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Is there any guidance anywhere on when to use a Sharepoint Wiki vs Word or pdf for technical documentation? When is it better to use a wiki vs a document, etc. I'm not sure which is best for our system's documentation.

Also, even if we did do it in sharepoint wiki format we still need to be able to export the wiki to either pdf or word when necessary for email - can that be done in sharepoint?

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Another option is to create a OneNote notebook in SharePoint and then let your team use that for a lot of their documentation.

  • It is synchronized between SharePoint to their local PCs so the content is available to the team members even when they are offline. Offline updates are sync'd into SharePoint the next time they are online
  • OneNote's structure is ideal for quickly evolving documentation as it can be easily restructured
  • Multiple people to update the same notebook page at the same time and all updates are kept in sync.
  • Whenever content is updated within the Notebook, that page is bolded for everyone sharing that notebook so anyone can see what has changed
  • PDFs can be created either using the SaveAs functionality within OneNote natively or a third party (like the free open source PDFCreator)

Obviously, the complexity of certain design documents require specific products, like Visio, but most of the documentation can be done directly in OneNote.

Another less obvious advantage of using OneNote this way is that all meetings notes (both within the team and with project stakeholders/decision makers) can also be stored there, allowing the whole team to keep up to date with changes as they happen.

I've used this approach on several projects and it has worked out very well.

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For technical documentation, a wiki is much better, as you can easily interlink documents, add customization, and create a much better user interface.

Word documents can be frustrating for technical documents especially for code snippits and things like API's. Wikis can handle code and structured formatting while word / pdf documents are well...documents. It can get frustrating updating pdfs/word docs and continuously adding them and worrying about version control.

As for printing the Wiki content to PDF, there are numerous third party tools available to accomplish this but if you are looking for something "within" the box, check out this MSDN Page

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