Futur tense use in technical documentation

Subject: Futur tense use in technical documentation
From: Sybille Sterk <sybille -at- wowfabgroovy -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 10:46:12 +0000

Dear all,

We have a dispute at work. So far I have avoided the future tense wherever possible, because from what I gathered it is not used in technical documentation as it expresses a certain amount of doubt like it is expressed in "may" or "might". Now, obviously this is grammatically incorrect as my proof-reader, i.e. my boss (who, by the way is no technical author) pointed out.

An example to make clear what I mean:

"When you click the X button the X dialog is displayed" (this is what I normally write)
"When you click the X button the X dialog will be displayed" (this is what my boss wants me to write)

What tense would you use?

Thanks,

Sybille


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sybille Sterk
Technical Author and Translator (German)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Email: sybille -at- wowfabgroovy -dot- net
Web Site: www.wowfabgroovy.net
ICQ: #26779340




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