Joining the LibreOffice Documentation Team

From The Document Foundation Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
This page contains changes which are not marked for translation.


Previous: Preface Up: Preface Next: Producing LibreOffice User Guides (update in progress)

Who we are and what we do

The LibreOffice Documentation team is a group of volunteers who strive to provide high-quality guides in English for LibreOffice users.

You can become part of the Documentation team by contributing to one or more of our projects. No matter what your level of experience is, you can make a valuable contribution.

Here are some ways you can help: writing, reviewing, editing, research, maintenance, artwork. See “How you can help” below.

Examples of current projects:

  • User guides
  • FAQs
  • Help
  • Tutorials and how-tos

We also work with translators, many of whom use the English version of guides as their starting point. In a few cases, we start with translations from other languages and edit them for publication in English.

Where we work

Where the group does its work on the user guides:

Where the group publishes its work:

How we communicate:

How you can help

Here are some ways you can help.

Writing

If you are good at organizing information, explaining concepts, and writing instructions, you can help most by writing.

Ideally you are an experienced technical writer and have good English skills. But neither of those ideals are requirements, because other people can edit your English.

If you wish to write in another language, or help with translations, please contact the relevant native language project. See https://www.libreoffice.org/community/nlc/

Reviewing

If you don't feel confident of your writing skills or your level of knowledge about LibreOffice itself, reviewing a Help topic or a user guide chapter is a great way to start. Read the information while using LibreOffice. Is it written well for the audience? Are the instructions correct? Is anything missing? Are the screenshots up to date? Let us know what needs fixing, or correct it yourself.

Editing

Sometimes called “proofreading” although the two are not the same. Here you do need good English skills. In addition to correcting errors, editors help make the docs more readable.

Research

Writers often don’t have time to make sure existing docs are complete and up to date. You can help by reading the forums and mailing lists to see what questions users have. Is info missing from our docs, or just hard to find? Do we need a new FAQ, a how-to, or a section in a user guide?

Artwork

Help writers by capturing, cropping, and labeling screenshots, or creating diagrams and other artwork.

Indexing

Our user guides are produced in ODT, PDF, and printed forms. Book indexes may begin with automated tools, but they are much improved by people’s decisions about topics.

Publicity

If you are on any social media, share things you see about LibreOffice or our documentation, such as posts on the LibreOffice Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/libreoffice.org), Twitter account (@libreoffice), or Google+ (https://plus.google.com/+libreoffice/).

Suggestions and wish lists

New ideas are welcome. Is there a better way to do something? Discuss your ideas on the mailing list.

Why participate in the LibreOffice Documentation Team?

Most newcomers have interest in some area of the software LibreOffice and documentation is one of the easiest to enter. It is also very important for you to understand your needs and desires when participating in a community of volunteers. Our experience in Open Source software and communities indicates that every volunteer has a personal interest sometimes even selfish interest in helping the documentation of LibreOffice. There is no shame in that. Let’s see some of the valid personal interests you may recognize your own:

  • you want to develop skills in technical writing of software manuals, perhaps improving your current skills;
  • you want a new line in your professional resumé and documentation is a good way to get it;
  • you want to learn more in depth on a particular feature of LibreOffice and reviewing or authoring a chapter or section on the feature is a good way to fully master it;
  • you have time to spend and turn yourself busy in something you like to do;
  • you want to exercise your skills in the English language helping the team produce high quality documentation;
  • you conduct LibreOffice training and you use these guides. You want the documentation to be updated and improved;
  • you conduct a consulting job on LibreOffice and you found a new technique in the software you want to write about;
  • you are yourself writing about LibreOffice and want our guides to have a richer content too;
  • you think it is a way for you to feel important, connected and active, get in touch with people all over the world, around an important subject; or
  • you think LibreOffice is a fantastic project and you want to join anyway, period.

In any case, joining the Documentation Team must be a good thing for you.

How to get started

Sign up on the mailing list (see next page), introduce yourself, tell us a bit about your experience and what interests you.

  • Choose what you’d like to work on. You are welcome to ask for guidance on the list.
  • Decide what to do: see list in previous section.

What to read:

  • Relevant chapters of this Contributors’ Guide.
  • For user guides: Follow instructions in Chapter 2 of this Guide to write, review, or index chapters and create artwork. See other chapters of this Guide for information on writing style, use of paragraph and characters styles in the template, and so on.
  • For writing or editing Help: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/HelpContent

Accounts needed

Some tasks (such as research and reviewing) can be done without extra accounts, much knowledge of LibreOffice, or a lot of time or long-term commitment. However, most tasks require one or more of the following accounts.

Other ways to read and contribute to the mailing list:

Previous: Preface Up: Preface Next: Producing LibreOffice User Guides (update in progress)