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Even software help needs help sometimes

Even software help needs help sometimesWe 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:

  1. Follow Best Practices for Technical Writing
  2. Consider How the Text Will Appear After Translation
  3. Use CSS Styles Instead of Local Formatting
  4. Use Naming Conventions
  5. Document Conventions and Processes in a Style Guide
  6. Simplify Conditioned Text
  7. Don't Embed Text in Images
  8. Consider Whether to Translate Sample Data Used in Screen Shots
  9. Remove Extraneous Project Files (Targets, Topics, TOCs, Etc.)
  10. Identify Topic Content that Must Match the User Interface
  11. Structure Content to Match the TOC Hierarchy
For details on these steps and some fine examples and scenarios, check out Ms. Kupka's article on the WritersUA.com blog.

ForeignExchange localizes software applications and training programs for medical device and pharmaceutical companies. For specialized medical software localization services, contact us today!


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