We work with a wide range of tools – from classic word processors to professional authoring systems to customer-individual environments.
The choice depends on the tools you use, who is to work with the texts, and the output formats desired.
Classic word processors
Microsoft Word is the classic if several different people are to work on documents. It is well suited for relatively short documents, but soon reaches its limits with complex and long documentation.
We can not only write texts with Word efficiently – we can also create stable document templates and style definitions and post-process documents with macros.
Adobe FrameMaker is the classic for manuals with a print-oriented layout. FrameMaker can also be used for creating texts on an XML basis. The documents can then be published as PDF and also as online help.
Editors for structured text
Tagged, XML-based formats such as DITA and DocBook can be edited with any text editor. But more convenient is editing with special editors that support different views and insert only permitted tags. We work for example with the Arbortext editor and Oxygen. We also use Adobe FrameMaker for XML-based contents.
XML-based formats are well suited for single-sourcing, i.e., the generation of different formats from a single source since the output can be produced very flexibly. At the same time, adaptations require a high technical understanding.
Tools for online help
Some tools focus on the creation of online help and support a context-sensitive call of help topics from the software. The information is created in single topics and then connected to structures. As a rule, the topics can be used in different contexts. Most tools enable books to be created from topics and published for example as a printable PDF. However, this is often of secondary importance and sometimes requires manual post-processing.
We work for example with Author-it, MadCap Flare, Help+Manual and RoboHelp. The source format is usually HTML or XML. For the finished help, several formats are possible, e.g., a compiled CHM file, an HTML5 help, JavaHelp or EPUB for mobile devices.
Professional desktop publishing
For brochures, technical whitepapers and other documents for which a sophisticated, creative print layout is required, we work with Adobe InDesign.
Graphics programs and image editing
Documentation often contains screenshots of the software, for example to give an overview of the graphic user interface. We like to create these screenshots with the Snagit tool and optimize them there immediately for their respective usage. We also use the image editing tools PaintShop Pro and Gimp. For overview graphics for the documentation, we use PowerPoint, Visio and Adobe Illustrator.
Software for video tutorials
For video tutorials, we use the screencast software Camtasia and Adobe Captivate. Both tools can record screen content, process it, and publish it in different video formats.
For computer-aided translation, we use SDL Trados Studio, which uses a translation memory and a terminology database to enable a cost-effective and consistent translation. For the exchange with other translation systems, we are happy to provide the translation memory in a standard format.