Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [tech-writing]

Production of technical documentation to help people understand and use a product or service.

-1
votes
2answers
25 views

The use of tense in technical writing [on hold]

I am having trouble writing a technical document where the present and future activities are described theoretically. For instance: Study A plans to enroll 300 patients. Patients shall have either ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

A word to describe the contour of a sheet of paper [on hold]

I'm looking for a word to describe the outline of a paper document. For instance in the sentence : The software will detect the edges of the receipt over the dark background. I have multiple ...
0
votes
2answers
29 views

Adjective for a “expected” or “aspirational” version of a document?

We're creating a user manual for a software application. Like the manual, the application itself is a work in progress. We have a version of the manual that describes the application as we expect it ...
0
votes
4answers
270 views

In scientific writing is: Energy expended/ cost /consumed?

In scientific writing, should I write energy is expended, cost or consumed? Which term is preferable? As in the example, Energy is expended/cost/consumed through deformation/vibration/friction.
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Correct way to reference sub bullet list [closed]

d. Include documentation of rating ______ i. Show rating of ______ ii. Include overall ______ 1. Provide relevant documentation ______ In the example above, how would the last 3 ...
0
votes
2answers
68 views

Possessive for abbreviation of a regular plural noun

How do you write the possessive for an abbreviation of a regular plural noun, when the plural 's' is not present in the abbreviation? I want to write "ten kilograms' weight" in a scientific context ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Click the button “in” or “on” the window - Technical Writing [closed]

I'm writing instructions telling a user to click something in/on a computer window. I lean naturally towards "click the button in the window", but is it "click the button on the window"? (Note: this ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Are there any guidelines for proper use of “creative” capitalization within in a technical report?

I am trying to edit a report that seems to have a lot of common nouns capitalized. My job is to edit for consistency of this style, which I am not familiar with. Does anyone have experience with what ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

How to indicate that verification/correction is requested in the document

I’ve been tasked to write a document (like a wiki) about an application for work. I don't know much about the app, other than what I'm understanding by reading the source code and minimal business ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

How to punctuate two sentences that form one unit that requires a colon at the end? [closed]

I ask this in the context of comments in computer programming which are written in plain English. For this question, I require a colon at the end of every comment that is a heading of code. Now, if ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

One topic per paragraph when discussing advantages and disadvantages

I'm in the process of discussing advantages and disadvantages in a science paper I'm writing. I'm not sure if it's best to include them in two separate body paragraphs, one for advantages and one for ...
1
vote
2answers
124 views

Is there an standard English dialect to use for programming and documents?

This question came up today in one of my code reviews at work. Where I used colour (South Africa English/British English) instead of color. Our company's opinion is to use American English for ...
3
votes
2answers
155 views

What is the collective name for the power, volume, and/or function buttons on a tablet?

I'm trying to be the most inclusive when writing a procedure that involves usage of a tablet computing device. I've read about hardware buttons for Microsoft Tablet PCs. I want to know if there's a ...
0
votes
1answer
396 views

“The” before proper nouns in technical writing

Should I use "the" before proper nouns? I would like to skip it, will it be grammatically correct? Example: MicroApp receives the SL Recovery Key, the LF Service Key, and the Auth Key to control ...
0
votes
0answers
71 views

Parentheticals with “that is”

You are not a VIP, that is, a celebrity, but a small potato, that is, someone of no importance. "That is" requires a comma and the parentheticals too. However, I wonder if all these commas are ...
0
votes
1answer
350 views

Is it idiomatic to begin a sentence with “In address to”?

I would like to start a sentence with In address to. Example 1 In address to this problem, several examples have been presented. Example 2 In address to the trade-off between work and rest, as ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

using the word “meaning” in a sentence to explain

I have the following sentence: This process is circuitous, meaning, the responsibility returns to the Originator user after all is approved. A few questions: I know this would be a fully ...
2
votes
3answers
138 views

Which indefinite article to use if the noun starts with a non-letter character?

In the Perl programming language, symbols in front of variable names are called a sigil. When reading code out loud, the sigil is spoken. $foo becomes dollar foo. The sigil for functions is the ...
1
vote
1answer
5k views

Abbreviation “mm o.c.” in construction (spacing of ducts etc)

What does o.c. stand for and what does this mean? These are some examples of its use: Space end bells approximately 250 mm o.c. for 125-mm ducts. Space fasteners at 10" (250 mm) o.c. on ...
2
votes
3answers
524 views

Preferred American English term for the [enter/return] key in the keyboard

Problem A colleague is designing an application and wants to decide what to write in the return/enter key. Research In the Macbook keyboard both terms are present (return and enter). Question My ...
0
votes
2answers
285 views

Is the term “step-action table” jargon?

I'm an engineer. My doc team has been using step-action tables to create user-facing documentation for some software that I've built recently. I think these tables are awesome, but I keep seeing ...
3
votes
1answer
927 views

'finding' or 'discovery'

I am writing a scientific paper on physics. I hesitate to write that my observations and their interpretation is a 'discovery', so I am considering using the word 'finding' instead. Is this the ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What are these containers called?

The german term is Absetzmulde (Image search). They look like this: Image source: Sirch GmbH There are varios different styles of bulk goods containers that can be easily loaded on/off a truck, but ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Difference between “rule” and “law” in scientific context

In general, according to an article in DifferenceBetween.net The main difference between rules and laws is the consequences associated with breaking them. While each is developed to invoke a ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Synonym for “get affected by” in academic form?

I am writing a paper and I have some measurements and factors which change according to the change of some others. I have already used several times "A affects B". Therefore, I need to use a different ...
2
votes
2answers
134 views

Is it true that people are unfamiliar with abbreviations like “i.e.” and “e.g.” and therefore it is best to avoid using them? [closed]

Is it true that people are generally unfamiliar with abbreviations like "i.e." and "e.g." and therefore it is best to avoid using them in technical writing? Avoid abbreviations such as “i.e.” and “...
0
votes
1answer
445 views

How to describe all things we can do with an object? [closed]

I want to describe a set of functions (which belongs to a programming language) but i'm not really sure if my sentence is correct. This set of functions allows us to perform many mathematical ...
2
votes
2answers
235 views

Quoting a password at the end of a sentence: Where to put the point?

Recent Slashdot article: They feature Wi-Fi that can't be turned off (protected, however, with a WEP password of "abcde"), an unencrypted database, and administrative access with a hardcoded ...
0
votes
2answers
524 views

Introducing an alias in technical literature

In technical literature (namely, a requirements document), what is an appropriate way of introducing an alias which is used from there on; instead of the full, completely-defined term? I'm looking ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

A word that means to both encrypt and decrypt [duplicate]

I am currently writing a small class in C# which will take an image, decompile it down to a byte array, obfuscate the data into a proprietary format (thus making it unreadable), and store said data ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Way to indicate the number of something

When I want to express the count of something, can I say "xxx number" instead of "the number of xxx"?  For example: "Location number" to mean the number of locations. "Apple number" to mean ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

Are these expressions to call of a particular kind of deviation right?

I am translating a material on visual sensors and having a hard time figuring out what to call this. The situation is that when the sensor senses a circle mark, sometimes it does not detect a fine ...
4
votes
4answers
819 views

Using the word “whether” instead of “which”

Can I use the word "whether" instead of "which" as in the following sentence? "How to Decide Whether to Use Product A or Product B" (this is a heading) I would usually write it as "How to Decide ...
1
vote
2answers
145 views

Can “probability” be used interchangeably with “rate”?

In a document about a barcode reader, I came across an expression "scanning probability" to indicate the percentage of successful reading of barcodes by the barcode reader in question. I would use "...
0
votes
2answers
569 views

Irradiate, illuminate and shine to mean “throw light”

All the three words are used to mean "throw light" in a document explaining principles of a barcode reader which I am checking. They are all used in sentences to explain "Throw LED to barcode". I ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I use the word “compensate” to mean “adjust to correct” something?

I am wondering if I can use the word "compensate" to mean "adjust to correct" something in a document for a programming/mechanic related subject? E.g. Can "position compensation of target objects" ...
4
votes
4answers
161 views

Term for “preview entries” that web sites show on index pages?

Blogs and websites typically provide an index page of entries where they show an excerpt of the post. Excerpts usually include title, author, post date, and a blurb. What is the term for these sorts ...
1
vote
2answers
708 views

Is “shall” an appropriate word for a scientific thesis? [closed]

May I use the word shall in my scientific thesis? As in The relevant ones shall be introduced in the following. Or is shall considered slang or outdated?
0
votes
1answer
203 views

Can I say “a folder lies in” when talking about computer folders (directories)?

I guess is located in is nicer, but is it correct English?
2
votes
4answers
16k views

What can replace “consists of”?

For reasons I cannot explain, I hate the phrase consists of. Does anyone have an alternative? An example is: Testing consists of continual operation, alternating between random writes and random ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

My English translator capitalizes every noun. Is it correct? [closed]

I'm developing an Android/iPhone application. My translator for English localization uses a lot of capitalization. For example, in the app menu, it suggests: |Export Data to Folder| |Prevent Screen ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Use of personal pronouns in technical writing and possible alternatives

I'm currently in the process of revising my graduate thesis in Computer Science. One section of the thesis specifically addresses design decisions I made and changes I made based on test results. In ...
1
vote
4answers
293 views

Technical terms for user-website interaction

I am making a context diagram of a website and I noticed that the words I used for a user and the website's interaction are not consistent or cohesive. I have been using the pairs of words below to ...
2
votes
2answers
253 views

Is the verb “dose” used correctly in “an agent can be dosed into the tanks”?

Is this correct: For process stabilization an anti-foaming agent can be dosed into the tanks. I use "dose" because I want to emphasize that the amount of stuff put into the tank is carefully ...
-1
votes
1answer
132 views

Should “improve at the following fronts” be followed by problems or solutions? [closed]

I am writing a technology report. It starts with an analysis of the current problems in the system. As a summary I have a paragraph to list all the problems in bullets. I use this sentence to start ...
1
vote
1answer
360 views

Can I use “linkography” instead of “bibliography” when referring to web links?

I’m writing a piece of documentation and I want to add the links I'm referring to at the bottom of my document. Since they are links and not books, I think the section title should not use the word ...