RE: When to bold

Subject: RE: When to bold
From: "Marc A. Santacroce" <epubs -at- ricochet -dot- net>
To: "Humbird, LenX" <lenx -dot- humbird -at- intel -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2000 17:14:09 -0800

Warning: This is one of those topics I contradict myself on.

Someone earlier commented that it depends on whether the command is a common word, or can be mistaken for a common word. I agree that such a case calls for making the commands stand out in some manner.

It seems to me that anything you are documenting will use some 'common' or 'normal' language terminology. I think, for consistency, all commands should then be presented in the same manner.

My current thought is that bolding is better than putting the command in quotes or italics, and I personally do not like to use little icons in the sentence string to illustrate commands.

The same issue arises with system responses. Should we use a separate paragraph tag or style. One side of me says 'of course' because you want to distinguish these from user-entered text or body text. The other side says, stand back, check if your document looks like a ransom note. If it does, use the same style as you do for commands.

But, I could be wrong.

Interesting, and recurring dilemma.

> I'm in the midst of a discussing about bolding menu commands in
> procedures.
> I am writing a manual for a software program. My QA person is suggesting
> that I bold the commands. For example, in the step "Click Save" save
> would be bolded.
I'm not inclined toward bolding. I think bolding is more useful
> intraining materials and tutorials where a user is being introduced to a
> product and needs a lot of emphasis and reinforcement.


Marc A. Santacroce
Senior Technical Writer,
ePubs, Inc.

I love it here;
..there's no where I'd rather be,
.....there's nothing I'd rather be doing,
........and no one I'd rather be doing it with.

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