Tips to Edit Technical Documentation

  • Gather feedback and revisions. Try to get a second opinion on your content whenever possible.
  • Break out your style guide and follow its rules. The style guide should be brief and well-organized so that you could find the answer promptly.
  • Edit the documentation yourself or take it to a technical editor who can make sure the language has a logical flow and is consistent throughout the entire content.
  • Create a checklist for document finalization. Write down the things that usually escape notice and should be considered for each review. For that, take notes of what other people spotted during editing your document. And always go through this checklist before you submit anything for review. If you see an error or something that should be changed, don’t forget to update this list.
  • Get more practice. Practice is a key to any activity. If you want to get a hand in editing, do it more often.
  • Use online services. Such services as Acrolinx, Language Tool, or Grammarly help fish out style inconsistencies, grammar mistakes, and mispunctuation.
  • Edit one document more than once. You may catch things the second time that you missed the first time. Read your content 3–4 times forward to grasp the substantive problems and then a couple of times backward to catch the style errors. It works to look at the words in non-logical order, and they will jump out at you (i.e., if you used “Select” instead of “Click”). Make each pass as different as possible from the others, on-screen or on paper, in the workplace or some other location, focusing on content or style.
  • Use the Read Aloud feature to read the text out to you. It’s sometimes easier to spot errors when listening to the words rather than reading them. It’s a matter of information perception.

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Bradley Nice

Bradley Nice

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Content Manager at https://medium.com/level-up-web 👈. I write about web design, web development and technical writing. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook