January 2012

21 01 2012

Inside this issue:


From the Editor’s Desk

21 01 2012
Alex Garcia

Alex Garcia

Hello friends and members of the Orlando Chapter STC!

I’m currently in the midst of a marathon (20 days and counting) editing cycle at work, but here I am to faithfully bring you another issue of Memo to Members. No “ado” this month, let’s get to the articles! 🙂

Are you on Facebook? “Like” the Orlando Chapter STC at: Orlando Chapter STC on Facebook

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Do YOU have an article you’d like to submit for Memo to Members? Don’t be shy… email me at  newsletter@stc-orlando.org You will get an Active Member point for your submission

Alex Garcia
Orlando Chapter STC Memo to Members

President’s Corner

21 01 2012

Karen Lane

By Karen Lane
Orlando Chapter STC

Chapter members and friends:

Usually in my messages, I like to bring you some thoughts about upcoming programs and plans or else introduce you to some people who help move the business of the chapter forward. Here I will do a little of that, but my first item concerns last month’s Holiday Reunion meeting. Those of you who were there know that the evening was very special, thanks to our amazing vice president and meeting planner, Debra Johnson. The setting at the Lake Mary Marriott was lovely and festive, and the meal was delicious. We had an opportunity to get together in a slightly different way from our usual gatherings, and the beauty of the occasion was enhanced many times over by the presence of some of our past leaders—some of them still members and others retired. For newer members and especially for students and recent graduates, the distance between themselves and the more senior professionals could in another context have been a wide gulf. Our chapter is different, and the newer practitioners and the seasoned veterans mingled and socialized with grace and pleasure. If you were there, you know what I mean. If you were not, I’m sorry and we missed you. I have said it before, but it remains true: Our community is unique in STC and surely also in the larger context of professional organizations as a whole. Pictures of the festivities appear below.

 With this situation in mind, I ask you to please remember to renew your membership.  I can assure you that your membership is worth much more than you pay for it—you have only to reach out to receive its benefits. The membership year ended December 31, so if you haven’t renewed you’re on borrowed membership time, and the Society will be dropping you from our chapter roster. Please do not let this happen. Our members are our riches: we each bring something to the community that benefits others, and we each receive benefits in turn. If you have any questions, please contact our membership manager, David Coverston (membership@stc-orlando.org). He is the man with the answers.

 By now you’ve probably put away your holiday decorations and you’re busy resuming your regular activities. As with everyone else, your STC colleagues are doing the same, and this month that means we’re back in work mode and planning a really special meeting for you. January is the month we traditionally offer a joint meeting with the Future Technical Communicators club at UCF. This year’s meeting on January 24th features Joe Welinske, president of WritersUA (http://www.writersua.com/), who will be talking to us on the topic “Optimize the Googleability of Your Content.” You won’t want to miss this unique opportunity to learn from one of the leaders in our field. Best of all, the meeting admission is free. Your only cost is your UCF parking. Check out our Web site (stc-orlando.org) for information on time, location, and RSVP link.

 Your AdCo has already been making plans for the coming months. As we move into winter, we have some useful programs coming up, and I hope you’ll make the effort to be part of the chapter’s events. Each and every person is important in our chapter, and when you attend our meetings you are part of our collegial group. Everyone is welcome—members and non-members, veterans and newbies, students and professionals. And we hope that if you see a gap in what we are providing, you will let us know so we can investigate and rectify any omissions. Our chapter has no independent existence without our members and colleagues, and you can make of the chapter whatever suits your needs. If you need something we’re not covering, let us know or offer to provide it. If you’re missing it, perhaps other people are, too.

 I  look forward to working together with you, my STC friends and colleagues, in the coming year.

 Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!



A View From Number Two

21 01 2012

Debra Johnson

by Debra Johnson
Vice President
Orlando Chapter STC

Debra is currently the Lead Documentation Specialist at Wyndham Vacation Ownership in Orlando, FL where she is responsible for setting up and leading the Technical Communications discipline within Wyndham’s Information Technology department.


Happy New Year Everyone! Hope you had a great Holiday!

It’s time for the annual joint meeting of STC-Orlando and the Future Technical Communicators at  UCF.

The subject this year is “Optimizing the Googleability of your Content”…presented by Joe Welinske, of WritersUA

According to Joe, despite our best efforts at developing user assistance, it is increasingly likely that your users will turn to Google for answers to questions about your product or software.  The success Google has in providing quick answers to difficult questions has made it a natural resource to help with software…even provide software tutorials, online help, FAQs, forums, and email support.  Since this trend will probably continue, we need to learn how to “embrace the beast.” 

