Technical manuals write-up and text editing tools…

For the last weeks I have been heavily involved in the write-up of technical academic manuals for flight test. Writing of academic manuals (textbooks) is not a simple task, as beside the technical content that has to be included, the most important part is the way it is presented so it can be followed and understood by the students. Beside those primary points, a significant characteristic of an academic manual is the consistency of the technical symbols, equations and figures as it drastically facilitates readability and clearness of the content. I was fortunate enough that during my PhD studies I did extensive work on revision and editing of academic manuals under the supervision of my professor, who was insisting for the slightest technical detail going down to symbolic differences between “ν” and “v” – and he was right!

For those who do not know, or for those who know and still insist not to change their habits, the best and only option for technical editing excellence is \LaTeX, which I also use in the equations of this blog. The consistency and automation in text formatting and presentation of complicated math equations is incomparable to the mainstream editing tool, which is definitely easier and faster on a short term basis but when you are looking for technical detail it can drive you crazy and even when you finish our documents does not look that good – as with most things in life, the easier option is not the best option. So, for all those out there that want to deliver technical writing excellence, get to use \LaTeX, and as soon as you dive in its world, you will comprehend the weakness and inadequacy of all other tools. Peace!


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