapters. Next, let's move on to a very interesting section, Technical writing, grammar and style. And let's get going on our first topic written in typical technical writing, grammar and style. I'll see you there. 16. Before you Learn Technical Writing Grammar and Style: Before you begin learning Technical Writing, Grammar and Style, here is something important that I would like to tell you. You might recall in my Welcome video, I had mentioned how you could become a Technical Writer with just High-School English. And in all honesty, that is all what it takes. You just need to remember some basic rules and you're good to go. Sadly, many aspiring Technical Writers are misled into thinking that unless they master Technical Writing Grammar and Style, they will not become good technical writers. Hours, days, weeks, and even months are spent on books on English grammar and style guides when they're actually almost ready to take on technical writing assignments. The same goes with the common errors of the English language. A Google search will reveal dozens or more sites that explain the common errors of the English language. Each site claiming their list to be the best. Wannabe technical writers spend an invaluable amount of their time on these sites. And even after they are on the job, I have seen technical writers spending hours arguing and discussing about the correct word phrase, grammar, and style to be used for their documentation. My sincere advice. Do not spend your valuable time on grammar, styling, and common errors of the English language to become a technical writer. We'll see in a moment where the technical writer's focus must be. So are there any technical writing, grammar, and style guides that can be used for reference? Yes, there are. First, go to this link and download Apple's style guide. The guide is free and it can be viewed online or saved on your computer. I would suggest saving it on your computer. The other style guide you need to consider is Microsoft's Manual of Style for technical publications. As a general rule, use the Apple style guide for Apple and Mac related applications and the Microsoft style guide for PC and Windows related applications. Here are some important observations regarding the Style guides. Use the style guides for reference Only. Don't put your technical writing career or project on hold thinking you need to master these guides before beginning your technical writing profession or projects. Also, do not consider your project incomplete if they fail to be 100% Apple style guide compliant, or if they aren't 100 percent compliant for the Microsoft Manual of Style for technical publications. Over the years, I've seen several well-written user manuals that neither fully use the Microsoft style nor the Apple's style. I have also seen documents written for the PC using the Apple style guide and vice versa, and others that seem to have used a mix of both. My advice, stick to one style. If you're writing for the PC or Windows applications, use the Microsoft guide. If you're writing for Apple or Mac products, use the Apple guide. Now, what if you had to create the user manual for a product that runs on both the PC and the Mac. Ideally, one in the style of the Microsoft guide and the other based on Apple style guide would be the right solution. But then again, do not panic if you just have one user manual return based on either one of the guides. The user manual written using purely the Apple style guide will still be understood by PC users and vice versa, as long as the basic rules of grammar and style are followed. These are discussed in the next video. Now, what if you had to create online help for a web application such as the one we're currently creating for the Microsoft Outllook program. In such cases, use the Microsoft Manual of Style for technical publications, also, for general technical writing reference, I would recommend the Microsoft guide. Apart from these two guides, There's a third and a very useful resource. If you have guessed Wikipedia, you're absolutely right. Wikipedia is free and updated constantly, and therefore, it is an accurate source of information. I highly recommend it. And when should the guides be consulted? We'll look into this in detail when we develop content for our topic, How to Login. And that brings us the most important aspect of technical writing, far more important than following the rules of technical writing, grammar and style. And that is writing the functionality of the application or product completely and accurately. A mistake in the grammar or spelling or punctuation can be excused. But a wrong explanation of the functionality of a product or application is pure disaster. Nothing can be worse than explaining erroneously a particular function of a product or program. Bottom-line, never compromise on accuracy and completeness while describing and documenting the functions of an application or program. Next, Let's get acquainted with the fundamentals of technical writing, grammar, and style. In the next video. 17. The Important Rules: This video discusses the most important rules of Technical Writing Grammar. Make sure you take notes while watching this video. About 70 to 80 percent of your text in your documentation is going to contain instructions, instructing your user to perform tasks. For example, click Cancel, slide the volume button, close window, etc. In fact, the commands just mentioned, click Cancel, slide the volume button and close window are all examples of statements written in the "Active voice". The opposite of active voice is passive voice, make sure it is avoided as much as possible for the instructions. The passive voice equivalent for the commands just mentioned would be "Cancel is clicked". "The volume button is slid" and the "window is closed". Such statements are never to be used in Technical writing. The easiest way to teach yourself to use the active voice is to imagine yourself standing next to your users and instructing them to use a program for which you are writing the Help. If you were standing next to you or user, would you give instructions such as Find button is clicked, window is clicked, etc. No. Instead you would use statements such as Click Find, close the window, and so on. Bare this scenario in mind whenever you are not sure what the active voice is. Recall the sentence, Press to play in the user manual of your DVD player? That's another example of a statement in the active voice. Even the Nike slogan, "Do it" uses the active voice. So rule number one, Use the active voice for instructions. Also notice how each statement began with a verb or an Action word, such as Click, Slide, Close, etc., This is the preferred method used in instruction statements. At this juncture, it will also be a good exercise if you could refer the Help & Manual Installation guide you had downloaded in a previous lecture. Use the present tense while describing the results of instructions. For example, if a confirmation dialog were to open on clicking a Submit button, you would use the Present tense to describe the result of the action as follows. Click Submit. A confirmation dialog appears. A confirmation dialog is displayed is also accepted though. it uses the passive voice but a confirmation dialog will open is not acceptable, although it may be technically and logically correct. The Will in the sentence, a confirmation dialog will open, implies the future tense. Using the present tense, comforts the user of something that is happening right now. Here's another example. Double-click the icon on the desktop. The dashboard appears in the opening window. Now, are there any exceptions to the second rule? Yes, of course, there are places where you will not be able to use the present tense. For example, the text and lines in the introduction topic that we created earlier have text written in tenses other than the present tense. Another place where the present tense may not come into play, are Notes, Caution sections, which will look into soon, and other descriptive sections of the application or product. Use the second person. You more than any of the other persons, particularly in the instructions. Yours and yours are also acceptable, but use them sparingly, therefore, while addressing and instructing your reader, avoid the following. First-person that includes the use of "I", we, me, mine, us, our or aurs. And the third person which includes he, she it, him, her, his, her's, its, they, them and theirs. Are there any exceptions to this rule? Yes, there are. Let me explain. In the Introduction Topic when introducing the help manual, it is more humane to write, "We have prepared this help manual for you." In such cases, replacing the line with the statements such as "This manual is prepared that it may offer help when you are in trouble." just to use the present tense. and the second person. i.e "you" sounds less humane. The key is to avoid mixing of tenses. We'll discuss these in the common errors. topic. At this stage, you may ask, can I take exercises and practice tests for mastering these rules? The answer is "yes", but I would advise that you don't waste a lot of time on them. Once you know the rules well, you're almost there to pick up technical writing work. 18. The Other Rules: And here are the other rules. We touched upon them lightly in the previous video, but here they are explained in more detail. Though they may not be as important as the rules we discussed in the previous video, The important rules. These rules when followed, will make your documentation look elegant, easier to read and understand. Make sure you take your notes for this video too whenever and wherever possible. Begin instructions with a verb, or an action word, such as click, Open, Close, slide, etc. Examples of instruction statements that begin with an action word are Click Submit, Double-click the program icon on the desktop, Enter the first Name in the firstname box, and so on. Keep sentences short and simple. Whether they are instructions, or results of instructions, notes and caution statements or descriptions, avoid long sentences. Long sentences are dull and boring. And worst of all, make things sound complex and difficult to understand. If you have long sentences try and split them into two or more smaller sentences. Here's an example of such a long statement. Click Manage employee from the menu, and then click Create employee from the submenu and fill in the fields of the employee form that opens in a new window. This sentence can be easily simplified as follows. Statement number 1. Click Manage employee from the menu. A submenu opens. Statement No. 2. Click Create employee. A new window opens displaying fields. 3. Fill the fields. Similarly, try to break topics into smaller ones. If they are too long, number your instruction statements and limit the number of steps to 10 or 12. Number your instruction statements starting with 1 and proceed sequentially. Don't number non-instructional steps such as those used to explain the results of an action or instruction. As a general rule, do not exceed 12 steps. If your instruction ends with 13 or 14 steps, then that's okay. But suppose you have 18 steps or more. Divide the topic into sections. Here is an example. While creating an employee for a Company database, there is a lot of information being collected. The form has fields for the employees First Name, Middle name, Last name, marital status, age, address, which may run into two or three fields, Zip, designation. And depending on the number of dependents, there could be fields for the employee's spouse, children, et cetera. In all, there could be as many as 20 or more fields, a topic with 20 or more instruction statements, not to forget the text and the lines for results of these instructions and images, which we'll look into soon, will look imposing and will be tiring and challenging for the user. Instead of creating one long topic, you could make sections of this one long employee form and club related fields into these sections. So we could have an Employee section for fields related to the employee and have another section called Dependents section containing instructions on how to fill fields for the dependents. To avoid numbering, above 12, we also restart the numbering of steps in the second section. This kind of splitting is easy on the eye for the user. Sometimes using sublevels also help in making the topic look elegant, and easy on the eye, and also prevents instructions from exceeding 12 steps. In the example, notice how similar fields have been grouped as a sublevel. And these in turn have been numbered using a different numbering style. In our case, the first sublevel uses lower-case alphabet a, b, c, and so on. Notice how in our example, we have restricted the number to 13 steps, use lowercase a, b. And if you have a second sub-level, that is a level inside the first one, then use lower case roman numerals i, ii and so on. Avoid using 1.1, 1.2.3, etc. It is recommended that you maintain just one sublevel and in any case, don't exceed more than two sublevels. Of the two solutions, I recommend the splitting of the long set of instructions into sections more than using sublevels. Technical writers sometimes even use a combination of both to make a long topic appear small. Have a positive tone, and wherever possible, replace a negative statement with a positive one, particularly in notes and cautions. For example, in a Caution instead of a statements such as "Be extremely careful while using the delete function, inappropriate use will only jeopardize your system and make it inoperable." seems a bit too harsh, use the following instead, it achieves the same objective in a more positive, yet less frightening manner. "Use the delete function with care. Delete removes all data from the system. The process is also irreversible." Begin a topic or chapter names with a gerund, words ending in "ing" and using plural items wherever possible, examples are Creating Users. Instead of "Ceating a user" or "How to create a user". Within the creating users topic, you could title your content "To create a user" i.e use a simpler expression. However, not all Topic names can begin with a gerund, that is, words ending in "ing", i.e creating, deleting, modifying, et cetera. Exceptions are Introduction, Welcome, How to sign-in and so on. Avoid using him, her and particularly the use of him/her. So replace layman with layperson, salesman or sales goal with salesperson. Be on the lookout for similar sexist words and replace them with convenient alternatives. Avoid trying to be funny. Absolutely no jokes are allowed in user manuals or being overly friendly or polite. i.e using words such as please, Thank you, sorry, etc., and avoid the marketing pitch or the sales pitch in your content. So are there any more rules? There are a few more. And for better understanding, I haven't included them in these two videos. We'll look into them as we move on. Next, let's look at some of the most common errors in technical writing grammar before we take up writing our first topic using the rules that we have just learned. 