Learn to create technical documentation that is effective and easy to understand.

Technical Writing for Engineers - Program Profile

What is the Objective of this training program?

This program aims to empower engineers, technologists, and other technical personnel to design, create, and maintain technical documentation that is effective and easy to understand.

The lessons focus on real publications’ DOs and DON’Ts, giving students the tools to quickly improve the quality of their documentation while saving time and resources.

The training program covers the most widely used content development platforms in the market today: Microsoft Word™ and Madcap Flare™.

Who is this course for?

Engineers and Technologists who need to write manuals and procedures for customers or for internal use.

The course assumes the students are qualified in their fields and have designed or maintained systems that require technical documents describing their functions and capabilities.

These documents include:

Design Reviews

Manuals for Installation, Operation, and Maintenance

Quality Assurance Procedures and Reports

Test Procedures

Work Instructions

Standard Operating Procedures

Internal Status Reporting

Technical Writing for Engineers - Program Profile

Day 1 – Technical Writing Fundamentals

  • What is technical writing?
    • Linear vs. Topic-based documents;
    • Identifying the audience;
    • The four W’s: What, Who, Where, and When;
    • Collecting and selecting information;
    • Liabilities: understanding the consequences;
    • Safety: entering information according to standards;
    • Understanding the “Sequence of Events”;
  • Elements of effective technical writing:
    • Consistency;
    • Time and conditionals;
    • Direct speech;
    • Numbers, Units, Measures, Equations, and Cyphers;
    • Grammar, Syntax, Punctuation, and Abbreviation;
    • Common mistakes: the Engineerish;
  • Hands on:
    • Creating an Installation Manual;
    • Creating an Operations Manual;
    • Creating a Maintenance Manual;
    • Table of Content, Index, and
    • Glossary creation.
  • Supporting Material (included):
    • Flexwrite study guide.
    • Book: “Elements of Technical Writing by Gary Blake and Robert W. Bly”.

“… your rule might be this: If a sentence, no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. novelist and technical publicist for General Electric.

Day 2 – Advanced MS Word

  • A brief history of .DOC, .DOCX, and XML;
  • HMI, Ribbon, and Quick Access Toll Bar;
  • Text formatting and styles;
  • Page setup:
    • Margins, Orientation, and Sizes;
    • Margins, Tabs, And Borders;
    • Headers and Footers;
  • Inserts:
    • Inserting and formatting tables;
    • Sorting table contents;
    • Inserting and manipulating illustrations;
  • Other elements;
  • Typeface importing and selection;
  • Captions and Cross references;
  • Page layout;
  • Spelling, grammar, and language settings;
  • Advanced Find and Replace;
  • Auto Text, Quick parts, Building blocks, and Fields;
  • Bookmarks and Cross References;
  • Citations and Bibliography, and Table of Authorities;
  • Review Tools.
  • Supporting Material (included):
    • Flexwrite study guide.
    • Book: “Microsoft Word 2019 Step by Step by Joan Lambert”

“…technical information is not leisure reading for most people…they turn to technical information out of need…to solve a problem…often they have little time to find the information that they need.” — Gretchen Hargins, et al. Developing Quality Technical Information, IBM Press

Day 3 – Madcap Flare Fundamentals (Part 1)

  • A brief history of Flare;
  • Projects:
    • What is a project;
    • Opening, creating, and modifying projects;
    • Project file structure;
    • FlareZip;
  • Panes:
    • Project Organizer;
    • Content Explorer;
    • Style Sheet basics;
    • The Options Dialog;
    • Help Options;
  • Topics:
    • What is a Topic?
    • Creating and modifying topics;
    • Previewing Topics;
  • Entering content:
    • Text;
    • Images;
    • Video.

“Don’t tell me how it works. Tell me how to use it.” — A customer.

Day 4 – Madcap Flare Fundamentals (Part 2)

  • Major supporting elements:
    • TOCs (Table of Contents);
    • Snippets;
    • Skins;
    • Conditions;
    • Targets;
    • Variables;
    • Master pages and Page layouts;
  • Outputs:
    • HTML5;
    • Hosting HTML5 outputs (Comp., Tablets, Phones);
    • PDFs;
    • e-Books;
    • Other outputs;
  • Single Sourcing fundamentals;
  • CSS Basics.

  • Supporting Material (included):
    • Flexwrite study guide.
    • MADCAP FLARE 2019 r2 by Madcap Software reproduced with permission).

“…do not ramble, though…I won’t ramble on about that.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. novelist and technical publicist for General Electric.

Program Sections

This program is divided into three sections: Technical Writing Fundamentals, Advanced Microsoft Word™, and Madcap Flare™ Fundamentals.

NOTE: These courses are presented in sequence but may be taken individually.

Classes run with a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 8 students.

Technical Writing Fundamentals (One day)

CAD 760 / US$ 560

This course focuses on the document planning and execution. It includes defining the audience, usage and content targets, deciding on the best authoring platform to execute the project, creating a template, and developing content that is efficient to create and effective when delivered. The students will learn how to plan and deliver high quality technical documents.

Advanced Microsoft Word (One day)

CAD 760 / US$ 560

This section focuses on the use of the world’s primary authoring tool as an advanced platform for the creation and maintenance of linear documents. The course goes much further than the regular use of MS Word, looking into internal tools and devices that help optimize the quality of the documents. The students will learn how to use MS Word at a much higher level than customary use.

Madcap Flare Fundamentals (Two days)

CAD 1520 / US$ 1120

The third and fourth days are dedicated to Madcap Flare: the most effective topic-based authoring platform in the market today. The course covers all the major components of Flare and provides insights on single-sourcing and multi-platform publication. The students will learn how to generate single-sourced online and PDF contents with ease.