In technical writing, you need to create documents in various formats like online help, user manuals, courseware, print media, and web based trainings. Various tools are available in the market to prepare these documents. These tools can be categorized according to the task performed by them. Let’s have a look on these tools:
- Publishing Tools (Microsoft Word, and FrameMaker) – Microsoft word is widely used to do the publishing tasks. It is easy to create, review, and modify your documents in Ms Word but with larger documents (more than 600 pages), it can create some problems. On the other hand, FrameMaker is considered as more stable and consistent tool to design documents. Styles are very consistent and rigid in FrameMaker that helps in handling larger documents.
- Help Authoring Tools (RoboHelp, Epic Editor, and HTML Help) – With the increase in internet usage, users become more dependent on internet. Online help allows the user to resolve their problems quite easily rather than turning pages of manuals. Help authoring tools like RoboHelp, Epic Editor and HTML Help are used to create online help manuals.
- Image Editing Tools (Photoshop, SnagIt, Corel Draw and Illustrator) – Graphics play an important role in making a document attractive. Image editing tools are used in designing, capturing, cropping, and modifying an image for the document. SnagIt is a screen capturing tool while others are used as image editing tools.
- Screen Recording Tools (Adobe Captivate) – These tools are used to create product demos, engaging simulations, and scenario-based training. It does not require programming knowledge or multimedia skills to work on these tools. Adobe captivate is a screen recording tool and widely used to create simulations.
- Web Designing Tools (Dreamweaver, FrontPage) – Web designing tools are used to prepare the content in the form of web pages. The valuable information is provided on these web pages and helps the user to solve their problems. Animations can also be used to make these web pages attractive.
- Template Designing Tools (InDesign, and PageMaker) – Templates are used to provide same layout throughout the document. Adobe InDesign and PageMaker are used to design templates. It is very easy to design datasheets, whitepapers, brochures, and other technical documents using these tools.
- Multimedia Tools (Flash and 3D Max) – Multimedia tools are used to create audio and video content. Animations can be added to your web pages or web content to make them attractive. Flash and 3D Max are widely used to create interactive animations and demonstrations.
These are some of the basic tools used in technical writing. However, various tools available in the market used for technical writing. Companies used different software for technical writing according to their convenience and usage.