Join us to learn more about this exciting topic on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 starting at 6:30 pm in the UCF Pegasus Ballroom (inside the Student Union).

There is no cost for the meeting, however here is a small charge to park on campus. ($5 or less)

RSVP to me at vicepresident@stc-orlando.org.

We hope you’ll join us!


Tool Tips

21 01 2012

David Coverston

by David Coverston
Membership Manager
Orlando Chapter STC

In my last ToolTips column, I wrote about an ebook reader, Calibre. Calibre lets you manage your ebooks, but will not let you edit them. For that, you’ll need Sigil. Sigil is a WYSIWYG epub book editor in an editing environment. If you have access to the original source files, obviously you will want to edit those files and re-publish to ebook format. If not, then Sigil is a good way to make corrections. You can use Sigil to create new files, but I doubt that is a very efficient way to work.

Sigil is a free and open source software under GPLv3. The website is http://code.google.com/p/sigil/ ; follow the Downloads link on the site to get it. There are versions for Windows. Macs, and Linux machines, so make sure you get the correct version for your operating system. There is a 64-bit version for Windows, so again, make sure to get the correct version.

The default main user interface contains an editing panel and a Book Browser panel. The various parts that make up the book are displayed in the Book Browser. These include the XHTML files, the CSS files, and the images.

You can view and edit the XHTML code, and the CSS code with Sigil, but not the graphic files. Changes made in the code view show in the WYSIWYG view. Likewise, changes made to the CSS style sheet will show in the text formatting. Sigil gives you a code view, text view, and a split view, shown below.

Double-click the files in the Book Browser to open them for editing. Each file you open displays in a tab in the main pane. These tabs can then be closed, reordered or opened again. As you can see in the screenshot above, I have opened the title page, the two CSS files, and the chapter 1 file, and then applied bold formatting to a sentence using the editing tools.

Editing tools include text bold, italic, underline, and strikethrough. Justification tools, bullets, numbering and indentation tools are included, along with cut/copy/paste and undo/redo. There is a find and replace function that also include regular expression searching. A slider at the bottom of the editing window lets you adjust the size of the text display.

The link to the manual from the interface leads to an error message, but you can access it at http://web.sigil.googlecode.com/git/contents.html .

I would not want to do a full scale publishing project with Sigil, although it is possible. But for home use or for quick fixes, this is a great tool.

FTC: Look How Far They’ve Come

21 01 2012


Brittney Adams

   By Brittney Adams
   Future Technical Communicators at UCF



The UCF chapter of FTC has been very busy planning events and activities to revamp the organization. This semester, the officers of FTC will be working on recruiting new members and improving their productivity. Among these events are several speakers from the community, game nights for networking, technical writing group projects, and workshops. FTC will also be speaking to several classes at UCF in an attempt to draw in more members. They are going to rewrite the constitution so that it is accurate and better suited to the organization’s needs.

In addition to the election of new officers, they will be forming brand new committees. These committees include Public Relations, Fundraising, and Membership. These committees will be working on gathering new members, promoting FTC on campus, and fundraising so that next year’s FTC group will have more money to hold events. They will also be electing a Web Architect, who will maintain and update the Website on the UCF server. FTC is also looking forward to raising money for the STC Summit and spreading the word about careers in technical communication.

FTC will now be having meetings every Tuesday from 9:15-10:15am in the technical writing lab (Colbourn Hall, room 203). They will be having officer meetings every other Thursday from 4:30-5:30pm at the same location. Students are welcome to attend the officer meetings if the Tuesday meetings do not fit into their schedules. It is FTC’s hope that this semester will create beneficial changes to the organization so that more students are aware of the opportunities they offer. They welcome all STC members to stop by and visit!

Did You Know? – Your MySTC password

21 01 2012

Erika Higgins


By Erika Higgins
Director-at-Large/Communications Chair
Orlando Chapter STC

If you have not joined MySTC yet, what are you waiting for? MySTC is essentially STCs professional version of Facebook without Farmille or cat videos. (not that there’s anything wrong with that.) If you don’t have or don’t remember your password, fear not. Simply enter your username (which is most likely your member id number) and then click on the Forgot Your Password link to be emailed a new, temporary password. Once you have logged in with the temp password, you can click on MySTC on the STC.org toolbar and select Change Password in the Self Service sub section. It is that simple! Once you are in, be sure to find me via the Friends tab and become one of my MySTC friends, and, of course, be sure to join the Orlando Chapter group via the Groups tab. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at erikabhiggins@gmail.com. Until next month…