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How to make manuals by using Indox?

Many companies have technical writing professionals technical writers taking care of the documentation. Responsibility for documentation can also be decentralized to subject matter experts. Structured documentation, technical document, technical documentation all of these have in common that suitable tools are needed for writing.

Maintenance or operating instructions can be written in Microsoft Word, but content management becomes problematic even with standard requirements. It is worthwhile to structure the content if two of the four requirements are met:

  1. Several language versions of the document are required
  2. The same content is repeated several times, e.g. the warranty conditions
  3. Multiple publication formats required (PDF, Word, or HTML)
  4. There are variations on the service or product, eg the coffee machine can be made with or without a milk frother.

Take, for example, the creation of instructions for the coffee machine Y in structured form.

1. The preparation of the manual begins with the creation of the necessary sub-assemblies, ie topics such as introduction, use of the machine, cleaning of the machine and warranty conditions..

2. Attach the above topics to the same map, which gathers the desired sections of the publication and their contents, such as texts, tables, images and lists.

3. Publish in the desired format, e.g. PDF, word or html.

Now the operating instructions for the coffee machine Y are in the form of a structured document! Benefits achieved in a nutshell:

  • If the company starts to make coffee machine X, the contents can be easily reused, eg the warranty conditions can be attached to the folder of coffee machine X. If the warranty terms change, they will change in both instructions at once.
  • The same images can be used in the instructions, and the images to be changed will change in all instructions at once. The picture also shows where all the places it has been used.
  • Changes to the guidelines can be controlled by various workflows, such as an approval workflow.
  • The company wants to offer instructions online also in html format, now the same material can be easily used, for example, in Oxygen Webhelp.
  • The company is expanding into the Japanese market, adding a new language version is easy.
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