Technical Writing & Manual Production

We can help you plan, design, write, and publish your user and workplace manuals.

We know how to create effective and user-friendly documentation, and we are ready to consult with you or to take charge over the entire process, from planning and design through writing and DTP. We can assess the needs of your target audience, explain how to go about filling those needs, and provide expert support over the entire communication process.

Today’s documentation can come in many forms—on the web, on disk, or on paper. Whatever its form, however, effective documentation remains essential to most business strategies and activities. Market surveys, sales and technical support, in-house training materials—these are just some examples of vital documentation that Obun can produce for you.
Good documentation can help you to cut costs and get results. We stand ready to provide original Japanese or English-language writing of hardware and software manuals, reference manuals, installation procedures, quick-start guides, and more. Our skilled and resourceful technical writers can obtain the information they need in a wide variety of ways—by reading specifications and data sheets, by working with prototypes, and by interviewing engineers. They can then produce high-quality manuals, with full backing from Obun’s professional editors, DTP specialists, and digital solutions experts.


Obun Printing, Technical Writing, and Manual Production

“All manual writers want to produce useful, easy-to-understand manuals. Alas, this is easier said than done.”

These words appear in the foreword to Techniques of Manual Production — The Basics, written jointly by High Technology Communications (HTC) and NTT, and published in 1990. HTC is an Obun affiliate specializing in manual production.

Obun has been active in manual production since before the above words were written, and in conjunction with the startup of HTC we also established our own internal document design center focusing on production of manuals for computers and word processors. In the intervening years we have continued to pursue the art of creating effective and accessible user documentation. Today, just as 15 years ago, our technical writers and editors are busily analyzing problems and making plans to further improve manual quality and usefulness.


About Technical Writing and Editing

People with no experience in the manual business may wonder what it is that a technical writer does. To put it simply: the technical writer gathers and analyzes all relevant information about the product or system at hand, and then organizes and writes a manual to explain the product or system to the end user.

When writing a computer manual, for example, the writer will read through the product specifications from the manufacturer, and will also consult with engineers. While the specs provide essential information, they are not in a form that would be meaningful to the end user. The writer must therefore come up with an overall approach for selecting, organizing, and presenting information in a way that is accessible and useful to the user.

A relatively new trend in manual production is to assign a manual director (or product manager) to take control of the overall production. At Obun, the manual director is at the center of the production effort, and creates a team consisting of writers, editors, translation coordinators, and other support staff.


Manual Production System

User Manuals for…

We have produced a wide variety of original documentation in many different languages—Japanese, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, and more. Typical Obun products are listed below.

  • Computers (user manuals, reference manuals, online manuals)
  • Mobile phones
  • Printers and fax machines
  • Digital cameras
  • Audio equipment
  • Medical equipment
  • Measuring equipment

Other Documentation

We have considerable experience in producing effective documentation to support business strategies and activities. Our products in this area include sales and technical support documents, in-house training manuals, and market surveys. We also produce general in-house documentation, such as codes of conduct, e-learning materials, and information system manuals (for ERP, SCM, CRM, and more).

  • Codes of Conduct
  • System manuals (ERP, SCM, CRM, etc.)
  • Work manuals
  • Sales manuals
  • Compliance manuals