Discover the Best Tools for Writing Technical Documentation If you’re new to technical writing, there are plenty of tools that you can use to get started with your first project more quickly. The best technical documentation products are available at your fingertips and can help you become a better writer by providing both training and feedback – all within your writing project.
Technical writer is not a usual job, but it still exists. You may think that no one needs such professional. Actually, you are wrong. We all need technical writers or some people who could explain us how to use a tool or a device. Nowadays the amount of available software is bigger than ever, so it is critical to use good technical writing tool which helps to create good quality docs and explains how to work with it.
A technical document is a piece of technical writing that describes and explains how something works, step-by-step. It is absolutely necessary for the user to install and use the software in order for it to work.
If you are self-taught and want to get a job where you write technical documentation, then this article is for you. We will talk about how to compose easy and understandable technical documentation because there is a special technique of writing it. And also we’ll talk about which tools are best for creating user manuals, help files and other technical documentation.
Significance Of Technical Writing For Your Online Business
Over the past few years, companies have realized that technical writing is one of the most effective ways to streamline their business. Technical writing can help you stay in front of customers and ahead of competitors. It offers many advantages, and the important ones are pointed out below.
Let’s boil it down to the most important ones:
Technical writing can make your products or services documentation interactive for customers and give it a professional look. Using the right technical writing tools can make documentation so compelling that it will grab customers’ attention right away.
When your business is completely online-based, there is no way to convert customers verbally, you need to represent yourself creatively on online platforms. Because technical or creative writing’s goal is to clarify complicated concepts in the easiest way that will help you attain your niche easier.
Incorporating keywords into your creative writing is also an important part. So that your customers can find out easily what they are looking for. Therefore, it’s an all-in-one service that doesn’t require you to hire SEO experts to handle that marketing strategy for you.
Technical or creative writing aims to produce contents that are easy to understand for all levels of users. So it will help you build connections and nurture relationships with customers.
As part of maintaining your knowledge base, you have to update all documentation and product descriptions. Whenever a new release of product features is released. If you create creative writing with the right technical writing tools, then you can make the changes easily. Also, this new content can help you boost your website ranking as well.
A piece of amazing content will dramatically enhance traffic to your website. If you want to boost profit effectively, you have to be clear in your voice. And the tone of voice and technical writing can help you in this.
What differentiates technical writing from other forms of writing?
With reference to the basic structure, the spelling and grammar of technical writing are exactly similar to other forms of writing. A significant distinction arises in respect of purpose and style. Strictly speaking, technical writing is purely pragmatic in nature. The aim is to communicate information, not to engross, entertain, or trigger strong feelings.
1. ProProfs Knowledge Base
ProProfs Knowledge Base is a simple yet very powerful technical writing tool. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require technical expertise. This tool can be used effortlessly by people of all skill levels to write, edit, customize, and publish technical content.
This all-in-one software offers an impeccable reporting mechanism, a super-fast search system, smooth accessibility across various devices, and an exceptional user experience. Besides, it also provides unbelievable integrations with popular third-party tools like Zendesk, Freshdesk, Wufoo, etc., and sibling tools – ProProfs Chat and Help Desk.
ProProfs Knowledge Base has been used and appreciated by renowned brands like Acer, Nissan, Duracell, and many more.
Here’s an example of stunning technical documentation created using ProProfs.
✓ Professionally Designed Templates
Choose from over 25+ ready-made templates to create a technical document, manual, or help site. ✓ Anytime, Anywhere Access
Provide employees and customers anytime, anywhere access to your documentation, manual, or help sites. ✓ Customization Options
Explore a wide array of customization options – fonts, colors, and themes, to design your technical content. ✓ 90+ Languages Supported
Create technical content in over 90 languages and cater to your diverse audience spread across the globe. ✓ Insightful Reports
Get actionable insights into how your technical content is performing. Measure its success with metrics like poorly rated articles, failed searches, broken links, and more. ✓ Roles & Permissions
Assign roles such as administrator, contributor, editor, and viewer to different individuals and groups. Define their responsibilities and help them work collaboratively. ✓ Contextual Help
Explain the jargon, technical concepts, and provide additional information with the help of tooltips, lightboxes, and popups. ✓ Conditional Content
Set rules and conditions to hide or display advanced technical content to a specific audience. ✓ Feedback & Ratings
Allow customers to give ratings and drop comments on the articles. ✓ Built-In Ticket Forms
Embed ticket forms anywhere in your documentation to gather customer feedback. ✓ Workflows
Set workflows to ensure that your documentation is reviewed thoroughly before getting published. ✓ Seamless Integrations With Sibling Tools
Allow customers to raise tickets for unanswered questions and chat with a representative to get answers by integrating with ProProfs Help Desk and ProProfs Chat, respectively. Pricing starts at $0
Why Use ProProfs Knowledge Base software?