19. Common Errors of the English Language: On the Internet there are dozens or more sites explaining errors of the English language. Books have also been written. As mentioned earlier, do not waste your valuable time learning them all before beginning your technical writing project. In this video, we'll look at some of the most common mistakes in English grammar and those specific to technical writing. Avoid anthropomorphism. This is probably the most common error. Anthropomorphism is basically the attributing of human characteristics and purposes to inanimate objects. Was the definition confusing? Let us look into some examples. How many times have you encountered one or more of the following. The report shows employees eligible for gratuity payments. The consolidation ensures that the year-end procedures are completed. The profit and loss statement proves beyond doubt the failure of the current financial model. The big unseen error in the above statements is that activities that can only be done by humans have been attributed to inanimate objects. The report cannot show, the consolidation cannot ensure, and the profit and loss statement cannot prove, because only a human can do these activities. In spite of knowing thism statements, such as the above, fill our manuals and help files. The trick is to replace them with an alternative sentence or sentences that convey the meaning without anthropomorphism. For instance, the statement, The report shows employees eligible for Gratuity Payments can be replaced by, "The list of employees who are eligible for gradually payments are displayed in the report. Note here that "displayed by" is still anthropomorphic. Similarly, the statement, "The consolidation, ensures that year-end procedures are completed" can be replaced by "The year-end procedures are completed. when the consolidation is done." Do not mix tenses. We have already seen how the present tense is to be used, particularly in statements describing the results of instructions. However, other areas of the document may use cases other than the present tense. What needs to be avoided is the mixing of tenses. Here are some examples. The following statement is wrong. Run the consolidation report and the initial values would have all been reset to 0. Here the present tense run and the conditional perfect "would have" been appear in the same sentence. To correct the error, replace with two simple statements. Run the consolidation report. The initial values are reset to 0. Another example, "Click Del to delete the icon on the desktop and to restore it, click the recycle bin icon and the deleted item will be found there." First of all, the sentence is a bit too long. Secondly, in the sentence, click Del and "to restore" are in the present tense. "Deleted" and "found" are in the past tense and "will be", is in the future tense. Another error in the sentence is discussed under dangling participles in a subsequent slide. One correct alternative for the above statement would be, "Click Del to delete the icon on the desktop. Deleted icons are moved to the recycle bin. Deleted items can be restored from the recycle bin. That's using three statements, to simplify the long statement, and to correct the errors. Avoid dangling participles as they cause ambiguity in instructions. Here are examples. To click and drag an object with the most, statement 1, Select the object by first clicking it. Here it is not clear as to what is to be clicked, the mouse or the object. Statement 2, Click the right mouse button and drag it. In the statement, it is not clear what is to be dragged the mouse or the right-most button. Another example, "After being tested for accuracy, the formula uses the data." Here is not clear as to what was tested for accuracy, the formula, or the data. Finally, another look at the statement we discussed earlier. Click del to delete the icon on the desktop and to restore it, click the recycle bin icon. Here it is not clear as to what is being restored. The icon or the desktop. Avoid, verbose statements. I had already emphasized, keeping sentences brief, but many a time this error is made in commonly used phrases. Some of them are listed below. For instance, instead of create, new, simply use create, instead of callback, use call. Other examples are, "Due to the fact that" which can be replaced with "because" instead of the reason why use, the reason, avoid the use of very, very and sentences that use constructs such as "in that, that", and so on. Though not a grammatical error, the use of brackets seem to have confused many a technical writer, particularly when using parenthesis. The list here displays the correct names of these symbols. Note that it is also wrong to use square brackets and curly braces. It is just brackets and braces. The style guides cover these symbols in detail. Now that you're familiar with the rules of technical writing, grammar, can you take up a challenge for your assignment that's coming up? Write the content for the How to login topic. Also try to avoid the common errors of the English language that we discussed in this video. Do not worry if you make mistakes. In the lecture that follows, we'll go through the assignment in detail. 20. How to Login topic Assignment Review: In this video, we'll take a closer and a more detailed look at creating content for the "How To Login" topic using the rules of technical writing, grammar, and style. This was asked of you in your assignment. So how did you do? Was it easy or difficult? Don't worry if your assignment doesn't look similar to mine, but do take notice of the errors that you may have made. If you've got the statements numbered sequentially in my topic or even came close to it, pat yourself on your back. Congratulations, you've come a long way. Also, don't worry about formatting. i.e the font, font size, etc. We'll be covering that very soon. You might have noticed in my TOC that the topic under discussion is titled hope to sign-in, when all along, I've been talking about the "How to login" topic. Why did I use sign-in instead of Login? This is where the style guide comes into play. So early on in your technical writing career, keep the style guide. in our case, the Microsoft Manual of Style for technical publications, open in another window as you go about your work. The obvious question, "When or how often do you consult the study guide?", the answer. Whenever you are in doubt about the usage of a particular word or whenever you feel something is ambiguous as it is in this case, with the word "login". Consult the style guide. You can also consult the style guide for usage of words, phrases, program interface items, and grammar too. And according to the Microsoft style manual, the single word "login" is not to be used. "Log on", "log off", that is separate words and "logon" and "logoff" single words are all, correct. However, the style guide also mentioned using sign-in as most appropriate to sign into an application on the internet. It is the case, with MS outlook or Yahoo Mail or Gmail. In fact, the MS Outlook sign-in webpage itself uses the words sign-in. Therefore, the correct title of this topic is how to sign-in. Now at this early stage, don't worry if you find yourself consulting the style guide very, often as time passes, you will find yourself, depending less on the style guides. As mentioned in an earlier video. Don't be hard on yourself, if your help file, isn't 100% style guide compliant, you have committed no crime. The key is to not bungle on the functionality. For instance, while documenting this topic, "How to sign-in to MS outlook", if you mentioned the web URL as, then we have a real problem. My advice, try and stick to the style guides as much as possible, but don't feel let down if your guide isn't 100% Style Guide compliant. Now let's take a closer look at the contents of this topic. First, notice that my topic has some introductory lines. This is a nice way to lead the reader to the topic instead of bluntly starting with the heading "To sign into outlook". Next, notice how the instructions are numbered starting from 1, each instruction is followed by a statement indicating the result of that instruction. Instructions use the active voice, and they all begin with a verb, i.e an action word. All statements in describing the results of instructions use the present tense. Next, let's take a look at each of the instructions. The first line, "Open your Internet browser" is pretty straightforward. The second instruction step, go to, could mean a number of things. 1, it could mean entering the URL, that is in the URL field of your browser. And then pressing Enter on your keyboard, 2, you might have also saved a link as a favorite in your browser. And you could have opened it from there too. So go to is a simple sentence asking the reader to open the sign-in page of the online application, MS. Outlook and the Microsoft style guide also mentions it this way, but instead of go to, if you had used the line, enter in the URL field of your browser and press the Enter key. It is not entirely wrong. Notice that instruction step go to has a link. Help & Manual automatically converts the text to a link if it encounters that www or the HTTP in a phrase or a sentence, these links can be edited too. We'll look into this later. The result of this step, the MS Outlook sign-in webpage appears, follows the instruction and does not appear as a separately numbered step. Also, if you had used a line such as "the MS Outlook sign-in webpag is displayed." It is not wrong either. However, avoid the usage of "webpage opens", which is not correct. Don't worry if you didn't get the steps perfectly right as I have been explaining here, they'll get better with time and practice. It is also to be noted that the Microsoft style guide does not say that statements such as "the webpage opens", "the web page is displayed", are wrong. It only says that they aren't in the Microsoft style of writing. Another thing you might have noticed is the appearance of red squigglies below words as in the case of the www in the link and the word webpage. The Help & Manual editor here indicates there is an unrecognized word or a spelling mistake. Right-click the word underlined by the squiggly. And from the shortcut menu that appears, select an alternative word from the list with the correct spelling or click "Add to the dictionary" to add the word to your Help & Manual dictionary, and in which case, the red squiggly will not appear for this word anywhere in the current document and on future projects. Now for the two statements where the e-mail and the password has to be provided, that is, "type your email in the e-mail or phone box" and "type your password in the Password box." You might have used the word "enter" instead of the word "type" and "field" instead of "box", which again are not wrong, but the correct words to be used, are, "type" and "box". and for the final step, do not use the word "button" as in "click the submit button" instead "Click Submit" is clear enough. Here's another tip. After having written a considerable amount of content, intead of referring to the style guide. Refer previous content written by you for which you had already consulted. the style guide, for instance, if you have consulted the style guide and have already corrected or learnt that you have to use the word "type" and "box" instead of the words "enter" and "field" in a statement such as "type the password in the Password box." Then every time you are confused, whether to use the word "type" or "enter" or "Box" or "field". All you need to do is referred to your earlier documentation. So that's it for the review of this assignment. I would recommend watching this video again or multiple times so that you understand the process of creating content more clearly. Let's move on to add more content to this topic to make it complete, first, add a Note after the line, "Type your password in the Password box", mentioning that passwords are case-sensitive. Also, let's add the procedure to sign out of MS. Outlook to this topic as well. These are asked of you in your next assignment. We'll then revisit and review this topic again, after your assignment. 21. Assignment Review of subsequent assignment: In this video, we'll continue working on the assignment topic and review the additional work that was assigned to you that is adding more content to complete the topic. One reason why this assignment was asked of you was to indicate to you how to combine topics instead of creating too many small ones. The sign-up procedure, which is a very small process, can easily be added to this topic, how to sign-in, making it a standalone one. As you can see, I have modified the introduction to indicate that the topic deals with both the sign-in and sign-up procedures. Notice how I've added the procedure to sign out at the bottom of the topic. Next, notice the Nope, I have added below the instruction statement, type the password, indicating to the user that passwords are case-sensitive. I had asked an optional exercise of you, and that is to add a note indicating to the user to click the forgot password topic. For this, I'd also asked you to create an MD forgot password topic in our EL project and to provide a link to it. If you were unable to create the link. Not to worry, I'll be explaining the same in a moment for now. Notice how the topic is linked from the node. This is a very common and a very useful practice in help files to link text in the content to a topic. First, ensure that the topic to be linked is present in the hell project, in our case, the forgot password topic. Next in the content, highlight the text to be linked. In our case, the words forgot password. Next, click, Insert hyperlink from the ribbon. A dialogue appears in the box that lists the list of topics in the project. Select the forgot password topic and click Okay. The text forgot password is now converted to a link in the online help that will generate later. Clicking this link will open the forgot password topic. To convert this link that we just created it back to text. Select the link and right-click the mouse and from the shortcut menu that appears select Convert to plain text. Now before we save this project, but there is one more thing to do. Can you guess what that is? If you said adding keywords, you're perfectly right for this. Get the topic options tab. And in the keywords box, add the following relevant keywords related to this topic. As I'm doing, sign-in, sign out, login, logout, forgot password, username, and email. Your topic is now complete. Don't forget to save your topic by either clicking the Save button or by pressing Control S. Now, wouldn't it be nice if your topic looked as this will come into the world of formatting, which we'll look into in detail in the next section. But before that, as an assignment, try and see if we can come up with more topics covering y-tilde functionality on the sign-in page, I'll discuss another important rule in the next lecture. 