Technical Writing, User Manuals

End User Guides, Quick Reference Guides

Diplomas: A Printed Record of e-Learning (End user guide for LMS administrators)

Facilitator and Participant Guide (PDF; for Instructor-led training; used macros for single source)

How to e-Learn (Marketing and QRG for internal employees)

Using the Outlook iCalendar (End user QRG; PNG image)

Release Notes

How Do I Write Release Notes?

Someone once asked me if I could write release notes for their software application project. After I told them “Yes”, I then wrote a blog post on my (now retired) former blog site. I’ve copied and pasted that post over to this page to answer others’s questions. Yes, I can help you with your Release Notes!

image two hats instructional designer technical writer

I have a strong background in technical writing. In fact, for the majority of my career I’ve worn two hats simultaneously: instructional designer and technical writer, when I worked for large corporations with small training and documentation budgets.

Then, some years ago I dove head first into instructional design (ILT) and in 2007, I moved into e-learning design and added e-learning development to my tool box of skills. But, I digress.

Here’s my philosophy on how to write release notes for software programs. I’m very open to following a client’s template to get the job done.

Release notes:

  • Explain what changed in the software’s new version compared to the previous version.
  • Are brief, and written for the intended audience (end user, internal customer service, etc.).
  • Communicate clearly the most important news and features of the newly released version.
  • Contain links to user assistance resources (online help, tech support).
  • Can contain all previous notes of prior versions, with the most current notes at the top of the document file. (Depends on the client’s preference.)

Release Notes Format – My Suggested Approach:

  • Product’s name
  • New version number
  • Release date
  • One (brief) sentence overview
  • System requirements (additions and deletions)
  • What’s new (additions)
  • What’s been removed (removals or deletions)
  • What’s changed (changes)
  • What we fixed (fixes)
  • Links to user assistance resources:
    • Installation manual
    • Quick start guide
    • User manual
    • Archive of release notes
    • Online help
  • Help Desk (tech support or customer service, or both) contact information

So, if you’re wanting someone to write release notes for your product, yes, I can do that for you.

Image credits and thanks to:

Magician’s Hat:  OpenClipArtVectors on

Hard Hat:  ClkerFreeVectorImages on