Technical communication blog

With bits of copywriting, content design, and other stuff too

Technical communication blog

With bits of copywriting, content design, and other stuff too

Welcome to the StrayGoat Technical Communication Blog.

Here, I’ll be posting technical writing advice, opinion pieces, recommendations, and explanations on how to achieve various tasks with different software tools. (The latter of which is going to be a reminder for me as much as anyone else!).

If you find the technical writing advice posts useful, please leave a comment.

Some of the older posts have some formatting issues, due to conversion problems when I upgraded the site theme. Sadly, the comments were lost in migration too. 

Technical communication blog posts

General posts about technical communication:

Working as a Freelance Technical Writer – Part Two

In the previous "Working as a freelance technical writer" article, we looked at what you'd need to consider when going from employment to self-employment.  Here, in part 2, I'm going to explain my typical working day. As always, this is my personal experience of...

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Working as a freelance technical writer – part one

Are you a technical writer who is considering going freelance? That's a move I made several years ago and lots of writers contact me asking what it's like. Here, I'll share the info I have provided. It's based on my experience as a technical author working in England....

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Accordions – when should you use them in your content?

For years, I've avoided accordions in my content. But recently, I've changed my tune. What's made me change my mind? Read on to find out.  What is an accordion? Before we go any further, let's make it clear what I'm talking about when I use the term "accordion". I'm...

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Content design blog posts

Accordions – when should you use them in your content?

For years, I've avoided accordions in my content. But recently, I've changed my tune. What's made me change my mind? Read on to find out.  What is an accordion? Before we go any further, let's make it clear what I'm talking about when I use the term "accordion". I'm...

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Paligo blog posts

How to insert elements in your content in Paligo

Did you know that there are loads of elements that you can use to add semantic structure to your Paligo content? It's not just the handful of common elements you can choose from the menu in the Edit and Insert tabs.  To get to the full range of elements, you need to...

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Paligo – Styling nested topics

How do you style nested topics in Paligo? Learn how to change the appearance of topic elements depending on whether they are standalone or nested (no chunk)

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Paligo – Taking control of the see also section

When you create a HTML5 output in Paligo, 'See also' sections are automatically added to the bottom of topics that have children. This can be really handy, as it makes sense to link to those from the 'parent' topic. But sometimes, you may want a different set of links...

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Freelancing blog posts

UX blog posts

Daily UX writing challenge. Day #4

As a technical writer, I know about creating user-centred content.  But I've never worked as an out-and-out UX writer (although I have written microcopy for software as part of my tech writing work). I'd like to explore the world of UX writing, so I decided to do the...

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Daily UX writing challenge. Day #3

In this series of blog posts, I'm exploring the world of UX writing by completing the Daily UX challenges set by https://www.dailyuxwriting.com. This post covers the challenge for Day #3.ScenarioThe user is trying to sign in to their account and has entered an...

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Daily UX writing challenge. Day #2

In this series of blog posts, I'm exploring the world of UX writing by completing the Daily UX challenges set by https://www.dailyuxwriting.com. This post covers the challenge for Day #2.ScenarioA user is a working parent, and a big sports fan, in the midst of their...

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MadCap Flare blog posts

Accordion Menu in MadCap Flare – Part Six

This is Part 6 of a series of posts on how to create the following layout, complete with accordion menu and slide-in drill-down menu, in MadCap Flare. If you missed the previous parts, here are links: Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four Part Five In this post, I'm...

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DITA blog posts

Here are some posts about DITA. I rarely post about DITA, as I don’t use it, but sometimes post about how to achieve certain things.

Technical Writing Tools – Do You Need to Know Every Tool?

Have you ever felt yourself becoming overwhelmed with the amount of things you need to learn? Join the club. Since quitting the day job as an employed technical writer and trying my hand at contracting, I’ve been compelled to learn more about a variety of...

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How to Install the DITA HTML5 Plug-In (oXygen XML Editor)

Hands up. Guilty as charged. Sometimes I don't write with you, the reader in mind. You see, I have a memory like a sieve, so this blog can also act as a storage space for the things I need to remember, but probably won't. Such as the following instructions on how to...

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XML and XSLT blog posts

Namespaces (XML): Learning XSLT CPD Diary

This series of XSLT posts are designed as a learning diary, to aid my Continuing Professional Development which is a requirement for fellowship status in the ISTC. I will be posting about my learning and in this post, I cover something that caused significant...

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MS Word blog posts

How to delete ‘phantom’ pictures in MS Word on Mac

  Do you have a 'phantom' image in a Word document that you just can't delete? You can see the image, but you can't cut it or delete it, right? Here's how to get rid of the pesky little bleeder. 1. Show the paragraph markers.   2. Highlight all of the...

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MS Word – Cursor stuck as a grab hand

Are you working on a Microsoft Word document and you're stuck because the cursor has become a hand? It's super-easy to fix. All you need to do is press the Esc key. That will switch the cursor back to the regular pointy selection cursor. Why does Word change to the...

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Technical Writing Tools – Do You Need to Know Every Tool?

Have you ever felt yourself becoming overwhelmed with the amount of things you need to learn? Join the club. Since quitting the day job as an employed technical writer and trying my hand at contracting, I’ve been compelled to learn more about a variety of...

read more

Camtasia and Snagit blog posts

Tips and reminders for using TechSmith Camtasia and Snagit.

Non-technical communication posts

Sometimes, I post things that are nothing to do with tech comm, but people might find useful. You’ll find those posts here.

Fellow of the ISTC…and now the obligatory CPD

Committed to Continuing Professional Development in Technical Communication In January 2015, I was accepted as a fellow of the ISTC  (Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators). My new status means that I now have to satisfy the CPD (Continuing Professional...

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Let's get your content project started. Get in touch and let me know what you need.

craigwright@straygoat.co.uk

+44 07954141761

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