From The Editor’s Desk

Hello everyone!

After a couple of months dealing with laptop problems, online problems, oh and taking care of zombies, serial killers and the like at Halloween Horror Nights (working at Universal), I am back with a new issue of Memo to Members!  Please read through this issue, there are some good topics as well as information to attend our next meeting in the “View From Number Two” article.

Have a great rest of your month and a Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

LABEL EDITING: GREAT THINGS IN SMALL PACKAGES

Leah Guren

Tuesday, 25 November | 12:00–1:00 PM EST (GMT-5)

What do you, as a TC, need to know about the text that appears on your products? Learn how you can you use your skills to help improve the product UX.

IF YOUR CONTENT COULD TALK…

Suzanne Mescan, Vasont Systems

Wednesday, 3 December | 2:00–3:00 PM EST (GMT-5)

If your content could talk, what would it say to you? The reality is that your content is talking to you all the time. If you learn to listen to your content, you will learn how to use it as a distinct advantage. Join this session to learn techniques for using your content to drive positive customer perceptions and boost sales for your organization.

LEAN & MEAN TRANSLATION MACHINE

Terena Bell, In Every Language

Wednesday, 10 December | 2:00–3:00 PM EST (GMT-5)

Apply Lean and Six Sigma to translation? Sure! Using real client case studies, Terena Bell of In Every Language shows how manufacturers and others can apply Lean and Six Sigma to web and document content, turning translation from a cost center into a profit driver.

TOPIC-BASED WRITING: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

Phoebe Forio, Verint Systems, Inc.

Wednesday, 17 December | 2:00–3:00 PM EST (GMT-5)

Structured Authoring and Minimalism. Just what you need to get your content in shape and under control. But how do you get there from here? This webinar follows the adventures of one writer and her team of handpicked side-kicks as they planned and began their journey from the familiar, unstructured book formats of FrameMaker to the very unfamiliar world of topic-based writing, DITA, and XML. Attend this webinar to find out how creative problem-solving can help you get past the technical, political, logistical, and even emotional challenges and obstacles you can encounter even on a well-planned journey.

HOW TO WRITE A WINNING PROJECT PROPOSAL

Judith E. Shenouda, Owner, Shenouda Associates Inc.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015 | 2:003:00 PM EST (GMT-5)

Project proposals serve as our written communication vehicle to decision-makers who give us work or send it elsewhere. What we say in writing and how we say it are critical. In this webinar, we will explore ways to make our project proposals win us work, time and again.

AN INTROVERT’S JOURNEY TO LEADERSHIP

Ben Woelk, Rochester Institute of Technology

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 | 2:00–3:00 PM EST (GMT-5)

Many of us would agree that Western society lauds extroverted leaders and their accomplishments. However, introverts have made great contributions as well and can be effective leaders in their own right. Have you wondered how to empower yourself and leverage your innate skills to become a leader? Join Ben Woelk as he shares his personal insights and path to leadership with you.

 

R.D. Sharninghouse
Secretary and Editor, Memo 2 Members Newsletter
rdsharninghouse@gmail.com

The President’s Corner

Debra JohnsonThe President’s Corner

By Debra Johnson, President
Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter
president@stc-orlando.org


(I want to give a special nod to Mike Murray, Associate Fellow, and former STC Orlando Central FL President)

If you haven’t already, you’ll soon be receiving notification from the Society for Technical Communication (STC) asking you to renew your membership online. As you complete the renewal process, you’ll be asked to select the type of membership you want. The following table displays the membership categories and associated benefits that come with each.

2015 Membership Dues

Current membership dues rates effective 15 September-28 February 2015

Membership Category Included in Membership Current Dues** Adjusted Dues
(See List of Eligible Countries)
Classic Membership
  • Online Publications
  • Free On-Demand Webinars
  • Salary Database
  • Job Bank
  • $225
  • Add $25 per chapter
  • Add $10 per SIG
  • $50
  • Add $10 per chapter
  • Add $5 per SIG
Gold Value Package
(available only until 31 May)
  • Classic Membership Benefits
  • 1 Chapter
  • All selected SIGs
  • 5 Live Webinars
  • 20% off Online Courses
  • Summit Really Early Bird
    Pricing Anytime
  • A print subscription to Intercom
    (introduced June 2014)
       $425          $425
New TC Professional
(graduated within past three years)
  • Classic Membership Benefits
  • 1 Chapter
  • 1 SIG
       $160          $160
Student Membership
  • Classic Membership Benefits
  • 1 Student Chapter
  • 1 Professional Chapter
  • Academic SIG
  • 1 Other SIG
        $75           $25
Retired Membership
(contact
Membership Dept. for eligibility)
  • Classic Membership Benefits
  • 1 Chapter
  • 1 SIG
       $145          $145


Don’t forget to select chapter affiliation for $25.00

So what can you get for the price of choosing a Chapter Affiliation for $25.00?

The answer is – pretty much the world of technical communications! What value do you personally put on even one of the following benefits of chapter affiliation, let alone all of them?