22. One more Rule: In the video, the other rooms I had mentioned that I will be discussing some more rules along the way. Here is one of them. Do not indulge in over exhaustive documentation. Besides being unnecessary. It is also a huge time waster. One reason why the previous assignment was asked of you, that is the one where you were asked to locate additional topics for functionality on the sign-in page was to explain to you in this video what functionality you need to cover and the ones you must avoid. While I had stressed covering important functionality, sometimes technical writers get involved with documentation that is actually not needed. Here are examples. Let's look at the sign-in page here in our topic, how to sign in via curriculum that to sign in, the sign-in button has to be clipped after the email and password had been typed in their respective boxes. You might have also realized that instead of clicking sign-in, the user could also just press Enter on the keyboard. And that does the same thing. That is at the user sign-in. So why didn't we document that the answer? For the sake of simplicity, we do not wish to complicate things when they can be done in a simple manner. We could have reworded the instruction statement as follows. Click sign-in or press Enter on your keyboard. But does that sound right? Some technical writers do this, but my recommendation would be to keep it simple without mentioning the pressing of the Enter key. When users sign-in, they're likely to sometimes forget their passwords. The link can't access your account, helps users retrieve the password and therefore, this procedure has to be documented. I call this the forgot password topic in our earlier videos. The others that are worthy of documenting are the keep me signed in checkbox and that's it. You don't need to explain or document the links sign-in with a single use code. Signup. Now, who's actually creates a Microsoft account? Terms and conditions or privacy and cookies do not also become a victim of what-if situations and start writing for these scenarios to, for instance, what are the user left, one or both the boxes, that is for email and password blank. What if the user clicked Back button of the browser after filling one or both these boxes, before clicking sign-in and so on. So if you begin thinking like software testers do, you will end up with an infinite variety of scenarios. And this will result in documentation that will never end. So the rule to be observed, document only relevant functionality. I have a small check before we move on to learning formatting content. So let's move on. 23. Formatting Fundamentals: In this video, we'll go over the basics of formatting. Bear in mind that your help file is not a brochure. As the name suggests, the primary goal of your headphone is to help your users and not to attract their attention with colorful fonts and images as brochures due to lower their customers into buying products. So the most important rule when it comes to formatting is to keep it simple. Before you begin work, make sure you get client approval for font, font size, color, line spacing, etc. Number to maintain consistency of style. Do not change the font, font style or line spacing randomly in the help file. Now let us see your client wanted images to have a title in italics. Also, the title is to be pleased at the bottom margin of the images and centered. Now this rule has to be implicitly obeyed throughout the document, wherever images are inserted. Therefore, entering a title at the top margin of an image, or making the title left aligned or right aligned at the bottom of the image are all disallowed. Now let's take a closer look at the formatting I've done to the text that we created earlier, I must say at this moment that are followed this style of formatting for innumerable help files. You could follow the same to have used the default font setting of ADL and a font size of ten if we wish to change the font or the size. Here is where you do it. Using the font name and the font size drop-down list boxes for short sentences to proceed the subsequent lines, that is to move to the next line. I have used the carriage return or the Enter key on the keyboard at the end of the sentence. For longer sentences, if your lines exceeded the right border, the symptoms will automatically wrap to the next line. To create a line of space used a carriage return or the Enter key. You can use paragraph and text marks that represent carriage returns. But toggling the short paragraph and text marks button here, notice how I have made the titles to sign-in and to sign out in bold lettering. To do this, select the text and click Control B or click the bold button from the ribbon to make text appear in italics, select the text and press Control I or click the Next button to our underlying text. Select the text and press Control U or click the underline button. Similarly, the names of the boxes, e-mail or phone box, password buttons, such as sign-in, sign-out, and the pronouns, that is the name of products such as Firefox, Opera, MS. Outlook have also been made bold. Next, I have made the note standard by giving it a red color and have made it bold to make Dexter red. Select the text and click the apply color to text drop-down list. And from the palette, choose the red color from the list of standard colors to apply a background color as in highlighting text. Select text, and choose a color from the apply color to text and background drop-down list. In the note I have left, the link acid is because help and manual automatically creates a default formatting for links. Now, let me explain an important aspect of documentation called whitespace. Notice how there is adequate spacing in between instruction lines and the sections do sign-in and to sign out is you have cramping lines together. Notice how by just providing a single line of space in between instruction statements and by providing two lines of space before that to sign-up section, I have added more clarity to the content, also called breathing space. These spaces make the document easy on the eye for the user. Don't misuse this technique by creating too much of whitespace. Just the adequate amount will do. Next for the numbering of steps. I have inserted numbers manually and haven't used any auto numbering as a numbered lists. The left align the instructions steps after every single number and the period that follows the number. I've included two spaces before beginning the instructions statement, and I've inserted a single space after the period for double digits. This ensures that my left alignment of the instruction statements and we'll start from the same lift position for all lines. However, the better option would be to use auto numbering, which I'll explain in the next video. Numbering statements and manually, as explained here, has some disadvantages. I have just explained as simple yet effective technique to format your content. In fact, you could use this as a template for all your projects to, however, if your client wants a different font size and spacing, go here with those choices. Helping manual has a very powerful and feature-rich editor. The sky is the limit when it comes to customizing your content. But do bear in mind the rules I had mentioned earlier about keeping the formatting simple and least distracting. In our next video, we'll look into why numbered lists are the better option when it comes to the numbering. Your instruction steps. 24. Using Numbered Lists: In this video, I'll explain why numbered lists are very important. First of all, let's take another look at our content when we use the manual numbering. In the case of manual numbering, all numbers have to be injured by the person creating the help file. In our case, the format of the numbering was to place the number first, followed by the period. And to maintain perfect alignment of the steps, one had to provide two spaces after the period in the case of a single digit and a single space after the period for double digits. Here, the possibility of human error while entering the steps is high. Numbers could be repeated, and they're both could be entirely out of sequence. And here's a scenario that managing the numbers manually becomes a painful exercise. Let's see. A section comprises about a dozen instructions, steps, and liter. For some reason, the third step had to be removed. Now deleting just the third line means all the steps from four to 12 have to be manually renumber. The same goes for inserting a new step to every subsequent step after the newly inserted step has to be remembered again. How painful Candace be? The simple solution, use numbered lists instead. With a numbered list. Even empty lines can be created in between steps and the numbering will still be in order. Let me demonstrate. Let us use the how Poseidon topic and use a numbered list. Where do we add, manually inserted the numbers for the instruction steps earlier. To start with, I have cleared all the numbers of instructions steps of the section to sign in. So in the case of our text for the two sign in section, I'm selecting the lines of text that needs to be numbered. And from the ribbon, I click the numbering style button. By default, the numbering style is a number followed by the period and two spaces for single digit and a single-space after the period for double digits. You can even customize and use day. Now, let us go with the default state. As you can see, the steps have all been numbered. The blank lines in between the steps have also been numbered. All we need to do now is to go to each black line and delete the number. Notice how as we do this, the numbers of the lines automatically remembered themselves without any of our intervention. The same goals. Even if I were to delete a line or insert a line. In this example, I had used lines that were already written. Let me demonstrate auto numbering. This time we're writing lines from scratch for the two sign-up section, I type the first line and then I click the numbering style button and make it a number line. Now I position my mouse cursor at the end of the fourth line. By clicking at the end of the line, I now press Enter on my keyboard, helping manual inserts a new line and automatically numbers the subsequent step as number 2 and prompts me to type a second instruction line. Notice how the line automatically starts with a left indentation on a need to do is to go ahead and type the second line. However, I need to insert a blank line between these two instructions steps. So I position my mouse cursor once again at the end of step one and press Enter on my keyboard. A blank line is inserted. It has been numbered as number 2, and our second instruction step has been numbered step three. So what do we do here exactly as we did earlier. Position the cursor beside the period of step number 2 and delete that number. Notice how the lines are remembered automatically and correctly. To add the third step, we repeat what we just did with step 2. Position the mouse cursor at the end of step two and press enter. Step three is automatically created, type in the line for step three. Now position the mouse cursor at the end of step two and press enter. A blank line is created below step two, and it is numbered as number 3. And Step 3 becomes Step 4. Simply delete the number three of the blank line and auto numbering correct the steps to read in order. One more thing, even if you proceed two steps but double-digit numbers, the left alignment of the steps is perfectly maintained. Therefore, I highly recommend numbered lists to number your instructions steps. Now you have sufficient knowledge to make your content look presentable. There are other formatting techniques and I'll discuss them as we move on to other sections. Now before you take up your next assignment, which is creating a numbered list, here's a peek into what we'll be learning next. Take a look at the content we have been working on so far. Doesn't it look more compelling with images? We'll learn how to capture and insert images into a hub content in the next section. 25. How have you been doing so far?: So how have you been doing so far? Congratulations on coming this far. Had the lessons and topics been clear to you? I'm I going too fast or do you find it slow? You can always replay the videos. They are at your disposal, 24 bar 7, 365. At this stage, the one thing I would like to discuss is the dependency on the style guides. In the beginning, you'll find yourself consulting the study guide too often. Well, I wouldn't prevent you from doing so. This may also lead to immense time wastage on your projects. Do not be obsessed with getting your texts perfectly style guide right? Here are some valuable tips. Referring the style guide for every word, line and style will certainly hamper your progress when writing a topic. First complete the content using the important rules and the other rules, and then try to refer the style guide. That way you have a considerable amount of content written before using the style guides to check and correct them. Here's another tip that can save you time while using the study guide. Use the search functionality of your PDF reader to locate words or phrases in the document. Now, let's move on to the section on formatting your content to make it look more elegant and presentable. 26. Screen Capturing with TNT: In this video, you'll learn how to use helping manuals, built-in screen capture program to capture images of your screen, also known as screenshots, and use them in your project. Unlike other help authoring tools, you don't need to use additional software to take screenshots in Helmand manual. This was mentioned in the beginning as one of the big advantages of help and mandolin when compared to what the help authoring tools help in Mendel's image capturing program is called T and T, and it's built right into the program. It is located on the ribbon here. Make sure the project tab is open to locate T and T. For our technical writing work, there are only four types of images that you will ever need. One, images of the entire screen or a window. These include smaller windows, dialog boxes, message boxes and webpages, to images of buttons, tools, and icons. Three, images of a fixed portion of the screen and for scrolling webpages and windows of the four. The last one that is scrolling webpages in Windows is the one that will be used the least. Tnt also does not help in capturing scrolling webpages and Windows. The other three will form the bulk of your images in this video and the next, we'll look at the two methods to capture these three types of images. The performance screen capture. First, position the cursor on the line in your help topic, where you would like the image to be inserted. Next, click, screen capture and the screen capture and dialog opens by default and the window control or amino radio button is selected. This indicates that you can capture several types of windows, buttons, and menus. In a moment, we'll see what this means. Leaving all other default settings as they are, click Start capture to begin taking screenshots. Notice how helping manually has been minimized. And TNT offer screen capture of the last application you are working on before you invoked screen capture, which means if your Internet browser was the last application you are on before you click screen capture T and T will try and capture images from your Internet browser. Let me demonstrate that to know. Let us say the last application that I visited was a style guide open in my PDF reader. Now I also have a browser open where I have opened the Outlook web page and that is where I wish to capture images. Now going back to help and manual and clicking screen capture and then clicking Start capture takes me to the PDF reader as that was the last application I was working on before I used to screen capture. All I have to do now is click on the Google Chrome button below to take me to the MSR crew page where T and T will help me capture the images. Notice as I move my mouse around objects or elements on the browser or the page, TNT outlines in a red border, windows that I can capture. At the top-left corner of the border. It also reads control click, which is all we need to do to take a screenshot of that window encircled the red border. I would also like to mention that since I began preparing the courseware, microsoft has changed there sign-in process into Outlook. However, for our learning, this hardly matters. For our first image. We would like to capture the sign-in page. So first, we make sure the red border covers the sign-in page as I'm doing. Now to take the screenshot, press Control on your keyboard and click your mouse. Now, I must remind you that in case you wish to abort a screen capture, all you need to do is press Escape. Since we pressed controlled and click the Save Image, dialogue appears, the image is captured, but before it can be inserted into the topic, it needs to be saved. Before you save the image file, note the folder where the image is being saved. If you need to change the destination folder where the images to be saved, you could do so by using the navigation buttons in the file name box, give a meaningful name by default, helping manual will sustain him. Do not use this name in our case. Let us name it outlook underscore sign, underscore, underscore Peach. Now here's a valuable tip. Note that I've used a lowercase letters and underscores for the file name. Always try and follow this rule. Most of the time online help, like the one we are developing, are published on the internet. That most of the hosting services use the Linux operating system. In the Linux operating system, uppercase letters and most special characters such as and at, etc.. And even spaces aren't allowed. It pays to remember this when naming your images. Next, select an appropriate format for that image from the Save As Type drop-down list box by default, it is JPEG. Now the reason why we are selecting this format is because it saves the image file with the smallest file size, still maintaining good resolution. Saving images with a small file size helps the image to load faster and eventually be displayed faster on your Internet browser. Images of the bitmap format with extension dot BMP and diff with the extension dot TIF, take a much larger space and the longer time to load. Another reason why JPEG is used is because of its wide portability. Now click Save. The file is saved to the folder indicated and the image is inserted into that project. Obviously, the inserted picture is pretty large and definitely too big for viewing, as is the case. While capturing full screens and Windows, we need to resize this image to 75 percent of its original size. This can be done in two ways. One, reducing the size of the image while capturing it with D and T. Two, using the built-in impact image editor. That is also another option where we capture only the required portion of the webpage as most of it, as in this case is whitespace. We'll discuss this in our next video. Let's also check out the other images that can be captured using the setting of DND, that is, with the window control or mineral radio buttons selected. This time, let me open another application on my computer. Keep us. Notice as I move my mouse around the application, how I can even capture menus and even controls from the application. I can even capture buttons, basically anything that TNT can outline with its red border. All I need to do is press Control and click and the window control button or amino, can be captured. Practice taking these screenshots to your comfortable with them. In the next video, we'll learn how to capture any area of the screen. 