RE: Figures in User Manuals

Subject: RE: Figures in User Manuals
From: bryan -dot- westbrook -at- amd -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 11:22:59 -0600

Could you please define what you mean by "figures"?

The screen shots themselves are figures. I'm guessing you mean either the
figure captions or the practice of prefacing the captions with "Figure X-X".

Either way, I've seen both in the most informal of user manuals. If the
customer wants it, and you have no truly compelling reason why it would not
be in the readers' best interests, I think you should do what they want.

The only reason you are offering against it seems to be your personal
preference for how you want the readers to read the manual. It's doubtful
that any reader is ever going to use a list of figures to navigate the
document, but if there are any readers in your audience who do work that
way, you would be writing against their interests.

-----Original Message-----
From: Claire Philpott [mailto:claire -dot- philpott -at- alphanova -dot- co -dot- uk]
Sent: Monday, March 19, 2001 11:11 AM
Subject: Figures in User Manuals

I have been 'asked' to include figures under every screen capture and to
create an index of these figures.

In principle I am against adding figures to a User Manual/Reference Guide. I
feel that Users locate relevant information through a list of task based
entries in an index than through a list of screen shoots.

Am I right in feeling this is more relevant for a technical publication
targeted at a technical audience? Is there a compelling reason why I should
or should not include the figures?


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