  • Chapter members-only access to job opportunities
  • Chapter members-only access (coming soon) to chapter meeting presentations and handouts
  • Demonstrations of the latest technical communications processes and tools
  • Direct contact with industry experts (speakers and members)
  • Hands-on exhibits, including award-winning documentation
  • Instant, real-time, face-to-face network of experts in various fields willing to help with your technical communications questions
  • Personal job assistance and access to potential employers
  • Special training opportunities of all kinds, such as telephone seminars, weekend workshops, university presentations, and more
  • “Soft” skills training, such as leadership, mentoring, public speaking, team development and management, business budgeting, long-range planning, and lots of self-confidence

 

Will you invest an extra $25 in your career… and in your future?

The English author C. S. Lewis once said, “The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he be.”  Take the time now to invest in your future because the future is now! Of course, you could always spend the $25 on a movie for a meal at a restaurant for short-term pleasure. As for myself, my future is worth hundreds of times that $25. How about you?

A View From Number Two

Mary Burns

By Mary Burns
Vice President
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC
Vicepresident@stc-Orlando.org

 

 

The View from Number 2

We people of the 2010’s deal with a proliferation of portals, hubs, and pages for managing all manner of interactions with the larger world. Many are intuitive—for someone else. They make you play “Find the Login.” You want to spend five minutes checking your account; they want you to fill out a questionnaire. They’re worse than a teenager for changing their look every time you access them. You find yourself doing the hyperlink equivalent of paddling in a circle. You attempt a task—and a message cheerfully informs you that the system can’t fulfill that request right now…try again later!

To me, the most usable application is the one that I can forget, that just lets me do what I need to and get back to my life.

Of course, I realize that developing such an application, and creating the documentation for it, is much easier said than done. That’s why I’m excited about our November meeting, presented by an expert in the field of usability, Dr. Karla Saari Kitalong of Michigan Technological University. I hope you will join us!

PROGRAM: Thursday, November 20

LOCATION: Winter Park Civic Center, 1050 West Morse Blvd., Winter Park, FL  32789

TIME: 6:15 PM New member orientation; 6:30 PM Networking/Refreshments; 7:00 PM Meeting

COST: $10 Student, $15 STC Member, $20 Non-Member. First-timers free.

RSVP/REGISTER at http://stcorlando.eventbrite.com.

Contact vicepresident@stc-orlando.org with questions.

Notepad++ vs. Framemaker

David Coverston

By David Coverston
Director-At-Large
Membership Chair
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC

Use Notepad++ to do what FrameMaker can’t

One common use of the Windows Notepad application is to remove formatting when copying and pasting text from one document to another.  I think a better alternative is Notepad++. This free, open source program has all sorts of features, even some that FrameMaker doesn’t.  In this article, I will explain how I use Notepad++ to quickly perform three functions that I can’t do in FrameMaker.

The latest is Notepad++ version is 6.6.9 as of this writing, and is available from http://notepad-plus-plus.org/.  I recommend downloading the Notepad++ Installer version, which is a .msi file. Double-click it to run the installation. After you have installed Notepad++, you will also want to install the TextFX plugin. This plugin adds several nifty tools that technical writers can use. To add in the plugin, click Plugins > Plugin Manager > Show Plugin Manager. Notepad++ displays a host of plugins, but scroll down until you locate TextFX Characters, select it, then click Install.

2014_11_NotepadVsFramemaker

 

Restart Notepad++ and the TextFX plugin now displays in the menu bar. Like many other tools, there are a number of commands and functions that you will not use, at least not in the beginning.

 

Let’s start with a list of names I got from a random name generator on the Internet. You can substitute file names or any other paragraph of text you have to edit. Here is our material:

Angie Mccuin

Raymon Archambeault

Maryann Franko

Blanca Novak

Manie Molyneux

Jason Carpentier

Violeta Denzer

Candace Kowalski

Noe Rocha

Rocio Burnham

Select columns

The first thing I want to do is to eliminate the spaces in front of the list. To do this, hold the Alt key down, and click and drag from one corner of the area to the other. The column, represented by the gray area to the left of the list is selected. Press Delete to remove the spaces. Hint: You can also paste text like  a hyphen or asterisk,  and it will be pasted in front of all 10 items at once. Hint 2: You can also select and delete text like this in Word, but you can’t paste text in front of all the items at once. (The squiggly lines are words not in the dictionary).

2014_11_NotepadVsFramemaker2

 

Delete trailing spaces

When you select the list, you notice gray areas to the right of the items in the list.

2014_11_NotepadVsFramemaker3

 

These are extra space characters that I want to delete.  Forget the click and backspace or other method you might use. Press Control+A  to select all, then choose TextFX  > TextFX Edit > Trim Trailing Spaces. All spaces at the end are gone.

2014_11_NotepadVsFramemaker4

 

Sort  paragraphs

Now that you have you have your list cleaned up a bit, you want to alphabetize the list. Select all your list, then choose TextFX > TextFX Tools > Sort lines case sensitive at columns, or one of the other sort options.

2014_11_NotepadVsFramemaker5

 

And you have your list cleaned and sorted. Now you can drag and drop your text into a FrameMaker document. Hold the Control key if you want to copy your text.

Angie Mccuin

Blanca Novak

Candace Kowalski

Jason Carpentier

Manie Molyneux

Maryann Franko

Noe Rocha

Raymon Archambeault

Rocio Burnham

Violeta Denzer

 

Hint: You can choose View > Always on Top to make it easier to copy text out.