Technical Manuals 


Technical Manuals

Over time, the definition of a technical manual has broadened to include many aspects of technical documentation.  It has the simple purpose of making it simple for the end-user to understand the technicality of using a product or service. Technical manuals contain instructions for installation, use, maintenance, and steps for effective deployment of equipment.  Technical manuals now also include documentation such as safety manuals, employee handbooks, company manuals, user manuals, instruction manuals, or software manuals.

Technical manuals, unambiguous instructions, can enable the safe installation and operation of a complex piece of machinery or seamless installation of a software program. We can create detailed, technical and engaging technical manuals for technology as old as lathe-machined steam locomotive drivers or as new as complex 3-D printed parts.   Some technical manuals–like ours–are actionable documents while others aren’t.  


A New Reality for Technical Manuals

Technical manuals, online manuals, print manuals, instructions, procedures, repair, software, technology, product manuals, user manuals, training manuals, standard operating procedures, STE, simplified technical English, installation manuals, policy and procedure manuals, safety manuals, repair manuals, industrial manuals, IT manuals, hospitality manuals, food service manuals There has been a paradigm shift in how content is presented in technical manuals.  It is no longer possible to write a manual for a target market that has a well-defined user profile.  Training manuals are one of the areas in which this is especially true.  Users may have vastly different levels of language skills and technical expertise.  This is a reality that we all must face.  But it means that training documentation must now be written so that it can be understood by a wide range of people.  Civilian employment, for example, may depend on our ability to create technical manuals that can be understood by people with limited English skills as well as native speakers who have limited English skills.  But, this must be done in the context of an audience that includes those with better English comprehension  This is not a political issue:  It is now a fact of life.  But there is a persistent belief that simplifying material may increase comprehension but may diminish accuracy.  Creating documentation in Simplified Technical English is one solution to this problem.


Professional Technical Manuals 

We create our technical manuals drawing on our other strengths in the areas of technical writing.  We understand what is required to make each an effective document, one that is easily understood by the audience.   The documentation has the impact intended.   We can work as independently or as closely as you would like.  Your manual can be informal in style or structured and formal.



Technical Manual Writing Services

  • Product Manuals
  • User Manuals
  • Instruction Manuals
  • Employee Handbooks
  • Training Manuals
  • Repair Manuals
  • Policy/Procedure Manuals
  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Installation Manuals
  • Information Security Manuals
  • Written Information Security Plans
  • Simplified Technical English Manuals

Creating Technical Manuals in Simplified Technical English (STE)

Einstein would have liked STE and the STE Writing Rules. He knew that clarity is often sacrificed for complexity.   But he also knew that there is a limit to how far things can be simplified.  STE Writing Rules show how to use those rules to make what we write as simple as possible but no simpler. 

If it takes an advanced degree to read it, then it must be meaningful.   Right?  Not necessarily.  Einstein suggested:

“If you cannot explain it simply, you do not understand it well enough.”

Einstein could not have anticipated the technological innovation or medical advancements or discoveries in physics that have occurred in the last century.  Technical documentation of QuickBooks’ coding in C++ will likely be important information for a programmer.  But a comprehensible technical description of how to use QuickBooks to generate a profit and loss statement is likely to be much more important to an end user who may have no idea what C++ is or that it is a programming language.  We are experts at creating manuals that are easily understood and unambiguous.

Instruction Manual Sample STE Transformation

The before and after sample below shows how complex instructions can be simplified for better comprehension by a broader audience.  There is no shortage of programs that can translate instructions such as these into 100 languages and, once the text has been simplified, it can be translated into many of those languages.  Clear, unambiguous text can encourage engagement and retention


After you log in to EDExpress 2024–25 for the first time with a user ID other than SYSADMIN, the Pending Imports section under the Imports menu, which is accessible by clicking the Import button (designed as a box with an arrow pointing right) on the left navigation bar, displays an option to import Prior Year User-Defined Queries, Setup, and File Formats from the EDExpress 2023-2024 database. You can click this option to access the Global import dialog box, review prior year import options, and initiate the import
Installation Guide for EDExpress for Windows 2024–25 U.S. Department of Education