27. More Screen Capturing Techniques: In this video, we'll learn another type of image that can be captured using t and d. This time to capture any portion of the screen. For this, let us know position our cursor after the second instruction statement of the section to sign out To accommodate the image, I insert a blank line and leave the cursor there so that the image I'm going to capture is inserted there. Now, assuming you are inside Outlook, what we need to capture as the drop-down menu when you click your username. However, when you use t and t with the radio button for a Windows Control and menu selected. It does not capture the minimum. This is where we use the second radio button that reads a free region of the desktop to capture any potion or area of the screen having selected this radio button, when you click Start capture, notice a giant crosser that is visible on screen on the Outlook application. Your mouse cursor is almost touching the intersection where the two lines meet. All we need to do now is to mark any two corners of the portion of the screen that we wish to capture as our image. To do this, move your mouse. The giant cross hair moves along and click on the screen where you would like to mark your first corner. As a guide, notice another smaller box that appears on the screen where the crosshair and the image are magnified. Use this as a guide to help you mark your first corner precisely. Now this first corner could become the top right, top left, bottom right, or bottom left corner of your image. Depending on how you move the cursor again to mark the second corner. To mark the second corner, click and drag the mouse to another position anywhere on the screen that encompasses or covers the area on the screen that you would like to make as your image. Notice how I can drag the mouse cursor down and write down, lift up and left and up and right. Once I let go off the mouse, the square or rectangle area created by marking the second corner becomes the image I wish to capture. Now what if you made a mistake and you thought your image wasn't cropped or mark correctly. You can always start all over again and do the capture till you get your image perfectly right in the box. All you need to do is click outside the box and that marks you're a new starting point and the previously marked image is discarded. Also as before, you can press escape to discard the image capturing process. And to start all over again, you will need to go back to happen manual and click the screen capture button from the rebar. In our case, you would like to capture the mineral when the username is clicked. So I first click the username and the drop-down menu is displayed. I then switch to help in manual and click on screen capture. And when the screen capture dialogue appears, makes sure the free region of the desktop radio button is selected. And then click on Start capture. The Outlook page where I opened the drop-down menus invoked by t and t, allowing me to capture a portion of the screen. I first mark the top left corner and then drag the crosshair to mark the bottom right corner, covering the drop-down menu. I then click inside the box frame to save and insert the image into the header file. The screen capture technique may look challenging, but it is actually very easy to perform. It just takes a little practice to perfect it. There is just one big lift. Notice that this image we inserted is sticking to the left corner of the line to make it aligned with the instruction statement above or below it. All you need to do is to insert spaces and you're done. However, there is a much better way to align images and text, and this is explained in the next video. The two capture techniques that have described in the two videos discussed a recently, are the most common ones we'll be using for most of your technical writing work. I didn't mention earlier that there is another fourth type that D and D is not capable of capturing. These are the images of scrolling windows and web pages. However, these images are rare and are to be used very sparingly. I'll explain a workaround for capturing these images of scrolling windows and pages in a subsequent video. Now, let's move on to our next video, which is about saving a style. 28. Creating A Style: Well, explaining formatting. I'd mentioned that I will be discussing a formatting technique later. In this video, we'll create a style. This data can then be applied to format your content wherever and whenever you need it in your current project. First of all, let's look at why you need to create a styled. In the previous video, I had explained how to create an image. Once the image is inserted, it needs to be in alignment with the statements above and below it, so that the content looks good. Note that here we're not talking about full-sized images. That is, ones that filled the entire width of the screen. These we don't align to align the rest of the images. We insert spaces using the space bar. This we learned in the previous video. Doing it for just a few images maybe. All right, but what if you had a 100 or more images to be inserted into the project? Aligning these images by inserting spaces would be a very tedious task. So is there a better method? Most certainly, yes. All we need to do is create a formatting style and apply that style to the line containing the image or the text and the image is aligned instantly. So let us go back to the image we inserted in the previous video and remove the spaces we inserted before it. Note that without any alignment they inserted the meat is always aligned to the left corner of the line. To create our style, ensure that the most cursor is on the line. So first, click on the line containing the image that needs to be aligned. Ensure that the right tab is open. Now from the ribbon, click Manage text and table styles. And from the mineral that appears, click Edit States, the Edit Style dialogue appears. Click the Add style button in the staining box. Enter the name of a style you wish to create. In our example, let's call it Insert Image. Next, click on paragraph settings. The paragraph dialog appears and this is where you can set the values for indentation. You're looking to set the left indentation here. Under inundation, you can enter a value or use the up or down arrow heads of the spin box to set the value. You can also select a value type that you're familiar with for a unit, such as inches, centimeters, or point from the units drop-down list box. For our example, I use 15 points. I arrived at this value with a little bit of experimentation. You may use this value or change and experiment with other values. If you're inundation is smaller or bigger, click Okay to save the changes made. Back at the edit styles dialog, click Okey, the dialog closes and the style is automatically applied to the line from where we began creating the state. Notice how the intimidation has been applied on the left end of the line and that it isn't proper alignment with the lines above and below it. Style is also added to the list of states in the text style drop-down list box. So every time you insert an image and you want it to be aligned with the statements, simply click the line containing the image and select the style from the text style drop-down list box. Now here's another trick. If there are subsequent lines that follow the image, you would want these lines to be aligned to here, all you need to do is position the cursor at the end of the line containing the image, that is the one you just left aligned using the space that we created and press Enter. Pressing Enter from a line carries the formatting and style of that line into the subsequent line. I press Enter twice so that I have a blank line between the image and may line of text. All the line starts after the indentation on the left. And this is in perfect alignment with image and the other lines. Now what if the line to be left aligned is located elsewhere on the topic and does not follow the image that was aligned. Here. Does the line of text that need this formatting. One way of doing it is by using the style from the text style drop-down list. But here is another nice alternative. You could copy the formatting of one line to another anywhere on the topic using the Format Painter tool. For this first click on the line was formatting you wish to copy. While copying the formatting of the line contains an image. Make sure your mouse cursor is positioned on the line and not on the image. Or in other words, make sure that the image on the line is not selected. Let me explain. Notice how I'm selecting the image on the line here. On the other hand, positioning the cursor can be done by clicking the mouse, decided the image. Next, click the Format Painter button on the ribbon. Notice how the most cursor has turned into the image of the Format Painter button. Now go to the line that needs this formatting to be applied. Select the text of that line and release the mouse button. Notice how the line has been formatted according with formatting of the line it was copied from. As mentioned earlier, the style that you created can be applied to other lines of content within the current project. Now what if you wanted to use the style or several other styles that you create in your current project for future projects as well. Do we need to go through the hassle of creating them over and over again in each of your future projects. Know, here's one solution. You can import styles from one project to another. We import styles from another project into your current project. Click Manage text and table styles from the ribbon and from the menu. Select Edit styles. In the edit styles dialog, click copy styles from the windows. Open dialogue appears in here. Search for the project file styles you would like to import into your current project and click Open your prompted with a warning that all your current styles in the project will be erased. Click Yes to import the styles from the source project into yours. Do you overcome the problem of not having any of your current styles overwritten by the styles of the project they are being important from my advice would be to perform this step that is importing of styles from other projects before you begin creating styles in your current project. So that was all about grading style, using it and importing styles from another project. Let's move on. 29. Editing Images: In this video, we'll learn how to edit images in our video where we captured the entire webpage. I had mentioned that images of entire Windows and webpages need to be reduced to 75% of its original size so that they can be viewed properly in the header file. In our case, the online help. Basically, there are two ways to reduce the size of images. One, they can reduce the original size of the images while capturing them. To, we can change the size of the image after they had been captured using the impact image editor program also built in to help and manually. First, let's look at how we can reduce the size of an image, capturing it. Let's take the example of the sign-in webpage. Remember, it was big when we captured it. Let's go ahead and capture the image this time with an altered city. For this, you proceed like how we did for capturing the image, that is, click screen capture from the ribbon. And this time, when the dialog appears, we now click on the extended button to view additional buttons and settings. Here in the zoom factor drop-down list box, select 75 percent. Now click Start capture. Guarantee now allows you to capture a Windows from the most recently opened application. And in our case, it is the web browser capture the main page as shown. And this time when asked to save the image file into Outlook underscore sign underscore init, underscore page 75 for the image name. 75 in the name to denote 75 percent of the original size of the image. Notice how the image fits in the window of our health project. This image, if you don't align as it is, a full sized one, even if it were reduced by 75 percent and published, it will display even more perfectly. As a general rule, don't align big files that normally fit the width of your head window. We could even reduce the image size to 50 percent of the original size or the size that we prefer. For example, 60 percent is not listed in the drop-down list. We can type 16 the box and D and D will capture the immediate reduced to 60 percent of its original size. Now let's look at the other method where we can reduce the size of an image after it has been captured. Let's look at the image of the webpage that he created earlier. Remember, we save the image as Outlook underscore sign underscore, underscore page. To open the image, click the image to select it and click on image editor on the robot. Doesn't walks that impact image editor program and the image is opened in the editor. Note that the image editor can be found under the Project tab in case you aren't able to locate it. Your first select the image by clicking it, nor does a border is formed around the image indicating that it has been selected. Next, click object from the menu on the top. And from the drop-down menu select, resize and effects in the dialog that appears, click and resize. And in the resize image dialogue, enter a value to resize the image. In our case, it is 75 and click OK. Click OK again on the parent dialogue named bitmap object. Now there are two things we can do before we save this auto image. One, click the floppy icon or press Control S to save the changes, in which case the original file is altered. Or two, which is what I would recommend to save the file with a new name and then insert the new file into the Help topic that we are. The original is retained. You may use it again, and in which case, you do not need to perform another screen capture to save the image as another file, click the File menu and from the menu select same