Message from Sponsors — January 2013

Messages from SponsorsTalk Plugin for Atlassian Confluence

If you use Atlassian Confluence for creating documentation, you might have noticed that it lacks something that is essential for technical writing — a reviewing feature. Talk Plugin can fix that. Talk Plugin for Confluence allows you to leave your comments everywhere on Confluence pages and blogs and take part in discussions with your colleagues.

Moreover, Talk can save you a great deal of time with its swift notifications. In addition to emails sent whenever someone adds a new comment or resolves a discussion, Talk now supports Workbox notifications right in your Confluence. For email fans, however, email notifications are still there. And so, you can always be in touch with your colleagues promptly responding to their comments.

Also, we’re going to roll out the Talk interface localized for German, Spanish, and Russian speakers. If you use your Confluence in these languages, Talk Plugin installed in it won’t be any different. Visit our blog, http://stiltsoft.com/blog, for news about Talk and our other products. Still don’t have Talk installed? Give it a try here: http://stiltsoft.com/talk/try.html.

Sincerely, the StiltSoft team.

DocuTools™

It’s our 20th anniversary!

The DocuTools Team is proud to announce its 20th year providing structured-authoring learning programs and tools.

New Courses

  • 1-Day/Classroom: Fundamentals of Writing Policies and Procedures™ Description >
  • Live/Virtual Course: Developing Policies and Procedures™  Description >

Software News

  • DocuTools 5 is fully compliant with Word 2010 and preparations are being made for operability with Word 2013.
  • DocuTools 6 Beta includes many new requested features and is finally nearing Beta.  If you would like to be included in the Beta review for DocuTools 6, please send email to support@docutools.com

Adobe Technical Communication Suite

The Adobe Tech Comm marketing team has collated all digital assets created for TCS 4, RH 10 and FM 11 in one single location on the Adobe Tech Comm blog. Hope you take advantage of all these FREE learning resources — webinars, whitepapers, “how to” training videos, user guides, product reviews, etc. Please feel free to share with friends and colleagues. See http://bit.ly/productopedia for details.

Madcap Software

New Release: Introducing MadCap Mimic 7, featuring HTML5 Output

MadCap Software is thrilled to announce the release of MadCap Mimic Version 7.0.  MadCap Mimic is an easy-to-use software simulation and multimedia tool that lets you create fully interactive movies, simulations, presentations, and tutorials of software or systems.

New Version 7 Features include:

  • HTML5 Output
  • Sleek New User Interface
  • New Video Playback Skin
  • Video Support for iOS, YouTube and More (.MP4, .WEBM)

See What’s New >>

Register Now: MadWorld 2013 Worldwide User Conference

MadWorld is a two-day conference with a fresh take on technical communication, featuring industry thought leaders and fellow peers from companies such as Caradigm (a Microsoft | GE Healthcare company), Blackbaud, N-able Technologies, Advanced Language Translation and more. Whether you are a MadCap Software user or not, this conference will offer a variety of rich learning and networking opportunities. We’re packing in more than 40 sessions ranging from customizing your HTML5 output to going mobile to advanced single-sourcing techniques to latest industry trends and techniques.

Learn More >>

New Case Study from Mitchell Highlights Significant ROI

Mitchell, A Leading Provider of Property & Casualty Claims Technology Solutions Cuts Project Time Four-Fold by Using MadCap Flare with Microsoft SharePoint and Team Foundation Server

Mitchell, switching from RoboHelp®, experienced:

  • More than a 90% reduction in end-to-end processing times for building and deploying product Help to the Web
  • A 75% reduction in process time for producing overall content set
  • A 80% reduction in processing times for a complex reference set created by process partners and published by Mitchell along with product Help
  • An overall reduction of 82% in process times compared to process times prior to implementing Flare with Microsoft Team Foundation Server and SharePoint

Read the Full Case Study >>

MadTranslations, Inc. Translation Services

MadTranslations, Inc. provides a full array of language and business services, drawing upon the most accomplished professionals in the industry. Through a full range of localization services, MadTranslations helps clients succeed in the global market by localizing their products, software applications and technical documentation into any language. Our process ensures that all localized software is functionally, linguistically, and culturally flawless.

As the leading provider of authoring and publishing solutions, we understand the importance of the localization (L10N) process to ensure your product and/or documentation is adapted to the technical, linguistic, and cultural requirements of a specific country and locale.

Learn More >>

PlagTracker

During the last couple of months, we worked really hard on our plagiarism checker and have come up with some significant improvements in the service. First we developed a new, much better version of our plagiarism detection algorithm. The algorithm now includes:

  • check for synonyms
  • exclusion of the common phrases from text
  • use of Google, Bing and Yahoo to find duplicates and then compare the results to show the definite list of duplicate sources
  • check for misspellings, paraphrasing, and word placement changes.

This algorithm is something you can’t find with any similar service. At this moment, we are polishing it and it’s not available for public yet, but you can take a look at it here.

