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... especially those of you who are inexperienced, either with
LibreOffice or with technical writing.

I recommend you join the users support list and/or the forum (see
links below) and read the questions and answers. From this you will
get an idea of the questions users ask. Do you know the answers? If
not, go through the user guides and help and try to find the answers.
This exercise will help you become (more) familiar with both the
program and the existing documentation.

You will find that many questions are very basic and are easily
answered by the regulars on the list or forum. But some questions are
not so easily answered. Often that is because the person asking the
question does know how to explain their problem very well, but
sometimes it's because the question is complex or is related to the
use of more complex parts of LibreOffice. Sometimes the "real"
question is clear if you are familiar with what the user is trying to
do or if you recognise they are using Microsoft terminology and
LibreOffice's terms are different; the user may in fact be asking the
wrong question to get the answer they need.

I encourage you to answer the more difficult questions on the list or
forum, but only if you actually know the answer. (In the past I've
seen many people attempt to be helpful but give a wrong answer -- or
answer the wrong question, because they misunderstood what the
questioner was trying to ask.) Answering questions can be good
practice for writing documentation, and often you can then turn your
answers into FAQs or Howtos or blog posts or other documents. You
might also identify things that should be in the user guides, or
things that are in the guides but not as well written as they should
be or not mentioned in places where users might think to look for
them.

In other words, spending time on the user support list and/or forum
can be a big win/win on several levels.

To subscribe to the users list, send email to
users+subscribe@global.libreoffice.org

To join the forum, go to http://user.services.openoffice.org/en/forum/
 and click Register in the upper right.

--Jean

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