Excel Manual
July 2, 2012 8:55 AM   Subscribe

Im writing a manual for an excel tool I wrote. Does anyone know any really nice templates I can use or let myself be inspired by? I just need help on the aesthetic part ;) It's one of those manuals with pictures and screenshots too :)

I've tried google but its either an information overload or not completely relevant, so excuse my poor google-fu.
I'm writing this in Word, as im not too good with latex.
posted by freddymetz to Writing & Language (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Microsoft Word comes with a set of templates. Click File > New. You then have a choice to use the templates that were shipped with Word, or browse/select from the many on Office.com. Why not use one of those? There's even one called Professional manual.
posted by Houstonian at 9:08 AM on July 2, 2012

Thanks for the tip, but i'm looking for alternatives to those!
posted by freddymetz at 9:18 AM on July 2, 2012

If you're just looking for visual inspiration, have a look at the documentation produced by Sphinx.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 9:53 AM on July 2, 2012

Find the Valve employee handbook from your search engine of choice and sigh at its beauty. It's my gold standard for this kind of thing.
posted by StephenF at 11:05 AM on July 2, 2012

Thank you, the Valve employee handbook is EXACTLY what I had in mind! Any tips on how to do that in word?
posted by freddymetz at 12:33 PM on July 2, 2012

Alas that's well beyond my reach - it was put together by seriously talented people. I would say just copy the ideas of the parts you like as closely as you can, but generating something of that quality is the work of a lifetime.
posted by StephenF at 12:43 PM on July 2, 2012

The metadata in the .pdf file says that it was created with Adobe InDesign, but I don't see anything in the document that cannot be done in Word. What parts are you having problems with?
posted by Houstonian at 2:41 PM on July 2, 2012

Im attempting it as we speak, the font seems to be Miramar? http://www.fontpalace.com/font-download/Miramar/

I'm having problems with the page background and the bold version of the font doesn't really work..
posted by freddymetz at 2:49 PM on July 2, 2012

The main font is New Baskerville. The dotted lines above and below paragraphs that have notes (like on p. 49) is from Old Newspaper Types. The timeline (starting on p. 19) uses Helvetica Neue.

For the background image that starts each chapter, put the image in the footer of the page.
posted by Houstonian at 3:14 PM on July 2, 2012

This will probably take you deeper than you want, but I made a wonderful looking manual with LaTeX. I scarcely did any design work, I let the program concentrate on that and I stuck with my writing.
posted by Folk at 6:21 PM on July 2, 2012

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