Chapter 1 Joining the Documentation Team
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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
- 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 (to be updated)
Where the group does its work on the user guides:
- The Document Foundation cloud, https://nextcloud.documentfoundation.org (login required). Working files are stored here as they are written, revised, reviewed, and edited. To get a login, please follow the instruction on this page.
- This Wiki, http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation/Development.
Where the group publishes its work:
- The LibreOffice Documentation website https://documentation.libreoffice.org.
- This Wiki, http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation. Here we place copies of published documents for easy download by users.
How we communicate:
- Mailing list, firstname.lastname@example.org. See #Documentation mailing list for subscription information.
How you can help
Here are some ways you can help.
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/
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.
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.
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?
Help writers by capturing, cropping, and labeling screenshots, or creating diagrams and other artwork.
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.
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) or Twitter account (@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 Documentation Team?
Most newcomers have an interest in some area of the software. Documentation is one of the easiest ways to participate. It is also important for you to understand your needs and desires when participating in a community of volunteers. Here are some of the personal interests you may recognize your own:
- You want to develop or improve skills in technical writing of software manuals.
- 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 keep 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 writing about LibreOffice and want our guides to have a richer content too.
- You think it is a way for you to feel connected and active, get in touch with people all over the world, around an important subject.
- You think LibreOffice is a fantastic project and you want to join anyway.
How to get started
Subscribe to the mailing list (see below), introduce yourself, tell us a bit about your experience and what interests you. Choose what you’d like to work on; see list in previous sections. You are welcome to ask for guidance on the list.
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
Login and subscription needed
Most tasks require the following:
- Documentation mailing list subscription – Most of our day-to-day communication takes place on the mailing list.
- Single signon to TDF wiki and NextCloud – Here is where the work is done.
Documentation mailing list
To subscribe, send a message to email@example.com and follow the instructions that will be mailed back to you.
- Other ways to read and contribute to the mailing list:
Single sign on to TDF wiki and NextCloud
Single sign on (SSO) provides access to several services provided by The Document Foundation, including NextCloud and the wiki.
To get your SSO username from TDF’s authentication services, follow the instructions on this page.
After your login is confirmed, contact the Documentation leader through the mailing list to obtain access to the LibreOffice Documentation folder on TDF NextCloud.
You can use the Log in link at the upper left corner of any wiki page, or go to https://user.documentfoundation.org, to access both services.