Templates For Engineers

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Find out how Word templates can help engineers write better

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  • Once upon a time there were typewriters Remember those days? Pressing a “return” at the end of every line? And you sure hoped there were no typos… if the tipex didn’t work you had to type it all over again You had limited formatting capabilities and only one style of font. Well, if you had a newer IBM, you could change type heads to get italics…. What you saw was what you got – and there was NO changing it. And then came the Word processors – for engineers, a Word processor is for documentation what your engineering tools are to good engineering practices Only instead of measuring something to make sure it “fits”, you put in “words” and the measurement you receive is a finished document Just like there are many tools used to measure your devices and get the right calculations, a Word processor has a lot of tools that, used properly, give you the RIGHT and PROFESSIONAL finished document. Just like you don’t want a 5” bearing to go out at 4.85”, Kaydon needs your documents to have the same polish – but you are not documentation majors – you are engineers. If you don’t know the measuring device, you can’t work with it. Finally, everyone will tell you that what you see is what you get in MS WORD, but that is not quite true – we all know that – an element of faith is needed, that the printout will really be within the margins set.. We all have docs that have gone over to a new page when least intended!
  • A template is your document measurement tool which helps you to assure that the final product is accurate. But what are your measures for good documentation? Is the document…. Readability and Usability mean you have a professional document And a template contributes to the repeatability of a professional document How does this work? Lets look at more measures…
  • Yellow indicates factors over which you have no control Light Blue indicates factors over which you have full control A box with two colors means you may have partial control over that item. You have no control over the desire of a person to read your document, nor the physical environment in which the document is being read (for example, the noise of a production floor). Likewise, you have little control over the subject matter. Items over which you have control, and a template will be of little help, is your syntax, word and sentence length, and frequency in which you use words. You also have control over the organization of material, and you may have control over the reading medium (for example, online vs print). Without templates, you also have full control over column size, line spacing, white space and fonts used
  • Yellow indicates factors over which you have no control Light Blue indicates factors over which you have full control The orange boxes indicate areas that Word templates can control. The half blue and orange boxes indicate where Word can help – such as by judicious use of the built-in grammar checker, or by following the pre-defined organization built into a template. Now for points If we assigned points to these boxes, you would see an equation like this: R + U = NC3.5 + Y3 + T3.5 (where NC is no control and Y is YOU) And people play with their line spacing, margins, and fonts. Let’s assign numeric values to these parameters. Each box is given a value of 1 except for Column size, which is =2 (because this is actually 2 parameters that I squeezed in to make the slide readable) = 10 points You have no control over 3 points. ONLY you can control the Syntax, word and Sentence length and Word frequency. You have partial control over how the material is organized, and you could have control over the reading medium, depending on where and how the document is used. A template can take over the full control of the fonts, column size, line spacing, white space, and how you organize your material. So our calculation is something like this: No control = 3 Full control = 7 Number of Engineers who may write a document (example) = 20 The Full control factor is multiplied by 20 = 140 different ways the SAME document could be disseminated – repeatability (R 2 )is lost! The more each factor changes, the less readable the document.
  • Now for points Number of Engineers who may write a document (example) = 20 The Full control factor is multiplied by 20 = 140 different ways the SAME document could be disseminated – repeatability (R 2 ) is lost! The more each factor changes, the less readable the document. 5.5 x 20 = 110 As opposed to 3 x 20 = 60
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  • Templates For Engineers

    1. 1. Word Templates for Engineers Making Your Job Simpler!
    2. 2. Why are You Writing a Document? <ul><li>To store and record product information </li></ul><ul><li>To assure standards compliance </li></ul><ul><li>To instruct </li></ul><ul><li>To enable </li></ul><ul><li>To inform </li></ul>And it’s all about engineering!
    3. 3. A Review of Engineering Documentation <ul><li>Inconsistent </li></ul><ul><li>Hours spent manually formatting </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to udpate </li></ul><ul><li>Redundancies </li></ul><ul><li>Poorly written and organized </li></ul>Templates Goal: Make Your Job Easier!
    4. 4. What is a Word Template? <ul><li>A Word document that holds components for other documents, including </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Custom Toolbars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Macros </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Formatting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A Word template is identified by a three-letter file extension at the end of its name: .dot </li></ul>
    5. 5. MS Word: The Basics for Engineers <ul><li>Press a return at the end of every line </li></ul><ul><li>Slow and perfect or retype the page </li></ul><ul><li>Limited formatting capabilities </li></ul><ul><li>What you see is what you get (original WYSIWYG!) </li></ul><ul><li>Put words in, get an entire set of measurements out </li></ul><ul><li>Numerous tools to get the right calculation </li></ul><ul><li>But need to know the device </li></ul><ul><li>WYSIWYG? Yes and No </li></ul>
    6. 6. Device Measurements <ul><li>The device being measured is a document </li></ul><ul><li>Your measures? Is the document: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Readable (R)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Useable (U)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Repeatable (R 2 ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional (P)? </li></ul></ul>R + U = P Template = R 2
    7. 7. Understanding R + U Readability and Usability Desire of Person to Read Document Subject Matter Physical Environment Word and Sentence Length Word Frequency Organization of Material Reading Medium (Print, Online, etc.) Syntax Column Size, Line Spacing, White Space Fonts Used
    8. 8. R + U Equation <ul><li>If we assigned points to these boxes, you would see an equation like this: </li></ul><ul><li>R + U = NC3.5 + Y5.5 where NC is “no control” and Y is YOU </li></ul>
    9. 9. How Word Templates Help R & U Readability and Usability Desire of Person to Read Document Subject Matter Physical Environment Word and Sentence Length Word Frequency Organization of Material Reading Medium (Print, Online, etc.) Syntax Column Size, Line Spacing, White Space Fonts Used
    10. 10. How Much Will A Template Help? <ul><li>Calculation before templates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>R + U = NC3.5 + Y5.5 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Calculations after templates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>R + U = NC3.5 + Y3 + T3.5 </li></ul></ul>In other words, templates will help you with half of your writing tasks!
    11. 11. So What Can You Do? <ul><li>Ask a professional to design a basic template for you </li></ul><ul><li>You can pre-define </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Topics and organization with headings and instructions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Numbering that will not break </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Insertion of figure and table captions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And much, much more </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. To Find Out More <ul><li>Contact Me </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>or call 616.828.6388 and ask for Deborah </li></ul><ul><li>I would be pleased to give you a quote for a custom template to help with your specific documentation needs </li></ul>

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