Who is Dr Nat?

For my day job, I write safe work procedures for wind turbine maintenance for a renewable energy company in New Zealand. This job has taught me fascinating things about industrial safety culture, human factors (“human error”) and checklist theory, in amongst all the technical writing and reliability engineering that you might imagine is involved. More recently my eyes were opened up to the advanced tools of the professional technical communicator’s toolbox: single-source topic-based authoring, content strategy, user experience, and instructional design.

This is a place for me to share what I’ve learned, rant about the books I’ve read or the things that interest me, and generally blog about “going pro” as a technical communicator.

2 thoughts on “Who is Dr Nat?

  1. Dr. Nat…want to first off thank you for the youtube videos on Word documents…very helpful and I’m beginning to learn how to apply them to documents in my field of work. Was wondering if you offer one on one tutoring or assistance with specific documents? My line of work is very fast paced and some of the systems we use are redundant because some documents require the same information that is typed two or three times on separate forms and I really want to learn how to consolidate that work where I can type one bit of information one place and it appears on a different form requiring the same exact information. NOt sure if you offer this sort of assistance or maybe you can redirect me to a company or someone else you might know does this…would REALLY appreciate your assistance, thank you!! My name is Byron and my email is [redacted]
    Thank you very much for your time!

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    1. Hi, I’m afraid I’m much too busy myself to give any 1-on-1 help. There is a way to do this in Word, but it’s both incredibly difficult and incredibly buggy (I’ve heard reports of people’s documents being corrupted and destroyed forever).

      I think what you’re actually looking for is called the “single source” method, which breaks documents down into smaller chunks written in XML (basically the same as HTML), then reassemble documents out of a shared pool of chunks. I use a program called Madcap Flare for this sort of thing in my work. (There are other programs too, the other day I met a guy who swore by “Help+Manual”). Check it out, this may be what you’re looking for.

      https://www.madcapsoftware.com/videos/flare/?videoid=flareoverview&playersize=large&productversion=11

      Cheers,
      Nat

      Like

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