Re: Do you include a sentence identifying the

Subject: Re: Do you include a sentence identifying the
From: Janice Gelb <janiceg -at- marvin -dot- eng -dot- sun -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2002 09:44:26 -0800 (PST)

"Philip Boyer" <pboyer -at- dimasys -dot- com>
>
> Gilda wrote: "In our procedures, we insert a numbered
> step consisting of two sentences: "Choose Database ->
> Password. The Change Password dialog appears.", followed
> by a picture of the dialog. In the second sentence,
> there's an index marker for the dialog name."
>

I find it fascinating that we've all been able to
deconstruct a mere two sentences in so many different
ways!

I agree with the people who mentioned that the
standard is usually dialog BOX, and that the
repetition of the dialog box name helps to
reassure the reader. To add a point that I don't
think I've seen made, we recommend that the only
text on a numbered step line should be the actual
action, so that readers can clearly see action
they need to perform. So, in our style, this would
be on two separate lines:

1. Choose Database -> Password.

The Change Password dialog box appears.
[screen shot]

>
> I vote for identifying the dialog. It gives the
> reader the extra assurance that he opened the
> correct dialog and is on the right path. For my
> procedures, I combine the sentences. "Choose
> Database -> Password to display the Change
> Password dialog."
>

I spend a lot of time trying to train writers *out* of
this construction. The user is not choosing the menu
option to display a dialog box. ("Oh, look -- cool dialog
box!") The user is choosing the menu option to do a task.
The dialog box just happens to be the means through which
the user can do the task.


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