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

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.

Janice Gelb | The only connection Sun has with
janice -dot- gelb -at- eng -dot- sun -dot- com | this message is the return address.

Collect Royalties, Not Rejection Letters! Tell us your rejection story when you
submit your manuscript to iUniverse Nov. 6 -Dec. 15 and get five free copies of
your book. What are you waiting for?

Have you looked at the new content on TECHWR-L lately?
See and check it out.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Re: Use of apostrophe?
Next by Author: Prize Interview Answers
Previous by Thread: Do you include a sentence identifying the dialog name? (take II)
Next by Thread: CSS created by WWP 7.0

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads