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A user manual (also called a user guide) is a technical communication document intended to give assistance to people using a particular system. It is usually written by a technical writer, although user manuals often are written by programmers, product or project managers, or other technical staff, particularly in smaller companies.


User guides are most commonly associated with electronic goods, computer hardware and software.

Most user guides contain both a written guide and the associated images. In the case of computer applications, it is usual to include screenshots of how the program should look, and hardware manuals often include clear, simplified diagrams. The language used is matched to the intended audience, with jargon kept to a minimum or explained thoroughly.

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