Topic Based Writing… How did I split my manuals into reusable pieces?

Practice what you preach, wanting to be the best in class. You will stand out in your profession if you have the necessary knowledge. In order to properly fulfil our mission at Foxiz, we have our own Academy. Besides the fact that it is something to be proud of, it also helps fulfil our mission: Creating the best technical content!

Topic-Based Writing, our new training for technical writers!

Our Academy has proven its quality for a couple of years now. We offer a good foundation for (future) authors with six fixed trainings for technical writers. We always keep moving at Foxiz and try to continue developing our offer. We recently started offering Topic-Based Writing. If you ask us, an essential training course for technical writers.

Why Topic-Based Writing?

We can name a few reasons, but the most important one is the efficient and structured compilation/maintenance of documentation. Do you have different product groups, product variants and are they also in many different languages?

foxiz academy example | Topic Based Writing

Image: Example of a client with many variants

If you have so many variants, smart writing and maintenance of those different manuals becomes more and more important. Modular information, reusable pieces of text (topics), variables and metadata are then at play in basically every word processor. In addition, many parts of a manual can be standardised. Some examples are introduction, safety, intended use, disposal and many more. As a technical writer, the trick is to master all of this. This can be tricky without experience and/or training, but it saves a lot of time, ensures recognisability, uniformity and you save a lot of time and translation costs.


Efficient, reusable and ready for the future

Topic-Based Writing often goes hand in hand with content management, product data, external metadata and different ways of publishing, Word, PDF, HTML5, (web) apps, you name it. Each software solution has its own advantages and disadvantages in this field, but at Foxiz, we look beyond software capabilities. That is why we offer our training in a way that works with any software solution to write smartly structured texts.

This way of working has many benefits. We have already mentioned a few examples; a more efficient compilation of your manuals and, among other things, lower translation costs due to more reuse. But there are more to think of, for example the quality of your documentation will improve, structure and standardisation will safeguard your terminology and the structure of your documentation will become flexible and future-proof.

Do you work in MS Word? In that case you can also enjoy the benefits of Topic-Based Writing

Apart from other advantages, you will be ready for the future, even if you want to switch to other ways of working (XML-based documentation) later on. Do you already work with XML (DITA) and/or a (C)CMS? Then we can also help you to elaborate the layout of your processes, content strategy, terminology, metadata and setup even better.

Topic-Based Writing ensures that you work smarter as a technical writer, help organisations cut costs and it helps you work and think in a structured way.


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