Technical Publications for the Common Man

Our "Common Man" blog series is committed to bringing you the most easy-to-digest information on translation industry topics and technologies. In our most recent edition, we covered Lionbridge's creative service known as transcreation.  This week's entry into the Common Man canon concerns technical publications.

What exactly are technical publications, and when and why should  you use them? Read on to find out!

what are technical publications?

Technical publications, sometimes referred to as "tech pubs," are documents created to help readers use or understand a product or service. Tech pubs can take the form of manuals, design plans, interactive online learning courses, etc. Those in charge of creating tech pubs are usually referred to as "technical writers." These writers are trained in technical authoring and must possess a very specific writing skill set in order to author technical documentation.

When looking at tech pubs, the key word to focus on is "technical." These documents are designed to be straightforward and error-free. Tech pubs employ no flowery language because their purpose is to provide the functionality or structure of a product or service in as concise a manner as possible. 

WHEN AND WHY SHOULD YOU USE Technical publications?

One example of a technical publication is a car manual. A car manual, although boring to read, is extremely organized and tells you exactly what you need to know about your vehicle - just as a tech pub should.

Imagine you are trying to decipher the lights on your car's dashboard, and you decide to consult your handy dandy car manual. Now imagine that the manual reads like a novel, replete with jokes and metaphors. Would you want to have to read through all that simply to find out what the orange dash light means? Probably not. 

In scenarios such as this, when technical information must be presented in a clean format so that reader's brain can properly process it, a tech pub is the solution.

the bottom line

Lionbridge offers technical authoring (meaning we employ our own technical authors) with years of experience in the industry. So, if you need to focus on other aspects of your business, such as product development or marketing, we can take care of the tech pub creation.

And, as always, we offer first-in-class translation services for all pre-written tech pubs.

If you would like to learn more about technical publications, or if you have questions about Lionbridge's wide scope of translation capabilities, please visit our website

Please join us again next week for another informative article!