We ran across an interesting article the other day about creating translation-ready software help. The author, Lorraine Kupka of NorthCoast Writers, Inc., wrote the article for the WritersUA.com blog. In it, Ms. Kupka lists eleven best practices for creating localization-friendly software help content.
Many of the best practices the article lists also apply nicely to other types of technical documentation, such as manuals, IFUs, clinical reports, and regulatory dossiers. Here are the best practices:
- Follow Best Practices for Technical Writing
- Consider How the Text Will Appear After Translation
- Use CSS Styles Instead of Local Formatting
- Use Naming Conventions
- Document Conventions and Processes in a Style Guide
- Simplify Conditioned Text
- Don't Embed Text in Images
- Consider Whether to Translate Sample Data Used in Screen Shots
- Remove Extraneous Project Files (Targets, Topics, TOCs, Etc.)
- Identify Topic Content that Must Match the User Interface
- Structure Content to Match the TOC Hierarchy
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Categories: software localization