as in the Save Image dialogue. Notice how the default name was displaying the current name of the file. Simply Suffolk 75 to it, indicating that the original has been reduced to 75% of its original size? And click Save to Insert. Go back to your topic. Position, the cursor where you wish to insert the file, right-click and from the shortcut menu, click Insert. And from the submenu click image, the Open Image dialogue appears and here locate your image selected by clicking on it and click open. The image is inserted into your topic. You could also located insert the image using the Insert Image button on the toolbar, as explained in a previous video. Next, let us see how we can capture an image that also displays the most cursor inside it. Let's go back to our example. Valid grabbed a portion of the screen to capture the money with the sine ot option. Wouldn't it be nice if the image also had a pointer or in other words, an indicator that has the mouse cursor indicating to the user the siloed option from the middle. While taking screenshots, it is possible with t and d to capture the cursor to, to do this, let us go ahead and delete the current image. Notice that while deleting the images only removed from the Help topic, you can always find it in the folder it was saved. Let's begin screen capture. But first, opening Outlook in a web browser and then clicking the username so that the drop-down menus displayed. Now position your mouse cursor on the sinusoid option such that the most point that is visible. Notice that the sale doctrine was also highlighted, do indicate that the focus is now on that option from the middle, back in helping mammal click screen capture. And when the dialog appears mixture, a free region of the desktop radio button is selected. Next click the extended button and check. Include cursor icon, checkbox. Now click on screen capture. Frame the area on screening, which in our case is the mineral, save the image and when it is inserted, notice the most cursor in the image. Another method is to add the cursor using the impact editor. Once the image has been triggered. For this open the image editor program, I have used the earlier image we used for capturing the minimum which does not have the cursor in the editor. Click the Insert cursor tool on the toolbar on the left. Or you can also select cursor symbol from the insert menu. Having done that, notice your mouse cursor changes into a small square with a plus mark on its top left corner. Click on the image where you would like to place the cursor. This position can be changed later to the windows. Open dialogue appears where you can search your computer for cursors. Cursors are normally found on the C Windows cursors folder. I'm selecting the cursor titled arrow link and click Open. Notice that the cursor is dropped on our image. Now, I can even move this cursor around the image if I wish to position it at a different location. Finally, click the Save button to save the image. Now here's a tip while taking images with the mouse cursor, do not overdo it. Unless there's a real need. You're better off taking images without the mouse cursor, as it tends to get very distracting. Now I must mention that impact as a powerful image editing program that comes built into husband mandolin. Going through every feature of impact will require another course. But what you need for most of your technical writing work with images is discussed here. Let's move on to our next videos where we learn more image editing functions. 30. Trimming Images: In this video, let us learn how to terminate image once it has been captured. This is a very useful procedure, particularly when capturing free areas of the screen. Sometimes when we capture free areas of the screen, we will not be able to grab the screen perfectly as we intended it to be. But not to worry, with the image editor, we can trim the image perfectly. For my example, I have captured the same old menu this time with a little extra on the edges of the image so that I can demonstrate brimming of the image. So if you have captured an image with extra unwanted portions, you'll be able to remove those unwanted potions with this technique. After you have grabbed the image and have inserted into the topic, click it to select it. Next. Click the image editor from the ribbon, the image is opened in the editor. If we need to maximize the view, click the Maximize button to view the image in full. From the toolbar on the left. Select the area to copy tool, or basically the cropping tool to crop your image. Notice how your mouse cursor changes to a small rectangle with a plus sign on top. Now click and drag on your image to extract the portion you wish to copy. If you aren't happy with the crop area, click anywhere on the image, are outside of the image, and start over until you're satisfied with the cropped area of the image. Once that is done, right-clicked on the cropped image and select copy from the shortcut menu. Then all you need is to go to the Edit menu and select Paste new image. The cropped image is pasted onto a new instance of the editor. All you need to do now is to save this image. And to save it, click the Save button and the Save Image dialogue appears here to view your image files, select from the Save As Type drop-down by default, impact price to save as images in the impact image file format uses JPEG format instead. Now, select the image which could be the original from where you crop this one. Or you could even save your cropped image as a new file. I'll go ahead and use the original. So I click the original image file. Notice that the name of the original hasn't dropped into the file name field, click Save. You're prompted with a message asking if you'd like to overwrite the original image, click yes, As I mentioned earlier, you can also save the file with a different name and in which case the origin remains untouched. Now go back to your topic to reverse the page. Just visit another topic and come back to your topic and notice the nice, neatly cropped image in place of the older one. I'll be discussing how to add a border to the image in subsequent video. So let's move on. 31. More Editing of Images: In this video, we'll learn how to add colloids, pointers, and text labels during edges. First, let us look at pointers and text labels. These are probably the most commonly used elements on your domain. Let's add a pointer and a label to the meat of the webpage indicating the search feed. For this. First we select the image and then click on image editor, which opens the image in the editor. Now in the image editor, click on the Insert Line slash arrow button on the toolbar on the left, you're most cursor changes to the tiny square box with a plus sign on the top left corner. Click on the image where you would like to place the arrow. I click here so that the arrow does not interfere with other portions of the image. Just as a click to drop the pointer, the line object dialogue appears here. You can select the thickness of the line, color for the line, that type of arrowhead, and even the direction of the arrow. For now, let us leave all the defaults as they are. And because we can invoke this dialogue even after dropping the arrow on the image. So click Okay, and the arrow is dropped on the image. Notice that the image dropped has its arrow pointed away from the search field box. Now here's a tip as far as the direction of the arrows go, the arrow head of the arrow must always point to the object you wish to label and not to the label. For example, in our case, since we are going to label or point to the search box, the arrow head of the arrow must also pointed towards the search box. To change the direction of the arrow, we need to edit the properties of the arrow. To do this, click on the arrow and you should get the square box around the image of the arrow. The square box has object handles that also let you enlarge the arrow or reduce it in size. You can also click and drag the arrow to your desired location on the image to make final moments to relocate the arrow, use the control and the arrow keys. This way, you can position the image precisely touching the direction of the arrow. Right-click anywhere on the arrow to invoke the shortcut middle. Note that if you do not click anywhere on the arrow, you will invoke another shortcut menu that provides you a different set of options from the shortcut menu in question, click Edit Properties and the line object dialogue appears. Another simpler way to invoke the line object dialogue is by double-clicking anywhere on the arrow. Here, holding down on the direction button, rotate the button clockwise or anticlockwise. Click Okay, to view how much your adjustment of the button has rotated the arrow. With repeated trials, you must be able to point the arrow in the correct direction you desire. Now if you wish to change the color of the arrow, the thickness of the line of the arrow, the arrow head or the tail end of the arrow. You can do so using the color with stock cap and endcap feeds. When done, click Okay. Once the arrows in place you next time to insert the label for this first week, click on the Insert rectangle tool from the toolbar on the left. Then click inside the image besides the arrow that you inserted earlier and the rectangle is inserted. Drag the rectangle to the tail end of the arrow user control and arrow keys to define the position. To top it with a professional touch, let's add a shadow to our rectangular object. First, make sure the rectangle is selected. Next on the right under shadow tool, select drop shadow from the drop-down list. Notice how a shadow has been dropped below the rectangle. Next, click the Insert Text tool from the toolbar on the left. Click inside that rectangle we just created and the text object dialogue appears inside the box when it reads new text, delete the words new text and replace it with a text for our label, which is search box. As with other objects, you can resize and change other properties, such as text, font, color, direction, et cetera. Next, position, this text inside the rectangle, refine its position with the control an arrow keys. And there we have our label for the object. The arrow is pointing to. Adding an atom and then refining them to our this can be done in one shot. Yes. And that's when you use a color? A color does the job of a pointer and a textbox combined. And sometimes they bring that comic book field into your help files. The only gripe is that they take valuable space on your images and therefore are best for big images only. If you've had to replace the arrow rectangular box and texts with just a carload. Proceed as follows. First click the Insert button on the toolbar on the left, and click on the image where you would like to insert the column. The colored object dialogue appears. First from the ship drop-down list. Select rounded rectangle in the text box. Replace color text with search box. Click Okay, and the color is inserted into the image. First position, the colored so that the pointer indicates to the search box. Next, resize the size of the code using one or more of the handles. Do increase the size of the pointer or change its position. Double-click on the colored or right-click on the cutout. And from the shortcut menu, click Edit Properties to invoke the colored object dialogue. Here use a triangular slide of the pointer size to increase or decrease the size of your pointer. Next to change the direction of the pointers, click and hold the red direction knob and rotated clockwise or anticlockwise. Click OK and observe the direction of the pointer that has been moved. With repeated trials, you'll be able to get the direction of your pointer perfectly right? As with the rectangle be inserted earlier for the text label, you can add a drop shadow to the column two. You can also change the font of the text and change its size, make it bold, et cetera. For this, double-click the column and in the colored object dialog that appears, click change font. And the font dialog that appears, use the lists and controls to set your font. When done, click Okay and click Okay again on the colored object dialogue to confirm the changes. The changes made can now be seen on the column. Finally, click the Save button to save the changes made to the image. And again, whether it'd be a colored label boxes, labels and arrows maintain consistency of style. Take time to replay this video and practice the things explained here. You have an interesting assignment to do. In the subsequent video. After the assignment, we'll look at some more image editing functions. 32. Even More Editing of Images: In this video, we'll look at some more image editing functions. Let us look at blurting parts of your image first. This function is particularly useful when we want to hide sensitive information on images. These include personal information such as names, addresses, emails, phone numbers, etc. Other sensitive information include credit card details are called numbers, registration numbers, etc. For our example, I'll be using the image of the sign out Minnow, where my username is being displayed. To blur the username of the image. Open the image in the editor by selecting the image and then clicking image editor from the Riemann. Next, click the Select area to copy tool from the toolbar on the left. Click and drag on the image the area that needs to be blurred, in our case, the username, the area to be blurred is no surrounded by a box. It has handles that can be adjusted to further refine the area to be blurred. Now open the Object menu and select, resize and effects. The bitmap object dialog opens. Here, click the drop-down list, reads, resize the image and from the list, select a blur. As you can see, the image is already a bit out of focus. To increase the blur, all we need to do is tweak the values in the matrix boxes. In our case, I'm going to increase the value of the box on the top left. Notice how the image gets more blurred as I increase the value in this box by clicking continuously on the up arrow hand button. Pick the values till you get the results you wish. Finally click Okay and save the changes and closer dialog back in the editor window. Click controllers or the Save button to save changes made to the image. Next, let's add a simple border to our image. This is particularly useful when there is a lot of whitespace in the background of an image, as it is with the image of the sign out 10. To add a border, first, click the image to select it. Notice the bottle that appears around the perimeter of the image indicating that it has been selected. Next, on the right side, under the Shape Tool, ensure a rectangle is selected. Then enter a value in the width box or used the heads of the spin box to increment a value. One is a safe value as anything about one inserts a thick border and it becomes very distracting. As you change the value, you can watch the border of the original image change to. Finally click Save and close the editor. You are taken back to your topic here you may not find the border around the image. Simply refresh the page by visiting another topic. And when you get back to your topic, you will notice the border added to a image. In an earlier video, I mentioned how images of scrolling windows, that is a page or a window where the image or content exceeds the size of the full viewable window or webpage on your screen. And in which case, the window or webpage needs to be scrawled in order to view the image or content and its entirety. In such cases, reduction of the size of the images of possibility, but reducing the size of the image. It's not a perfect solution because there could be two or even three pages of content of the image. And reducing the size will only make the image useless with barely anything to view. The only solution, take multiple screenshots of the single image and stitch them together using a free service such as I must