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How to make a Tutorial

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Level 87
RIP w-hat the fork
How to Make a Tutorial

I've seen a lot of tutorials in my life, some of them excellent, but most are rather bland, disorganized, unkempt, or just hard to follow. Because of that, I have decided to make this wonderful tutorial.
In this tutorial, I will suggest tips, advice, mandatory items, and a nice format for you to use in your future tutorial making. Feel free to skip past any giant block of text you'd like, but having a nice tutorial is definitely worth the read.

Tip One: Proper Headers
A lot of people aren't aware of this very simple, basic feature of changing font size, color, and style. Although I do not recommend changing the font style (unless it's to something mono-space, which is very clean and easy for programming), the Size and Color can be useful for introducing various steps throughout your tutorial.
Size should obviously be scaled to a larger value to show the importance of something you are describing. In my example, I used font size 18, which I will continue using for the remainder of the tutorial to show various steps, and tips.
Color can be a bit trickier to handle. You do NOT want to choose the color of the background your text is going to be placed on, nor do you want to choose something similar to it. People would like to read what you write. At the same time, don't make your color the opposite of what the rest of your text is. Bright orange might contrast well with blue, but it is not pleasant to look at. Go by my example, and you will see that I chose the color Teal for the introduction to this tip. It stands out just fine, and doesn't look ridiculous either!
This advice yet so far can be applied to all of your text, so let's talk about something more dependent on our subject.
Headers are these little bits of text you throw at the start of a segment of text, to describe it. Things that are common are your Title, and the various Steps you use in your tutorial. Don't be afraid to have smaller headers for various steps within a step, just be sure to use a smaller font size than the step's name's font, but bigger than your body of text.
Another formatting tip: Double Space around header's can help break the flow of your text. You don't want a giant block of text like I have!

Tip 2: Screenshots!
Screenshots are an invaluable method of describing something at hand, showing exactly where things are, and for making your tutorial look prettier.
Be sure to use plenty of example images when discussing your tutorial!
A common thing I see, is at the end of a post, there will be 5-20 screenshots for the tutorial. You really don't need that many in one place. Disperse your screenshots throughout your thread's original post, so people who get tired of reading can look at something, and so you don't have to scroll past an endless amount of images.

A note on adding images to your post:
If it is a screenshot, please do not link us to the website you hosted your image on. Remove the
Code: [Select]
tags. However, if it is a thumbnail of a screenshot (should only do this if the image is too wide or too long to fit to a standard forum), then go ahead and link DIRECTLY to the image file. These end with the file type, ".png" and ".jpg" mostly.
~Side Note: Png file's are usually the best format for your images, as they are lossless. Jpg files are heavily compressed often, but they are useful for camera pictures, drawings, and things that do not need transparency.

Tip 3: English is the Best Language
Your writing skills play a heavily important role in your tutorial. The ability to read is vital to your success.
Get a spell checker. I don't care if you think you are competent or not; everyone makes mistakes. One of the most humiliating things to do is to have to go back and revise your script because you spelled something incorrectly and people are yelling at your illiteracy. It happens sometimes, but less often if you have something to check for spelling.
Spelling isn't the only key aspect to English. So is grammar and punctuation. This is something spell checkers often don't check for, so you need to actually pay attention to your writing. Don't forget to close your sentences with a ".", to seperate elements with a ",", and add a " ' " to your conjoined words ("Don't","Can't","I'm"). A ":" is useful for indicating an upcoming list, and a ";" is useful for sticking two sentences together that don't quite go without the other.
Indication for scripts and code is also nice. Don't you ever forget about the
Code: [Select]
tag! Admittedly, I've been using it incorrectly for this forum, so be sure to use it for several lines of code, and not just one word  :).
Once you are done writing your tutorial, go over it for spelling, grammar, punctuation, phrasing, and repetitive or redundant words. Having having "Having" three time's in a row can be annoying to readers, but so can reusing the same verb or adjective countless times throughout your tutorial. Try to have an extensive vocabulary!

Tip 4: Edit Your First Post
ALWAYS and I mean always edit your first post when you add new content. You can be lazy and get away with linking to your future post with your new information that you added after several responses, but it's best to just edit everything directly into your first post. This is the first thing everyone sees, and the only thing they should have to see. If your tutorial skills are great enough, it'll encourage people to continue reading your thread. Likewise, if you have a very bad tutorial, people will waste their time reading through your thread in hopes of understanding what it is you are trying to convey. Your first post is your child, treat it well.

Tip 4: Give the Reader Information
Sometimes, when writing a tutorial, people will assume the reader knows something that may be obvious to the OP. For instance, I had just used the acronym "OP", which some of you may not be familiar with. You, as the writer are obliged to describing terminology and events that you may take for granted. By the way, "OP" stands for "Original Poster", describing the person who made the thread. You can often get away without being overly descriptive by throwing "Advanced" in your tutorial, showing that you need previous knowledge to do your tutorial, but you should always state what the players should know before trying your tutorial.
As far as information goes, there isn't much to say because it is incredibly dynamic to the type of tutorial you have, but a general rule of thumb is to be thorough, descriptive, and never skip any steps.

Tip 5: Introductions and Conclusions
You should always have an introduction and a conclusion encompassing your body of text which is your tutorial. Let the readers know what is in the tutorial before they have to figure it out. Let the readers know what has been accomplished after finishing your tutorial, and how your method can be improved, or common mistakes. Leaving out an introduction can be disastrous, but so can not including a nice little outro.

 Be knowledgeable. Take your time. Reread your work. Be prepared to answer questions. If you follow this simple advice, you can create wonderful tutorials for everyone to read, and sound smart while doing so.
As for this tutorial? Well, for the time being I may add content and a future date, but in the meantime, feel free to add suggestions or make corrections. As a mentor I am always expecting advice to better my peers and students.
Huge sig is huuuuge.

Level 85
Now all we need is a tutorial on how to make a tutorial about making tutorials ... :D

Level 97
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hehe, good idea zzzdude.