Easy to Use
The software is designed for the convenience of users with minimum technical knowledge. No hassles of software download or installation. No HTML skills required. Customizable
You can customize the platform to match your branding. CSS helps you create documentation the way you want. Choose from over 600 fonts, themes, designs, and color schemes to customize your online document. Robust Reporting
Insightful reports provide you a comprehensive view of how your documentation is performing. Get actionable insights into the number of searches performed, articles read, popular and poorly rated articles, and much more. 24*7 Support
Worry not, regardless of when and where you get stuck. Aside from the self-service support, you can also get in touch with them to clear your queries. Trusted by Global Brands
Thanks to the software’s awesome performance it has assisted businesses across the globe to address their concerns, both relating to customers and employees effectively.
Confluence is another great technical documentation tool built primarily for internal teams. Cloud-based and feature-rich, it works great for knowledge management, project collaboration, and employee engagement.
Everything can be created collaboratively with the help of Confluence, from something as simple as meeting notes and company announcements to complex documents like project plans and strategies.
The tool is noted for its amazing templates, team collaboration options, advanced security, and powerful integrations.
✓ Customizable Templates
Create your own template or pick your favorite one from the template library and start writing content instantly. ✓ Powerful search system
Make your content easily searchable with Confluence’s robust search mechanism. ✓ Analytics
Analyze user engagement and know about the number of pages created, updated or viewed, and keep improving your document’s performance. ✓ Page Versioning
Track previous changes made to a page, compare different versions of the page, and restore a previous version. ✓ Apps & Integrations
Integrate with your favorite third-party tools as well as in-house tools to get added benefits. Pricing:
starts at $0.
Document360 is a cloud-based tool that can be an asset for your technical writing team. Simple yet powerful, this tool comes with a user-friendly interface and comprises awesome features that help your team write, edit, collaborate, and publish content effortlessly.
If you have a knowledge base created using some other tool and want to migrate it to Document360, the tool provides easy options to migrate from over 100 sites.
Have multiple versions of your articles. Restore to a previous version whenever you want. ✓ Advanced Search
Get instant search results as you start typing in the search bar. ✓ Markdown Editor
Write content using Markdown editor. Use shortcuts to expedite the process of content creation. ✓ Advanced Customization
Customize your document with CSS, add fonts, colors, and give the desired look to your content. ✓ Export & Import
Export and import content with a single click. Pricing:
starts at $49/project/month.
Cloud-based, 100% customizable, and easy to use, KnowledgeOwl is loaded with features that help you construct technical documentation with ease. It’s an all-encompassing tool covering features around various aspects of technical writing.
The tool lets you write and customize the content, manage users, capture feedback, and keep your content secure. Its unique features and simple user interface make it one of the best technical writing tools in the market today.
✓ WYSIWYG Editor
Write content the way you would on Microsoft Word. Edit, format, and style your content easily using this online editor. ✓ Status
Choose from 6 article status – draft, ready to publish, rejected draft, published, needs review, and deleted while writing articles. ✓ Private Domain
Set up a custom domain for your technical document and give it an identity of its own. ✓ Versions
Create different versions of articles, restore to a previous version, or publish the latest version instantly. Pricing:
starts at $79/user/month.
Help+Manual is packed with powerful features that work together to simplify documentation for you. The tool’s highlight is its comprehensive suite of features that help you with multi-user editing, translation management, project management, slideshows, and much more.
Help+Manual’s plug-in system is quite commendable as it allows third-party software firms to add their plug-ins directly to Help+Manual. The tool offers two plug-ins with DeepL and PDF Peer Review.
Help+Manual’s latest version is available for download now.
✓ Team Authoring
Allow multiple authors to work on your document at the same time. ✓ Version Control
Create different versions of your document, restore to a previous version, compare two versions, and much more. ✓ Easy Publishing
Write once and publish in multiple formats – HTML help, Web help, PDF files, or ebooks. ✓ Translation
Translate your document with tools like SDL Trados easily. Pricing:
Available on request
What makes HelpnDoc one of the best technical writing software is its ability to produce documentation in multiple formats – HTML sites, PDF files, ebooks, Word Docs, and more. The tool allows you to write and import content, export files, customize as you like, and publish instantly. Loved by some of the world’s leading brands, HelpnDoc is noted for its powerful editor that powers you with the ability to write compelling technical content.
