Be active and present

Strive for active voice and present tense in your documentation. Writing in active voice allows readers to place themselves as the subject in the documentation, and present tense tells readers what they can expect as they work through the topics.

While there are times using passive voice and future tense is appropriate, always keep your audience in mind and center your writing around the user as much as possible.

Active voice

Active voice makes content clear by indicating who or what performs the action, even when the subject is implied. Minimize the use of passive voice in your writing.

Correct
Click Print to print the document.
The forwarder sends data to the receiver.
Incorrect
When the Print button is clicked, the document is printed.
Data is sent to the receiver.

Present tense

Present tense allows readers to experience the documentation while they read it. Minimize the use of past tense or future tense in your writing.

Correct
The summary statistics continue to calculate allowed items, but the items don’t appear in the dashboard.
All apps are processed through the tool before they are published to DruCloud.
Incorrect
The summary statistics will continue to calculate allowed items, but they will not be displayed in the dashboard.
All apps will now be processed through the tool before being published to Drucare Cloud.
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