RE: Use of Acronyms in Online Help

Subject: RE: Use of Acronyms in Online Help
From: Dannette Thompson <dthomps -at- foundationsoft -dot- com>
To: "'Kathy10th -at- aol -dot- com'" <Kathy10th -at- aol -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 08:54:12 -0400

In this case, I follow the AP rules (yes, I know... not the typical
technical style, but they are logical!). AP states that you should never use
the acronym-in-parentheses convention. Instead, refer to the full term the
first time and use the acronym for subsequent occurrences. If the reader
cannot easily see the correlation between the original instance and the
acronym, simply don't use the acronym.

In our Online Help, I've "customized" this rule to say that if the reader
can't recognize an acronym without the original reference appearing at all,
I simply don't use it. There are a few exceptions to this rule, and for
those, I create a pop-up link which gives a definition or explanation of the
acronym.

Dannette Thompson
Technical Writer
Foundation Software, Inc.
Brunswick, Ohio 44212




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