mention here that snag it, which I recommend as the best image capturing software for technical writers, comes with built-in functionality to capture scrolling images from windows and webpages. You can also capture videos with snag it. Look out for my course on snag that in a future CDs. So for stitching images using another program or service such as far for the first image makes sure the image is scrawled way up inside the scrolling window or webpage. Pick a complete screenshot of the speech and save it next scroll the window webpage says that the succeeding push on the image can be viewed in the window or webpage and take the second screenshot. Repeat the process. If there are more areas of the image to capture, ideally do not take images that are longer than three full windows are threefold web pages long. Now use a free service provided by a photon at dot com and stitch the images vertically. I must say at this point that you cannot have a horizontal images in your help file from a UX perspective, do not make users engage the horizontal scroll bar of their windows or browsers. Adding images to four hours, as simple as a drag-and-drop and making a single image from your set of images is very easy to do. However, it is beyond the scope of this course to explain the wave photon works. And therefore, I'm excluding the explanation here. Using photons image stitching option, you can stitch on joint pictures both vertically and horizontally. And the service is free. For technical writing, use only the vertical stitching option. Consider reducing the size of images after they had been stitched, but make sure clarity is not lost by reducing the size. Another software that is open-source and therefore free to use is green shot, which can be obtained that gets screenshot dot ORG. Screenshot is capable of taking images of scrolling webpages and only caveat, it can take scrolling upshots only from Internet Explorer. I suggest you give it a try. My strong word of advice. Use these types of images. That is, images of scrolling the pages and Windows sparingly. We have more videos on inserting video and using tables in our content. But let us move on and learn how to generate the online help. At this stage, we are ready and good to generate our own lane help file. 33. Generating Online Help: We have now come to the holy grail, generating online help. Before we generate the help, there are a few prerequisites. First, you need to ensure that the content does not contain any spelling mistakes. To perform a spellcheck of the entire project. Proceed as follows. Ensure your project is open and that the project tab is also open. I haven't deliberately inserted to spelling mistakes into two of the topics. And let us see what happens when we do a spell check. Now click on spelling of the spellcheck button and from the list, select our topics. How does it help in manual has completed the spellcheck and lists the topics, but the number of misspelled words in them. All we need to do is click on the link to the topic from the list to be taken to that topic. Once inside the topic, Helping manual automatically displays the first word in the topic with the wrong spelling and simultaneously displays the spelling dialog. Using this dialog, you can correct the spelling using alternate spellings suggested in the submission box. You could also tell help in manual to ignore the spelling. That is, the word in question was a pronoun. You could also add the word, do a dictionary, for instance, if the word was the name of your company, so that helping manual does not flag it as a wrong spelling for future spell checks. To add the misspelled word, pure Dictionary. Click Add to dictionary to correct the spelling, select an alternate word from the solutions box and click change. If there is another word that is wrongly spelled in the current topic, it is highlighted next, and the spelling della is opened. Move to another topic. Repeat the process until all misspelled words are checked. I must indicate here that you need to exercise care while using the changes are and autocorrect options or to correct me, provide a wrong alternatives and change all changes, all occurrences of the misspelled word in all the topics with the alternative you have selected without any prompting of the spelling dialog. My recommendation would be to inspect each misspelled word visually and then make the change. When done, you can close a spellcheck results by clicking the close button here. Next, you need to set some variables and fields for this Double-click on configuration located under the table of contents on the left. Double-click on common properties, click on title and copyright. Take a look at the fields displayed on the right and fill them appropriately. Replace the interior company name in the other field by valid company name. Note that this name is carried over to the copyright fluid where the author result variable. So there is no need to re-enter the author name here, also, the predefined variable year and the copyright field embeds the current year they helped find was generated. If you wish to remove these fields, you could do so too. But then if you want the year or author to be displayed in the copyright without a fill them. In this field. You could also keep track of your help file version by clicking the values in a major version, minor version, and build wasn't fields. As always, click Save by either pressing Control S or by clicking the floppy icon located on the top left corner of your program window. We are now ready to generate the online help with the project tab open, click on Publish from the river. The window now displays fields and controls that you need to tweak to generate online help. First click the Publish formatted drop-down and from the list, select a web help. As you know, online help is also called Web Help and even net help. Next, take a look at the folder where the helpfully be created. This is the default folder, whether finds for the online help will be created and stored. You could change the hits gimbal folder to MS Outlook online help or something similar, not the file called index.html. Leave it as it is. Next, select the skin for the look of your online help from the select skin drop-down list. Note that Hellman manual offers bringing skins for an additional fee. To view skins at the bottom, just hover your mouse cursor over the scroll bar at the bottom. For now, click the Select skin icon. If you don't see the icon, just hovered the most cursor over the scroll bar at the top here. From the open skin dialogue that opens, select the web Help. Who frames classic skin glue located way down the list. All you need to do now is to click publish. If the output folder does not exist, you'll be prompted to create it. Simply click Yes to proceed. They've been mammals enrich the help and is displayed in the default web browser of your computer. And indication as to where the help file is located is also displayed. This is the folder of files that you need to provide your plant to deploy the help file online. Now let's take a look at the help file that we have generated for us nor the titling. This was also the title in the title field under the title and copyright under common properties under configuration. Also, notice a copyright displaying the author and year correctly. Notice that we had filled the author field to under Title and copyright. Next, take a look at the table of contents. Click on Expand chapters and no to the content of a chapter or topic displayed in the window on the right. Scroll to the contents on the right. Check to see if they've been published correctly. Next, click on the keyboard button, the list of keywords you attached two topics. Remember adding relevant keywords. Two topics are published here. All you need is click on a keyword and you're instantly taken to the topic that refers to these keywords. Like to search a word or phrase in your head, fight, clicked the button. Search field is displayed. Enter a word or phrase and click Submit or press Enter on your keyboard. Search results if found are displayed and links to topics containing the search item are also displayed. Click the links to be taken to the respective topic. The search can also be fine-tuned so as to search any or all of the words, results per page can be adjusted from ten to a 100 using this field. There are other things that can be done to view the hand. For instance, you could widen the right side of the window by clicking and dragging the vertical bar to the left. You could also use a navigational buttons to move from topic to topic, sequentially, up or down. Click the Home green button to move to the parent chapter of that topic. Once you are at a parent node, that is chapter, clicking this button takes you to the previous node and so on till you get the Tuckman's parent, which in our case is the introduction chapter. So that's it for explaining the generated online help. You now know how to fully create and generate online help in your assignment. Go ahead and generate your online help. In the lessons that follow, we'll look at some more techniques such as generating other help file formats, more editing capabilities, and some miscellaneous tasks. 34. Context Sensitive Help: In this video, I'll explain context-sensitive help and how the online help that we generated earlier can be fine tuned to provide context-sensitive help. You may have noticed programs or applications on your computer that provide a link to help, or a menu or a help button, typically with the question mark or the F1 key option to users In walk help or assistance at anytime they run into a problem with the program or application. Now there's a subtle difference between Help and context sensitive help. In most cases, when users access help the provider with a top level menu, which normally is the opening page of the help file. This has the introduction topic and so on. This usually means the hill page that opens and it's not exactly provide help to the problem on hand. Now let us see the user is trying to insert a table or a textbox using the Lieber Office, write a program and it runs into a problem. Clicking the Help button, the user to stick into a top-level Help menu online. That is, one from where one can do a search on how to insert a table or textbox. There's only makes the user wait for the appropriate solution. Instead, what have been accessed. The help page displays the helper related to that particular topic or problem the user was having. In our case about inserting a table or a textbox, wouldn't that be more appropriate? Let us look at another scenario related to the way we generated. Let us say the user wants to know how to sign and dog look. If the help we developed takes them to the top level, that is the introduction topic, it doesn't help much. Of course, the user can still search for the help topic from there. Instead, if the hilt based directly revealed the documentation related to the sign-in process, wouldn't that be more appropriate? This is precisely what context sensitive help us all about. With the online help that we generated, it is possible to create context-sensitive help. Let us take another look at the history of modern folder where the online help is located. If you notice, all the files here can be opened in your Internet browser. That is Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc. All topics such as how to sign in, Forgot Password, introduction, all exist as separate HTML fights. All you need is to ask your web designer or programmer to link the various topics from the folder to the various parts of the program. Let us say there is a help link or Help button on the homepage of o'clock. And if this link is connected to the how to sign and topic, there, we have context-sensitive help for the sign-in process. Similarly, you could hook up relevant topics to various parts of the program, making help relevant to that functionality of the program when we generate the online help, helping manual makes this easy by creating separate esteem and files. 35. Generating Other Help Formats: While generating online help in the previous video, you might have noticed the help format drop-down which are displayed other forms of help. In this video, we'll look at generating some of the other important forms of help. This is the promise that all hacks deliver one source, several deliverables. First, let us look at CHN help or compiled HTML. It is mostly used for desktop applications and programmers know how to link the dot cfm file to their software compilers. Demon help is an executable file that can be used on its own to compile dot CHN help, we need yet another piece of software called Microsoft HTML help workshop. This is available for free and it can be downloaded and installed from the following site, currently being displayed in the column. Just click the link that reads, download Microsoft and HTML and helped workshop. From there, you can download and later installed the software. The file is called esteem will help dot EXE once downloaded, simply run it to install it. If you don't install the software, you'll be prompted with a message asking you to install it first before we generate the dot cfm, help next, select the skin from the list of skins as we did before. To recap, click on the skin selector drop-down and from the list selector displayed skin, or click, and from the folder select the hitch M7 help CHF only skin. Finally, click Publish. Now the help file is generated and it is also open for you. The output is a single executable file. Check the output file, as we did for the online help, helping men and also displays the location that you can find the output file. Next, let's look at generating one of the most important output formats, the dot PDF file. This output can also be used to generate the print manual, meaning the PDF can be provided to a printer and it will still be perfect for manual printing. If you have a printer, you can also print it via the print manual option. And this is explained in this video later. First, the traditional method as we've been doing earlier, proceed to the publishing window by clicking published on the ribbon, and then from the published format drop-down, select Adobe PDF under Print manual template, notice a template title, standard manual dot m and n silicon by default, you can click this manual and customize it to suit your needs. This is explained in a subsequent video for now, get published now and the dot pdf is generated. Take a look at the dot PDF file generated. I'd like to draw your attention to one main aspect and that is the links in the table of contents and the index from a table of contents, click a topic and you will be directly taken to it. Also, notice how the PDF file has included relevant page numbers beside the keywords in the index. Clicking the numbers takes one to that topic. The keyword is linked to it. Next, let's take a look at how eBooks can be generated. For generating the e-book. You follow just like how we did for the earlier, to help format, select published from the ribbon and on the window would options select E writer e-book for Windows. For this format, there is no skin and the e-book viewer is attached to the final help file and click Publish now and the book is generated, the output is a single executable file. Note that you can always rename the final output file before you distribute it. The folder where it can be found is authenticated. Once the book is created, it is displayed in the viewer. You can browse the help file and check if everything is okay. Finally, print manually. As mentioned earlier, the dot PDF file is good for printing too. If you provide the PDF file to a professional printer that can print it. But if you have a printer connected to your computer, you can print the manual yourself. For this, click the print manual button. This opens a page where you can set it to a printer and also fine tune a