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Fitting the most information in the least space: TC Dojo presentation

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Writing instructions for products you can hold in your hand isn't the same as writing for the software industry. In many cases, you're creating paper documents to fit in small boxes, so page layouts matter. This session addresses the unique needs of writers in the manufacturing industry, but these tips also apply to writing for the web and mobile devices.

In this session, you'll learn about space-saving strategies, including the following:

◦Writing concisely
◦Positioning tables and figures effectively
◦Using multilingual layouts

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Fitting the most information in the least space: TC Dojo presentation

  1. 1. Fit the most information in the least amount of space Andrea J. Wenger, Schneider Electric TC Dojo Open Session 10/6/2014 1
  2. 2. My credentials • STC Associate Fellow •• 19 years at Schneider Electric • Competition awards 10/6/2014 TC Dojo Master Session 2
  3. 3. Overview • Writing • Graphics • Layout 10/6/2014 TC Dojo Master Session 3
  4. 4. Let’s start with the basics. Writing TC Dojo Open Session 10/6/2014 4
  5. 5. Writing • Style • Word choice • Concision 10/6/2014 TC Dojo Master Session 5
  6. 6. Style • Second person • Imperative voice • Present tense 10/6/2014 TC Dojo Master Session 6
  7. 7. Word choice Use simple words 10/6/2014 TC Dojo Master Session 7
  8. 8. Example • Complicated The base plate is furnished with four mounting screws. • Simple The base plate comes with four mounting screws. 10/6/2014 TC Dojo Master Session 8
  9. 9. Writing concisely Use the fewest words that will express the precise meaning. 10/6/2014 TC Dojo Master Session 9
  10. 10. Example Original Install the boot onto the operator by inserting the bezel side of the operator into the boot opening. NOTE: Stretching the boot opening to accept the operator will be required but will not damage the boot. 10/6/2014 TC Dojo Master Session 10
  11. 11. Concise Revised Stretch the boot and insert the bezel side of the operator into the boot. 10/6/2014 TC Dojo Master Session 11
  12. 12. Writing
  13. 13. A picture is worth 10,000 words. Graphics TC Dojo Open Session 10/6/2014 13
  14. 14. 3 ways to create new graphics • Manipulate CAD files • Create from product samples • Draw from product photos 10/6/2014 TC Dojo Master Session 14
  15. 15. Manipulate CAD files
  16. 16. Line art from CAD files
  17. 17. Create from samples
  18. 18. Line art from product sample
  19. 19. Draw from product photos
  20. 20. Line art from photos
  21. 21. Graphics
  22. 22. Because people still use paper instructions. Page layout TC Dojo Open Session 10/6/2014 22
  23. 23. Multilingual layouts • Text • Tables • Figures • Legends • Scrunching 10/6/2014 TC Dojo Master Session 23
  24. 24. Multilingual layout Opening with a figure instead of text
  25. 25. Multilingual layout Safety message
  26. 26. Multilingual layout Procedure, graphic, and legend
  27. 27. Multilingual layout Large graphic, and legend
  28. 28. Multilingual layout Note text around the graphic
  29. 29. Multilingual layout Graphic enlargement
  30. 30. Multilingual layout Procedure with graphics
  31. 31. Labels
  32. 32. Page Layout
  33. 33. Conclusion
  34. 34. Questions? Contact me at awengerstc@yahoo.com

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