Summary: When to bold

Subject: Summary: When to bold
From: Susan Arbing <Sarbing -at- ITCCanada -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2000 11:06:02 -0400


I had posted a question about a discussion I was having with my
colleagues (specifically QA)about bolding menu commands in documents.
I'm sorry for the delay in posting a summary. I had posted the question
just before a rather hectic deadline, but I've resurfaced now.

I'd like to thank everyone who responded. It's certainly given me
something to think about for future publications. Personally, I like the
idea of using a different character style for commands.

I received 18 responses which break down as follows:

1. Don't bold, but use a different character style for the commands - 3

2. Don't bold at all. It makes the text spotty and too distracting.
Also, bolding is difficult to upkeep. - 3 responses

3. Put each command in a button resembling how it appears on the screen
- 1 response

4. The remainder of the responses (11 responses) advocated bolding.
Reasons for bolding included the recommendation for bolding in the
mighty Microsoft Manual of Style, bolding allows skimming, bolding
should be used for "more important text", and bolding is better than
putting commands in more distracting formats such as italics.

Thanks once again,

Susan Arbing
Technical Writer
ITC Canada

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