How to write good help documentation

documentation format

Most developers want to have it, but few are passionate about writing and maintaining it. Be bold, and share it far and wide. Consider including a reference guide that explains the jokes, and, in the case of dead parrots, points to a YouTube video : The same goes for colloquialisms.

Characteristic of good documentation

Make Everything Reusable Explaining every feature a dozen times is no fun. Here are the best reasons to take the time to make great documentation for your products. If things happen all the time, you should probably fix your documentation or the code, so that the problems go away. You'll of course want to link to the knowledge base in the main navigation of your website—include it in the header or menus, as well as with the index in the footer. And then we told everyone that they had to use it—instead of Facebook—when discussing our organization. Remember to include a good index The index is probably the most important part of any help documentation. The culinary analogy might be an ecyclopaedia article about an ingredient, describing its provenance, its behaviour, its chemical constituents, how it can be cooked. If you're documenting a Tesla, print out your documentation and turn it into a paperback book.

So it's critical that examples have been tested. About the structure Why isn't this obvious? You will look upon a file with a fond sense of remembrance.

how to write documentation for software

Feel free to read this document straight through, or simply use it as a reference. By virtue of being along side the code, that documentation will be in source control. Documentation also provides a platform for your first contributions.

For some developers, reference guides are the only kind of documentation they can imagine. There's a table of contents, diagrams of the product, followed by pages describing how to use the product and then a set of troubleshooting guides at the end.

Do you really have to go through all the pains of creating several different manuals for different formats?

how to write a best practices document

The voice is personal; you are speaking to a particular person, defined in the earlier persona phase.

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How To Write A Great Help Manual