Also, our visitors are now able to upload documents in various extensions, such as .doc, .docx, .txt and others. Plagiarism report is also accessible for download in PDF for those who want to see a short summary of the checking process and for those who want to print it out.

Grammar checker is another addition to our service: people are now able to check text not only for plagiarism issues, but also for grammar errors and mistakes. To start using the grammar checker, simply upload a text into our plagiarism checker, wait for the plagiarism report, and then go to Grammar Report tab button. Keep in mind that checking for plagiarism still remains our main specialization.

While our premium subscription option was in place long time ago, we have also noticed some of our customers need to check just one or two documents, and subscription is not something they are looking for. As a result, we have made new premium plans available:

  • Unlimited: $14.99/month with no limit in the amount of check uploads;
  • Pay-per-check: $1/check for those who need to check a single document or couple of them.

The last, but not least, addition is our PlagTracker Widget, which lets you get plagiarism reports directly from your site by inserting our widget.

We have tons of plans and expectations for 2013 and would like to wish you the best of luck and a flood of inspiration. Happy New Year!

3Rabbitz

3Rabbitz Book is the 100% Browser-based Enterprise Authoring Software. The 3Rabbitz Book team announces the immediate availability of 3Rabbitz Book 1.5.8.

3Rabbitz Book 1.5.8 Release

3Rabbitz Book 1.5.7 Release

More information on 3Rabbitz Book: http://www.3rabbitz.com.

Download a free trial: http://www.3rabbitz.com/r/home/try_it. A free license for an open source project or non profit organization or startup is provided on request.

Dr. Explain

Beginning with the new version of Dr.Explain 4.8 you can create online manuals using the new design which has the up-to-date style, extended functionality and is far more interactive than the previous versions.

You can see a sample of one variation of the new design on our website http://www.drexplain.com/help/ and download a copy of Dr.Explain from http://www.drexplain.com/download/?v.4.8

We are sure that your clients will appreciate the professional and modern look of your online manuals and you will be truly proud of it.

Southern Polytechnic State University

Our Newest Course Offering: Business Analysis

This semester the Information Design & Communication grad program at SPSU is offering a new course: Business Analysis. You’ve probably seen the term before either in the news or in job postings. However, what does a business analyst do and, more importantly, how does this position relate to technical communication?

For our students, this new course will introduce business analysis fundamentals, techniques and tools, with particular emphasis on communication strategies. Business analysts help “blur the lines” between technical and business goals and via strategic, communication and documentation-based activities. The documentation and communication facilitated by business analysts are an important building block to the success of rapidly moving technical projects. In 2009, Forrester reported a business analyst’s ability to communicate, facilitate and analyze as fundamental to their success in that role.

Taught by Dr. Katie Leonard, our new course includes materials taken from industry-accepted standards, tools, texts, and case studies. Students will learn about various organizational roles that may take on business analysis duties. The course will also examine recommended career paths and the certifications. Traditional approaches, including requirements elicitation, documentation, tracking, and communication will be covered, as well as recently adapted methodologies for working in documentation-light and agile product development processes.

For more information about our programs, go to idc.spsu.edu

iridize

iridize offers a unique Point & Guide tool for web sites and web applications. iridize on-page guidance can be used for any instructional or training purposes, from managing simple hover tooltips, to creating dynamic help and step-by-step guides for leading users through complete flows. iridize guides are comprised of tooltips, relating a Wizard-like experience with dynamic context-sensitive content. Each step highlights the relevant screen elements, providing context and simplifying an otherwise complex verbal explanation. This feature is particularly helpful to technical writers, as it replaces the need for combining screenshots and said verbal explanations with a literally on-site instructional guide.

A SaaS platform applicable to any web page, iridize does not require installation. Creating, updating, and managing content does not require assistance from IT or RND resources. We believe that in today’s constantly changing application landscape, technical communicators should not have to invest countless hours in training on new tools, and so iridize’s fully visual editor is intuitive to use and does not require any extensive learning. So go ahead, take a short example-tour to see our web site help features, read more about how to use our context sensitive help tool or connect to us for more updates on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.

Etteplan | Tedopres celebrates HyperSTE’s most successful year to date

We are pleased to announce that 2012 has been HyperSTE’s most successful year to date. HyperSTE is the leading tool for ensuring content quality in technical authoring. Benefits include clarity and consistency in technical documentation as well as considerable translation cost savings. New HyperSTE customers in 2012 included American Airlines, Lockheed Martin, Philips Healthcare, Lantech, Ingersoll Rand, Honeywell International and Crown Equipment.

For more information, please visit our website at www.SimplifiedEnglish.com.

Madcap FlareAdobe Robohelp

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By Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer working for The 41st Parameter in San Jose, California. I'm primarily interested in topics related to technical writing, such as visual communication (video tutorials, illustrations), findability (organization, information architecture), API documentation (code examples, programming), and web publishing (web platforms, interactivity) -- pretty much everything related to technical writing. If you're trying to keep up to date about the field of technical communication, subscribe to my blog either by RSS or by email. To learn more about me, see my About page. You can also contact me if you have questions.