number of settings. The most important choices to make will be selecting a printer that is connected to your computer from the drop-down list here. You can also select the template file, the dot MTL file as we did earlier when you punted the PDF. Optionally, you can also tweak settings for Text Links, pages, etc. Finally, to print and show your printers on and that it is loaded with paper and click the print button. Generating the other help format are self-explanatory using the procedures explained earlier, I'm sure you'll be able to generate them. So good luck, try and generate the other health formats also. 36. Tweaking Pdf Templates: In this video, we'll learn how to customize a dot PDF template so that we can fine tune the format of the final dot PDF output file to suit our needs. First, let us take a look at the dot PDF file we generated. You might recall we used a template file called standard underscore manual dot m and n. As you can see, the opening page is bland and as repeated the author's name. Now let us take a look at the dark PDF file that I offered as a guide to download the trial version of help and manual. Notice the image on the opening page. We could substitute this image for another 12. Notice how the author name isn't repeated. Also, the second page has that disclaimer and the copyright explained. Here's the best part. All new topic start on a fresh page with a neat introduction graphic. Doesn't the second guide look way cooler than the one we generated. Now generating PDF formatted this way is easy to generate. The second PDF file, I used a different template called classic underscore manual dot M and L. This is available in the list of templates provided by helping mandolin. But the beauty is that even this template can be tweaked and saved it as a new template file, which is what I did. We look at the template simultaneously along with the output, and I'll explain how I tweaked the existing template to arrive at the new one, to open the template dot HTML file, proceed as follows. Make sure the project tab is open and from the ribbon, click on Templates and skins. The drop-down opens and notice the templates and options in the dropdown, position your mouse on PDF and print templates. And from the submenu that opens, click on the classic manual dot HTML template file. A message box prompting you to open and edit the template file is displayed. Yes, the template file is opened in the template editor. Expand the editor for better viewing. By default, the tab for the cover page is opened. As you can see, the color pick, this one provided by Hellman manual is displayed. I use the same in my template, but you can also change it. To change it, right-click on the image and from the shortcut menu, click Delete. I can even use copy and paste to change the image. Notice that as I move the mouse, the various elements of the cover page gets selected. A box surrounds each element the mouse is pointing to modify properties. Just select an element by clicking it first. Next, use right-most button to invoke the shortcut menu to modify or delete the selected element. Notice the title and copyright reserved words on the cover page. Remember them from our generating the online help video where we tweak their values. So I leave the cover page untouched. I next move on to the title one tap. Notice that this page appears gray and has a giant cross across it indicating that this page will not be printed on the final output file. I'll explain how to tweak a page and also enable it for printing in a moment, let us move on to the next step taken to this page is printed. However, if you notice my page in the output, it is different from the format indicated on the page. How did this happen? This is because I tweak the contents of the speech. Let me show you how. First I enable the speech for printing. For this, I right-click here on the top of the page, and from the menu, I select Edit Properties in the dialogue that opens. Check the first box to enable it for printing and click. Okay, when the dialog closes, observed that the greenness and the big cross mark across the page has disappeared, indicating that the pages enabled for printing next to delete or change the elements on the page. Do it like how you would do them in an editor. In my case, I have removed the falling potions, which I can do by selecting those elements and pressing the Delete button. You could change the content also to suit your style or your company's style. I have disabled. But this can be tweaked. For instance, you may want to enable the backup of footprinting. Finally, save this modified template with a new name so that you may reuse it for other dot pdf files to for this click on File and from the drop-down menu, click on Save As in the same manual template log, give the new template a name. That way you also leave the default classic underscore manual dot HTML file untouched by publishing, which we saw in an earlier video. All you need to do now is to select this new template file when you opt for the PDF generation option and your PDF gets printed according to the settings of this new template file. 37. Inserting Tables: In this video, we'll look at an important function that will come in very handy when developing the topics of your helpful and that is inserting tables. Now let us assume we have the following text that explains relationships in a table of a database. For our example, let us say there is an employees table that contains the list of employees of a company. And in this employees table, there are four types of employees. Workers, supervisors, managers, and directors. All workers must report to a supervisor. To become a supervisor, one must have at least one or more workers reporting to him or her. All supervisors report to a manager. However, a manager can also exist without anyone under him or her. That is with no supervisors reporting to him or her. All managers report to the director and there is only one director in the company. Now this text can be a little overwhelming to taken and even confusing. But instead, if you read, could represent the worker, supervisor, manager, and director relationship in a table as follows. Doesn't it look better? Another table to describe the managers who need not have any supervisors are put into them can be easily explained with the following table that summarizes the number of people reporting to their higher-ups. In short, tables help you to group and organize data for better clarity. There also visually more appealing and convey information almost instantly. Inserting tables in helping manual is very easy to insert a table into your health topic. First, ensure the right tab is open. Next, click the Insert Table button from the ribbon. Notice a drop-down appears with boxes to create a table, you just need to tell him up and manual how many rows and how many columns you wish to have in your table. The vertical boxes indicate the columns and the horizontal boxes indicate the rows. For example, let us say we would like to insert a table with four columns and five rows. All we need to do is position the mouse on the topmost, leftmost box. And as you do this, notice a change in color of the box. Next, move your mouse cursor a diagonally down and write such that the four vertical boxes for the four columns and five a horizontal boxes for the five rows are selected. Now, just click your mouse and the table is inserted into your help topic. This is the quickest way to insert a table. Alternatively, you could also click the Insert Table option from the drop-down. And in the dialog that appears, enter values for the number of columns and rows. The dialogue also offers options to fine tune the table that is to be inserted. Click Okay to insert the table into the topic. Once the table has been inserted, we could increase or decrease the size of the table. We could increase or decrease the size of the columns and the rows of the table. To do this, position, the mouse over the lines of the table, vertical or horizontal, till your milestones to a handle, as can be seen in the video, once you lock on a handled, simply drag it to increase or decrease column and row spacing. To fill the tables, simply click inside of box and start typing away. All other functions of the editor such as molding text, aligning text, changing color of the text and background, inserting images, symbols, et cetera, can also be performed. Once the table is inserted. You could week several properties of the table. Right-click anywhere on the table to get the shortcut menu. And from the table submenu, click on Properties. One common adjustment is to add 1 to the cell border and border around the table fields. But default, the black color is selected, but you could choose another color to click Okay, to confirm the changes. Also, you could add columns and rows, delete columns and rows using the options in the shortcut menu. Let us say you would like to have an additional column after the director column. For this first position, the cursor on the director column and right-click from the shortcut menu, I position my mouse over table. And then from the menu that appears, I'm also over on columns and then I click on Insert right, meaning inserting the column to the right of the selected column. The Insert columns dialogue appears. And here I can even enter the number of columns I want to insert, since we are adding only one column and leave it as one and click. Okay. As I do that, notice the new column added to the table to delete rows or columns, all I need is to publish in the most of the column or row I wish to delete. Then go through the same set of menus as before, and this time, select, Delete columns from the column minimum. You could use these minerals to add or delete multiple rows and columns too. 38. Inserting Videos: Videos have become a part and parcel of our daily lives. And in this video, I'll explain how to insert videos into your help file. Will be looking at inserting videos from online sources, that is from the Internet such as YouTube and from your local computer. But first, here are the ground rules. If your help file is online that is accessed via the Internet, and if you have inserted a video from your local computer, then you must make sure that the video file is also available online. Similarly, if your help file is running locally on your computer, and if you have a YouTube video that has been inserted into it, make sure your computer is connected to the Internet to access the video online. Let us first look at how to insert a video from your local computer into your head file. First select the topic and position the cursor on the line where the video needs to be inserted. In my example, I'm using the welcome promo video. Make sure the right tab is open. Click on the Media button and from the drop-down, click on local video. The insert video dialogue appears. Click the Browse button to search and locate the video file you wish to insert, select the video file and click on open. Back in the insert video dialogue, enter a brief description in a few words of the video in the caption and title alt tag fields. One reason why it is good to fill in that title or tag, or short for alternative tag field is that if the video cannot be played for some reason, the alternate tag is displayed in its place instead of a blank space. Next, we'll need a cover pick for the video. This will be displayed window of your video. When the video is not playing. You can either use a picture you already have or you can create a color picker. But taking a snapshot from the video itself. For this, click the Select postwar image button and from the options in the menu below, click on Run video and take a snapshot. The video starts playing. And if you like a particular frame, click, Take snapshot and an image from that current frame, the video is captured as a cover. Pick, enter a name for the image and click save. The image is saved and inserted into the poster image inbox. For play video, just use the play Inline option for now. The play in line option plays the video restricted to the box in which it is displayed. However, the US lightbox option place it in a bigger player, will look into that to next in the preview Zoom field, enter 50. This field determines the size of the display window of the video in a help topic. You can experiment with this value later, depending on how big a window you wish to display on a topic for the video. Now click OK. Help in manual will prompt the file needs to be copied to the project. Click the Copy File option and the videos inserted into your topic published. The help view of the video is playing properly in the topic. As I suggested earlier, you could increase the size of the video by adjusting the value in the previous zoom field. Now let us see what happens if you change the player from the inline player. This is what happens. Notice the big player that pops out. Another good news is that if you look into the online Help folder, that is the HTML folder, you'll notice that the video is also included inside it. This means providing the folder to your web designer to deploy the online help will carry over the video 2. Now let's see how we can include a YouTube video in our hip topic. First position your cursor on the line in a topic where you would like to insert the video with the right tab open, click the media button and from the menu, select embed a YouTube video. The insert YouTube video data opens. Now open your Internet browser and go to YouTube's website at and locate the video you wish to embed in your help file. Make sure the video is playing on YouTube site. Copy the URL of the video from the site located here and paste it in the URL field of the insert, a YouTube video dialogue. The rest of the fields, caption, title, select poster, image, play video, and previous Zoom can be dealt in the same manner as we did when inserting a video from your local computer. Click Okay, and the videos inserted into the health topic. Next, generate the hill and view the video to make sure it is cleaned properly. Here too, you can use either the inline player or the lightbox. A word of caution when using videos uploaded onto YouTube, please check for the uploader if their video can be used in your help file, you don't want to get into any copyright issues later. 39. Project Creating Functions: In this video, we'll look into three functions that are used while creating projects. One, importing products made using other help bottom tools such as robo help what a word, etc. into helping manner do using the lightened modern styles. And three, the zipped file approach. I had mentioned that we'll be looking into these functions in the creating of your firsthand project video. First, let us look at importing health projects created using other help authoring tools such as robot. Here on the bottom of the page, you will find options for importing help files created using other help authoring tools. More inflammation do know more about the help files that can be imported just mouse over the import option. You can import from a variety of file formats. Do import, click on the option and you'll be taken to a page from where you can search for the whole project to be imported. Once imported into helping Bandmann, you can work on them like regular helping manage projects, and also generate the various forms of help that help in manual tapes you degenerate. Next, let us look at two states that you can use in your project files as you create them. If you select project with the light state had been manual offers what it calls light styling, but stains that are already created for you, for topic hating, colloids, etc. Instead of you creating them had been manually when drops the style sheet for your reference in the TOC, which can be deleted later. Of course, here's a project with a light States. Scroll the stage she'd find to get a feel of the predefined styles that you can use in your help files. You can even customize one of these types and how to create our customizer stylus already explained in a previous video. And here's a project creator with modern styles. Modern states are similar to that of light States, but with a different set of states. As with the late-stage, the station is also provided and the states can also tweet at this juncture. Let me remind you that helping manual also offers premium and responsive skins for a fee. To find out more about these professional skins, go to the help and manage store on the internet and the link displayed in the column below. Finally, let's talk about the project file format check box. By default this comes checked and I had advised you to leave it that way. But the box checked the project file is an XML format in a compressed zip file, in short, a single file. The result is a dot zip file. However, that the box unchecked, you get an uncompressed dot HM XP file. And topics are grouped separately in a folder titled topics. I definitely recommend going the compressed folder way for portability and working with teams, the zip file is the better option. 