From a client's review of a draft manual:

"I have completed my review. This document is first class work. I am very happy with it in all ways. As I was reading for the third time, I asked myself, 'Should there be more detail here?', or 'Is this overly simplistic?', and in every case the final answer was 'No'."

From programmers at Texas Instruments whose software I documented:

"It was great working with you. I think you've spoiled me forever on what to expect from a tech writer."

"As usual, you caught a number of inconsistencies in the software and forced me to re-think a number of issues."

"Thanks for your incredibly good work. (Everyone is impressed.)"

From a webzine review of Pocket Finance, for which I did HTML-based help for the PC and Windows CE components:

"The final benefit of using Pocket Finance ... is the fantastic help support. Over the past two years, I have seen dozens and dozens of CE products, but I cannot remember ever seeing such incredibly detailed and well laid-out help.

"Pocket Finance's PC help support system explains in great depth the account transferring process, using Pocket Finance on your H/PC, and much more. Help is packed with color H/PC screen shots, PC shots, and tons of information. If you have any question about the Pocket Finance system, you can be sure that it is covered somewhere in help. One feature [it includes] that is not [normally] available in Windows CE help is the indexing system. If you would like to search for a topic, hit the "Index" button and you are on your way.

"The help system that ships with Pocket Finance is jaw-dropping--a dream for Windows CE users, offering a plethora of program information, explaining every aspect of Pocket Finance and its administration program."

My award-winning AOLpress tutorial garnered lots of raves, including these unsolicited comments from customers:

  • "Thanks for the tutorial. It makes this a terrific package to work with!"
  • This is the "best tutorial I have ever seen. Best way to learn about the Internet!"
  • "Loved the tutorial! Can't wait to try it more."
  • "This morning I downloaded the software and I have just finished the tutorial. All I can say is 'WOW!'. ... Thanks for the tutorials. It definitely make this a terrific package to work with."
  • "Special thanks for the tutorial. If only all programs could do it that way."
  • "It is *wonderful* -- I have never found a more useful, comprehensive tutorial anywhere -- it's a joy to use."

A trade press review called the Sapiens Ideo tutorial I wrote "one of the best primers in object-oriented programming I've seen."

"Your tutorial made the purpose and power of the product so clear that [the company that purchased us] probably paid more for us because they really understood what they were getting." -- project manager

"Your API documentation for DSP/BIOS is so useful and well-organized. I'm using the same format to document my code that uses the API for our other engineers. Kudos to the manual designers." -- Micom engineer

"This is a quick note to thank you for the NanoTheater. The work you've done is exceptional. The enthusiasm with which the presentation is made impressed me most. After all, Digital Instruments is a producer of scientific devices and that can result in a very staid, dry seriousness. Instead, the site exudes the joy of discovery, and it makes for an exciting adventure." -- John Pearley Huffman, Editor at Large, Motor Trend Magazine

"By the way, I continue to get compliments on your manuals. Nearly everyone thinks we have better documentation than most other products. This includes people inside and outside the company." -- Mike Dion, SmartStar president

"Just thought you might like to know, a customer just mentioned to me how much he likes the SmartStar documentation. He says it's easy to find what he needs in it." -- Lynda Poe, customer support representative

"I just wanted to let you know that I am very impressed with the documentation for Beta. You've done such a wonderful job, it really makes my job 10 times easier." -- Sandy Adams, training manager


  • APEX 2001 Award of Excellence in the "Hardware & Software Manual Writing" category for the Molecular Force Probe (MFP) Installation and Startup Guide.
  • STC Associate Fellow (2001): Awarded "for her outstanding leadership, vision, scholarly contribution, and strong support of technical communicators worldwide; and to the profession of technical communication."
  • Best of Show and Award of Distinguished Technical Communication, Lone Star Web Page Competition, for the Santa Barbara STC chapter web site. (1997-98)
  • Award of Achievement, Lone Star Web Page Competition, for the STC Region 8 web site. (1997-98)
  • Award of Excellence, Orange County Technical Publications Competition, for the AOLpress User's Guide. (1997-98)
  • Award of Achievement, International Online Communications Competition, for the AOLpress online tutorial. (1996-97)
  • Award of Distinguished Technical Communication, STC Chapter Newsletter Competition for the Shell. (1992)
  • Distinguished Chapter Service Award, Santa Barbara chapter. (1991)


... and my secret (since you've read this far) is that Scott Adams once used an idea I sent him for three Dilbert strips. Unfortunately, I can't say which ones because I'm under a non-disclosure agreement with my source at the guilty company. (No, they didn't involve Tina the brittle technical writer...)


Copyright 2011, Yvonne DeGraw