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Technical Writers’ Companion

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Keep it simple and stupid

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Forget what you learned at school.

You’re NOT writing an essay. You DON’T have to impress your teacher.

Provide information that EVERYBODY can understand—even readers who:

don’t speak the document’s language as their first language

aren’t sitting in a silent office but who, for example, are standing in a noisy production hall

don’t have much time

are frustrated because they didn’t succeed without reading the manual

So keep it simple and stupid (KISS principle):

Write short sentences.

Use simple grammar.

Use simple words.

Plain language is NOT evidence of poor education. Plain language is the foundation of clear user assistance.


If you want to exert influence on the contents of a document, access the submenu item Edit in the File menu after having opened the document file successfully.


To edit a document:

1. Open the document file.

2. Choose File > Edit.


Congratulations for buying this sophisticated, highly effective phone, which has been designed with your most vital communication needs in mind.


You can use this phone to make phone calls.


Leave out this sentence completely because it doesn’t provide any useful information.

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