First Login with Non-Admin Account
When you first log in to EDExpress 2024-25 using a user ID other than SYSADMIN:

Pending Imports Section

  1. Go to the Imports menu
  2. Click the Import button (looks like a box with a right arrow) on the left navigation bar
  3. The Pending Imports section will display

Import Prior Year Data Option
In the Pending Imports section, you will see an option to import:

  1. Prior Year User-Defined Queries
  2. Setup
  3. File Formats are from the EDExpress 2023-2024 database

Initiate Import

  1. Click the import option
  2. The Global Import dialog box will open
  3. Review the prior year import options
  4. Start the import process

By following these steps, you can initiate the import of queries, setup, and file formats from the previous year’s database when first logging in to the new EDExpress system.



Technical Manuals – Content and Delivery

Whether the technical manual is a human machine interface (HMI) on a CNC machine or the installation instructions for a garbage disposal, there are certain basic planning and content elements that are common to all.  


Technical Manual Content

  • Customer-Centric Technical Content might include online wikis, knowledge bases, training manuals, user guides, release notes, installation manuals, or repair manuals.
  • Organizational Technical Content might include standard work procedures manuals, employee handbooks, job descriptions, work instructions, installation manuals, or a human machine interface (HMI) on equipment.
  • Marketing Technical Content might include product-based information such as product brochures or videos, white papers, business case studies, infographics, or use cases.
  • IT Technical Content might include technical specifications of a product, glossaries, software development , software guidance, training manuals, or process documentation

Technical Information Delivery



Digitalization and globalization have resulted in a paradigm shift in how technical documentation is created, how it is written and how it is delivered.  

As technology has become available to a broad cross-section of the population, creating and delivering easily-understood technical content is a requirement.  It also must be delivered in many different languages.  While not in the immediate future, the PDF may become obsolete in favor of electronic delivery.  For now, however, both are still used extensively.  

Digital information delivery–in particular mobile–is becoming a standard method for relaying information.  Innovative solutions for doing this are being created all the time and are more focused on user experience than ever before.


Technical Manual Considerations

Planning Considerations

Topic-based authoring is a concept well worth considering for development of technical documentation.  This approach is particularly suited to technical manuals.  The alternative, a collaborative approach, works well in most situations.  It just so happens that topic-based authoring enables writers of technical material to create reusable, flexible information modules cost-effectively.  


Select Pre-Development Questions
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the delivery method electronic or print?
  • Will the development approach be collaborative or topic-based authoring?
  • Where is the information about the product, service or process located?
  • Who will be the subject matter expert–the writer or a staff member or both?
  • What is the structure–table of contents?
  • What graphics will be used?
  • How will the contents be laid out?
  • What will be the style and design?

Authoring Considerations

If you understand thoroughly what you are writing about, you will be able to present it in clear, concise, unambiguous terms to readers.

Topic-Based Authoring
This is a modular approach to content creation which supports content reuse, content management, and the dynamic assembly of personalized information.

At a high level, topic-based authoring is simple. Rather than writing a “book” as one long document, you write a bunch of small chunks of information – “topics” – that can be strung together to create that “book”.  – Neil Perlin

Collaborative Authoring
Collaborative authoring is a method of creating content with the involvement of several authors. It is a flexible process where content can be created more quickly and with better quality.  Technical writers can create content simultaneously: each tech writer is working on certain topics. Technical writers can also create content in a certain sequence. 



Technical Manual Case Study

Case study of how standardized policies and procedures, standard operating procedures, enabled one company’s remote work conversion.


Download This Case Study





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Technical Manual Case Study

Case study of how standard operating procedures, clarified with STE, improved acquisition, retention and engagement in one company.


Download This Case Study





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Because we can make your technical manual engaging, informative, unambiguous…  Guaranteed