The term Technical Communication refers to the process of relaying technology-related information. Sciences, high technology, computers and electronics are a few of the types of technology that may be addressed.
Professions in the field of technical communication include, but are not limited to, technical writers, technical editors, technical artists and information architects.
The primary goal of technical communication is clarity. In the written form, every effort is made to keep formatting to a minimum, to avoid distraction or disorganization. Minimal document formatting, text formatting, the use of figures (such as pictures, graphs, equations, and tables), and overall document composition help to keep the content clear and concise. To avoid confusion, no two formatting elements may share the same purpose.
A variety of tools are used in the creation of technical communication. Varying levels of support and assistance, in the form of forums and distance learning, are available for use with many of these tools.
Word processors and text editors are common tools for written communication. Graphics programs, such as Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro, are used when graphical data is needed for clarity. Desktop publishing software is sometimes used, when appearance is of utmost importance, due to the information being presented to the public. HTML editors can be helpful in editing technical communications designed for presentation on the Internet. In addition to these, basic tools like the standard dictionary and thesaurus, are essential to any writer.
In addition to specific tool based forums, there are many general technical communication forums. Below are just a few examples.
- KnowGenesis Forum - For technical communication and related fields
- TECHWR-L - for any technical communicator
- AUSTECHWRITER - for technical communicators based in Australia