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How to be a Fabulous Technical Writer

This article was originally submitted to coach tutorial contest contestants. We liked it so much that we've left it online -- hopefully it will help other writers.

Everything you need to know in order be a great technical writer can be summed up in a recent conversation between an adult and my eight-year-old son, Tristan:

Tristan: How do you put a hippopotamus in the refrigerator?
Guest: I don't know.
Tristan: Open the door and stuff it in.
Guest: Ah.

Tristan: How do you put a giraffe in the refrigerator?
Guest: Ah hah! Open the door and stuff it in.

Effective Technical Writing

This article was originally submitted to coach tutorial contest contestants. We liked it so much that we've left it online -- hopefully it will help other writers.

Greetings, writerly ones! I've been asked to offer you some sage advice, but since holiday preparations have left me rather short on thyme, I'll settle for these recommendations for effective technical writing.

Taking Great Screenshots in Mac OS X

This article was originally submitted to coach tutorial contest contestants. We liked it so much that we've left it online -- hopefully it will help other writers.

How to Write Tech Stuff Really Good

This article was originally submitted to coach tutorial contest contestants. We liked it so much that we've left it online -- hopefully it will help other writers.

Be active.

This is passive: In case of emergency, the red button should be pressed.
This is active: In case of emergency, hit the red button.

Passive is good only when you don't want to hold anyone responsible: There was a red button pressed this morning.

Active puts the responsibility squarely on someone: Jane hit the red button this morning.

A Message From Our Founder and President

I know what you're thinking. This message, like most "Welcome Back" messages, is going to be some cheesy come-on full of emotion and set to elevator muzak. You're thinking I'm going to tell you how great I am, how wonderful Macinstruct was in the past, and how incredible it will be in the future.

Fortunately for both of us, I'm not going to write a message like that.

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