My tech writing setup

Chris Chinchilla
7 min readMay 17, 2023

In my previous post I covered my creative writing setup and the post proved quite popular, so I thank everyone who read and left comments for that. Next in this series of posts covering my various setups is my setup for technical writing. In this post I use the term “tech writing” to cover my documentation, blog post, and longer form technical writing work.

My technical writing setup is also far more defined and established, with less areas where I am “still deciding” what’s best for me. My setup is also often decided by established wider industry practices and company or client requirements, meaning I have less opinion and influence on tooling choices and process.

A VS Code screenshot showing some extensions

Planning

Much of my content planning depends on what my client or employer uses, be that GitHub, Jira, or something similar. Outside of those tools, I often turn to others to help flesh out ideas in my own head before diving into writing. Most of them overlap with the resources and discussion in my creative writing setup post.

Writing

This part of my process is where I have the most control and is probably of most interest to readers. I could probably almost have a separate post called “My VS Code setup”, as that’s mostly what this section is. I wrote something about the extensions I use for writing, but it was a long time ago and my setup has changed enough since then. I do also use some other tools that I mention here.

The VS Code extensions I use for tech writing

I do use other extensions, but they aren’t explicitly related to writing. Another future post!

GitHub Copilot

I probably shouldn’t admit it, but I do find the VS Code Copilot extension useful ever since I tested it when GitHub first announced it, and no one had even heard of ChatGPT yet. It’s not really aimed at writing, but does work quite well with markdown, and like many other AI assistants, it’s useful for prompting other ideas for putting what you were about to write.

Copy markdown as HTML

It’s not a task I need to do that often, but on the occasions I need to past some markdown i’ve been working on into an old-school WYSIWYG editor that…

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Chris Chinchilla

I explain cool tech to the World. I am a Technical Writer and blogger. I have crazy projects in progress and will speak to anyone who listens.