Upcoming Webinar: Designing Quick Reference Guides

Quick Reference GuidesI’m giving an STC webinar this week on designing quick reference guides. Here are the details:

Designing Quick Reference Guides
Date: Wednesday, 25 January | 1:00–2:00 PM EST (GMT-5)

Condensing a manual into an attractive quick reference guide requires a poet’s precision with language, but it also requires you to exercise skill with visual design and page layout. These short guides blend marketing with instruction, allowing you to combine text with images to pull readers into the content. Long manuals are outdated, ineffective ways to teach people software.

The quick reference guide (usually 2 to 6 pages), with strong visuals and a magazine-like layout, is something that end-users, project managers, and just about everyone absolutely loves. Quick reference guides should be a standard deliverable that technical communicators emphasize and prioritize in their work.

Register for the webinar.

By the way, if you can’t make the webinar but you’re still interested in the topic of quick reference guides, see this page of quick reference guide resources on my blog.

Feb 19, 2012 update: You can access a recording of the webinar here.

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By Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer working for the 41st Parameter in San Jose, California. I'm interested in topics related to technical writing, such as visual communication, API documentation, information architecture, web publishing, JavaScript, front-end design, content strategy, Jekyll, and more. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

  • http://info@riverview-writing.com Lynda Shindley

    HI Tom,
    I registered for this Webinar, but I have not received instructions for connecting. Does STC send out that information? Can you please advise?

    Lynda Shindley

    • http://idratherbewriting.com Tom Johnson

      They were a bit late in sending that invite out, I think. But I’m glad you were able to attend.

  • Brandon


    Enjoyed the webinar. You’ve got me really motivated to make some quick references guides!

    Thanks for improving the lives of so many technical communicators through your efforts. You may take it for granted, but few people are willing to go thorough the effort you do to run a blog that educates, encourages, and inspires technical communicators.

    VR- Brandon

    • http://idratherbewriting.com Tom Johnson

      Brandon, thanks for the kind words about my blog. I appreciate the note.

  • http://blog.vhite.com/ Vinish


    I missed your post and hence the webinar also. However, I skimmed through your posts at: http://idratherbewriting.com/quickreferenceguides/, and loved the directions that you share. I recall doing such Quick Guides or Reference Guides 3 years back when I worked with Basware Corporation; that was really interesting experience and your post helped me relived those days.

    Thanks for the wonderful directions and tips on writing great Quick Guides.