Types of Technical Documents

Types of Technical Documents

FAQ on Technical Writing

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Technical writing is more than just writing manuals on how to use or repair your TV. It includes various types of documents, even marketing ones. Read this article to learn more about technical documentation; it will be useful for novice tech writers who want to decide what type of documentation will be interesting.

Traditional Documentation

User guides, manual, ?How to? guides and the like are the most common types of technical documentation and they are the ones that always come to people?s mind when someone says ?technical documentation?. Let me describe some types in detail.

User Guides

User guides help people use a particular system like a piece of hardware or software. They provide clear and sensible information on common questions that users may face. User guides can also contain information on possible malfunctions and ways to fix them. An example is an online help for ClickHelp. It describes features, possibilities, and use cases of this software documentation tool.

Product Manuals

Product manuals are created in order to describe basic operations of a product, its main features, general maintenance, and more. Here is an example ? a page from a wristwatch manual:

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API Documentation

Technical writers create API documentation where they describe instructions about how to effectively use hardware (SCPIs), web-API, or software API. Usually, API documentation contains all the information required to work with the API, details about classes, functions, arguments, and the like, supported by examples and tutorials.

API documentation aims to help clients or users implement API and understand how it works. This type of documentation help businesses, for example, make it easier for users to interact with the code.

To learn more on API documentation, read this article:

What is API Documentation

In this article, I want to talk about API documentation ? what it is and why it matters.


Science Papers, Research, and Reports

Technical writers also work with professionals from other spheres like medicine, science, aerospace, engineering, and so on.

Speaking of science and medicine, researchers write papers with the results of their work but those results can be hard to explain to the broad audience, so authors ask tech writers to help them interpret and organize findings. These are published in journals, and because of that accuracy and content organization are very important ? and tech writers are best for this job.

Technical writers also assist business owners to help them create reports because clarity and accuracy of content are also required.

Technical Marketing Documentation

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Technical writing includes marketing content as well.Tech writers can create easy-to-interpret and concise articles which help clients understand how to properly operate a product. White papers, case studies, proposals are the examples of technical marketing documentation.

White Papers

The main goals of a white paper is to highlight a company?s success and help to promote the products or services of a company. As a marketing tool, white papers collect information on facts and logical arguments why this company and its product are the best. White papers usually focus on new solutions to an old problem, or the benefits of a B2B product or service.

Case Study

A case study is an analysis of a company, product, or a project that identifies a solution or situation that contributed to failure or success. Case studies allow potential buyers to see your product in action. They focus on a customer?s experience to show how a particular product or a service can help you and your business.


Technical writers also create proposals for B2B companies. Technical writers help to persuade the reader to approve a proposed project or implement a proposed plan. It may contain recommendations, results of surveys, technical background, information about feasibility, and so on.

Of course, there are other types and other classifications of technical documentation. For example, in the ClickHelp blog, the documentation types are divided by readers, industries and more. You can learn more here: ?Types of Technical Documents?.

What type of documentation do you create?

How did I become a technical writer? What skills do you need? Read FAQ on Technical Writing.

FAQ on Technical Writing

Many people who are interested in technical writing frequently ask me a lot of different questions, but here are the?



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