40. Reusing Content: In this video, you will learn useful techniques that will make you a super productive technical writer. You now know how to create a complete topic. The complete, I mean, a topic that is replete with images and formatted text. Let's look at the how to send topic for a moment. Now what if you were asked to create the how-to silent topic for the help file for another application such as Yahoo Mail or Gmail. Would you start all over as we did for the outlook help file that you're currently working on. If I told you that you could create the whole to sign-in topic for your Yahoo Mail project or the Gmail product in seconds, would you believe that? Yes, you can. Now here's a very useful trick that you will employ over and over again in your technical writing career to get super productive, all you need is to copy the contents of the whole person and Topic, everything including text and pictures, and paste it in the hole to sign and topic of your Yahoo Mail or Gmail projects and then modify the text and images to suit the sign-in procedure for Yahoo Mail or Gmail. That is all there is to it wasn't that simple to copy the contents of one topic of a project file to another in a second project file, you need to keep both the projects open simultaneously. This is easy that had been manually. Let us say you already have a project open inherited manner to open the second project click File and then locate your second help find project from the list of projects displayed and click on that project. If you don't find the product of the list, you can search for the second helping manner project on your computer using the Open button. If you have successfully opened the two projects, they must show up as follows on your workspace and had been manual. Now what is easy to copy from one topic in one project to another topic in the second project, let me show you how. Now let us copy the content of the sign-in project from the MS Outlook project into that for the gmane project, all I need is to go to the second topic of them, so-called Project, copy the entire topic of contents and then move to the same topic in the Genome Project and paste it there. Simple copy and paste. I then only need to change the copy of contents in the Gmail product to suit the Gmail sign-in process. Not only topics, you could also use the entire Help Project 2, because most of the functions and Yahoo Mail and GMail are going to be the same as an MS Outlook. So you could create and deliver health projects on the fly with this technique. Now here's how you can copy an entire project. To revisit project file, you need to copy one project folder containing the project file into one or more folders within open the copied project using helping manner and then suitably modify the contents in the topics of the second project to suit the application. There are some other fields that need to be modified as well. And these were discussed in the video that explained how to tweak them before we compiled a generator Dead Files as a refresher. Let me explain them here again. If we recall it clear to the Amazon product in a folder called HM projects. If I were to look inside the folder, I can look at the help and manual project file. I now need to make a copy of this folder. So I exit the folder, select it, copy it, and then when I based it and make a copy of the folder, I could rename this folder too, but the most important thing to do is to go inside the folder and rename the MS Outlook online help project, Gmail online type or Yahoo Mail online it, whatever the case may be. All I need to do next is to simply click Gmail online, help project fight, and help him Metal opens it for me for editing. Once inside I go to configuration and under common properties and under Title and copyright, I changed the title to Gmail online. Help them go through each topic one by one to change it to suit Gmail functionality. Also, do a find and replace all occurrences of MS Outlook in the Help topic with Gmail. How to do a find and replace was explained while doing the spellcheck in the video on generating online help. Remember these techniques. They'll save you a lot of time. 41. Keeping Tech Writing Fun : You may ask, can technical writing becomes tiresome and tedious? Considering the entire documentation that needs to be done for a big project, sometimes interests may win, but there is one short trick that will keep your work fun and interesting. I've used the strict over and over again to keep my technical writing tasks easy. The trick is to constantly ask yourself, what is the best possible way I can explain a particular function or task of this application or a program. That will be many situations where more than one way of explaining will come into play. Here, use the most simple and the most elegant solution. Let me explain with an example of a project I did many years ago. In an application that contained a relational database, users could query the database for information. In most cases, this is done using a statement called the sequence statement or the SQL statement. However, the frame minuscule statement, it does call for some skills. The application instead bypassed in this SQL statement creation process by offering a click drag and drop of elements on the screen to help users create SQL statements and retrieve data from the database. So the big question was, how many different types of SQL statements could be framed using the split and drag process, the answer and infinite set of possibilities. So does the technical writer need to explain all the various types of SQL statements from this humungous set of statements. Here is where you need to find out what type of SQL statements one would go about framing, considering the audience, the user manual is being written for. The task didn't boils down to explaining just those statements and how to create them using the click, drag and drop process, the application offered. In all, I had to explain just a dozen ways to frame SQL statements. And that covered almost all the query tasks a user would want to query the database for as manual is being created for the lay person. I look from a lay person's perspective to find out what they would normally query. Just going about this task helped me keep my work very interesting. Instead of worrying about explaining an infinite number of situations and creating SQL statements for all of them and explaining how to do the same with the applications click and drag process. So the key is to constantly ask yourself, is there a better method or which would be the best method to explain a particular functionality and application or program and mark my words. But technical writing tasks are going to be a lot more fun and interesting with this trick. 42. A peek into Freelancing: I did mention, I'll provide a peek into freelancing in my promo video. And here it is. Freelancing is a great option if you hate commuting to work or if you dislike or are unable to do the typical nine to five job. But successful freelancing also comes with a price. For one. It is fiercely competitive. A small percentage of freelancers are successful, but it was not difficult to become a successful freelancer to have had great success as a freelancer and had been freelancing since 2006. A complete course in freelancing is needed to explain the nitty-gritties of successful freelancing. But here is my advice. If you want to make it successful in freelancing, one, use legitimate freelancing sites of repute. My number one recommendation in the list is I've had maximum success here. Unions recently bought oDesk, another freelancing cite. Other sites I recommend are and At each of these sites, make sure you follow the rules of conduct as quickly as possible. All the sites work more or less in the same fashion. Clients post projects in freelancers bid for these projects with their proposals, the best proposal wins the project. Writing a convincing and a winning proposal is an art that takes time, but again, it is easy to master. Number 2, always start with a free trial. Test the waters, but to find success, we want quickly to the paid models also don't quit your regular nine to five job to switch to freelancing one fine day. Give it time. And as you succeeded freelancing, you may consider quitting your regular job. Keep a set of samples online, help dot c, a chimp and other documentation to build a profile. Online clients who want to hire you on these freelance sites will browse through your profile for samples of your work. When you begin at each of these freelance websites, you are given a rookie are a beginner status. This is where you need to be most active and proactive in finding work. You may have to bid much lower initially to get projects in the beginning, the more projects you win and complete successfully, the more you'll get future projects and repeat clients. Later, you can add more credibility to your account by adding certifications, credibility badges, passing exams at the websites ask you to take, etc. And very important. Always treat clients as patiently and as courteously as you can. Though you will come across clients who would be very difficult to handle. Getting unfavorable reviews from clients are giving poor feedback to your clients, both affect your reputation as a freelancer and will cost you future projects. Websites will intervene on your behalf with unruly clients, but it is in your interest to be very patient with them. So bear in mind these rules before you get going with freelancing. 43. The Brilliant Help and Manual Forums: Second to none. Helping manuals forums are probably the best out there. When it comes to forums for help authoring tools. They are free to join. Helping metals forums come in three languages, English, German, and Russian. Currently there are over 10 thousand users send over 80000 posts. And this could mean only one thing. If you have a problem using helping manual, we'll find a solution there. If you don't post your problem and someone will provide a solution. So if you are considering working with Hilton mantle, then it pays to become a registered member of the forum. 44. Bowl over your Client: No matter which gland you're doing your technical writing work for this one activity is sure to renew their favor, since most of our technical writing work will involve a running the application and simultaneously documenting its functionality. Making a list of bugs that you encounter in the software and reporting them periodically to a client will not only make you a thorough professional in their eyes, but we'll also when you their trust. Most software for which you will be creating a user manual or online help is only heading towards release. This means a ton of testing is already going on and not all bugs are caught by the testers and developers. You could do a bit and provide a very valuable assistance. This doesn't take much effort to for two of my clients. They were so satisfied with the bugs I was reporting that I was given access to their bug reporting portal. But the best story I have to tell you is from my freelancing on eLance while developing the user model for speed reading software, one that teaches that reader to read faster for a client in the US, I reported a major bug. It so happened that I had to travel and use another desktop at another location which is running the AMD processor. This software just wouldn't work on DMD acid would, or the Intel PC. My client, that this was a major revelation. How do you release the software without fixing this bug, it would have spelled a disaster for him and his company. All the while. They're only been testing on the Intel PC. My plan was so impressed that he entrusted the entire software testing of this application to me. In the end, I got a full five-star rating for both the user manual and the testing project. So keeping a list of bugs you encounter in the software or application you're writing about is sure to venue laurels from your client. You could either do it in a detailed fashion using an Excel file. But even a notepad is good enough. With the Excel file. You can have separate fields for dates, description of the bug, et cetera, which will be more clear to a client. Better still, if your clients have a portal to report bugs, ask them for access to the same, they really be happy to provide you one. Also, note that a lot of English is also used in the software that is in message boxes, title, so Windows and dialogues. And these need correction to, in short, keep a list of all the bugs you've encountered and who knows, this could even change your carrier to software testing if testing interests you. 45. Congratulations: Congratulations. Pat yourself on your back. You have now come to the end of this course. And you've already learned quite a bit of technical writing. If you have been following lessons, the videos, and I've been taking the assignments diligently. I'm sure you already feel confident enough to pick up your first technical writing assignment. You could also start applying for your first technical writing job. I wish you the very best in your technical writing carrier. It has been a pleasure making and teaching you this course lookup for more courses from me in the future. I would also appreciate your valuable feedback and suggestions so that I could improve the course for future versions. Please feel free to contact me. 46. Extending your knowledge: I didn't mentioned in the first chapter while discussing trial versions of help and manual about a similar help authoring tool and how you could use it to further your knowledge and practice. After the trial periods of both the versions of it had been manually expire. Disorderly tool is not only useful for those who don't own a valid copy of Theban manual, but also for those who do on a copy of had been manually. The product I'm talking about is helping dock and it is free for life as of now for personal use. It cannot be used for clients because the output will contain the message made with the free personal copy of open doc. But for learning, this is a great tool. Not to forget that it can be mentioned at the additional help authoring tool you're familiar with in your CV. Helping dock, in fact, resembles helping manually in so many ways that you will feel at home with the product. However, unlike helping manual, helping dock does not come with an image capturing tool. For this, you can download the open source and free green shot, and this is good to go on your resume as well. Now that you've worked with helping manual and its image captured into T and T, you should be comfortable with helping dock and green shot. I may come up with the course on helping dock and green shot. So watch this space. Once again, wishing you the very best in your technical writing carrier. This is awash, signing out.