The downside is its user interface that is simple but conventional at the same time. Unlike other similar tools, HelpnDoc doesn’t offer a cloud-based experience, meaning you will have to download and install the software to use it.
✓ Clean & Simple UI
The complicated task of technical writing gets extremely effortless with HelpnDoc’s simple user interface. ✓ Configuration options
Give your technical document a personalized look by changing its fonts, colors, paragraph styles, and much more. ✓ Reuse templates
Templates can be reused for creating different documentation, so you don’t have to start everything from scratch. ✓ Powerful Editor
Write and customize the content, add headers and footers, table of contents, and change title styles easily. Pricing:
starts at $0.
A compilation of stellar features, Paligo helps you create and deliver excellent documentation in minutes. This cloud-based technical manual writing software helps you with topic-based authoring, content reuse, one-click publishing, and team collaboration. The tool is powered by amazing integrations with tools like Zendesk, Freshdesk, Salesforce, Memsource, and many more.
✓ Conditional Filters
Set conditions to filter content specific to a particular product, audience, market, etc. ✓ XML Editor
Make technical writing effortless with the tool’s easy-to-use editor. ✓ Translation Management
Integrate with Memsource to manage your translations and avoid content duplication. ✓ Version Management
Rollback to a previous version, track changes, compare versions, and much more. ✓ Powerful Integrations
Integrate with your favorite tools – Zendesk, Salesforce, Intercom, Algolia, Mixpanel, among many others. Pricing:
starts at $159/user/month.
What makes ClickHelp one of the best technical writing software is its easy, flexible, and browser-based nature. The tool works great on multiple platforms and browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Mac, and Microsoft Windows, and generates documentation in various formats – PDF, HTML5 help file, MS Word, and more. With over 25000 users in its kitty, ClickHelp is certainly growing at a fast pace.
✓ Workflow Customization
Set workflows for your articles and keep them in sync with internal processes, to ensure that error-free content is published. ✓ Templates
Pick from 6 documentation templates provided by ClickHelp and start writing content instantly. ✓ Customization options
Change the style, domain name, colors, fonts, and themes of your documentation to give it the desired look and feel. ✓ Integrations
The tool teams well with over 20 popular tools like Google Analytics, Zendesk, Salesforce, Live Chat, Google Translate, and more. ✓ Single Sign-On
Authenticate readers and authors with a single log-in system before they access your documentation. Pricing:
starts at $50/user/month.
Plan.io is a cloud-based tool that is trusted by global firms to manage business information and ensure that it is easily accessible to their target audience. A versatile tool, Plan.io, helps you in issue tracking, project management, version control, file syncing, and more.
Designed for project managers, teams as well as startups, this tool is extremely effortless to use, keeps the chaos at bay, and provides a secure system for data protection.
✓ Role-Based System
Assign roles and permissions and exercise full control over who is responsible for what. ✓ Workflow Management
Create workflows to maintain clarity and transparency regarding the status of a particular task. ✓ Your Content, Your Way
Use the variety of formatting features to style your content and give it a professional appearance. ✓ Structure
Create parent and child pages and a table of contents to shape your document in the way you want. Pricing:
starts at 149€/month
Ready to Adopt the Best Technical Writing Tool?
- So, now you have a complete list of the 10 best technical documentation software. Compare features, pricing, and understand how they can help you before zeroing in on one.
- Picking one tool is definitely challenging, especially when each one offers something unique. The only way out here is to identify your requirements and shortlist a few tools that you think best meet your criteria. Post that, go through their trial versions, if they offer, and make the final decision based on your experience with the product.
The importance of technical documentation can hardly be stressed enough. It is used for marketing, for explaining your product to non-technical people, as a training tool and above all as a support resource that helps users with special needs or requirements.
You’re a technical writer and you’ve been tasked to write “the web site copy”. You want your website content to be good enough that anyone visiting it would understand. And to do so, you are likely to use “the right tool”. You started your search for Best tool for writing technical documentation. You were surprized by the lack of information on this niche. Our research shows that writing technical documentation is among the top three most difficult tasks software engineers face, but this fact is not known to many people which results in poor work being done by non-technical writers.