Re: References a later chapter

Subject: Re: References a later chapter
From: "Paul Strasser" <paul -dot- strasser -at- windsor-tech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2002 13:54:04 -0600

> Here's a question that I think I know the answer to. But because I'm new,
> I'm hoping I'm wrong.
> Is it proper to refer a reader to a chapter that is later in the manual? I
> want to avoid duplicating a section that is later in the manual (and has
> stay there).
I see nothing wrong with a reference to a later chapter. It's not a novel -
you're not giving anything away. ("For additional information on Rosebud,
see the glossary under 'Sleds.'")

Whether it's appropriate in a given situation is the question only you can
answer, based on what exactly you're discussing in the manual. If the
reference is to a critical part of a long set of instructions, duplicating a
section is reasonable. In fact, it's expected. You don't want the reader
shifting back and forth between ten different chapters to complete a basic

But if it's a cross-reference for information purposes ("for detailed
information about Code Tables see page 135"), by all means cross-reference.
If you're unsure, pretend you're the User trying to complete a task. Ask
yourself why you need a cross-reference to begin with. Would you want the
information on the same page, or would you prefer to leaf through the manual
to find it because it would just clutter up the manual?

Paul Strasser
Windsor Technologies, Inc.
2569 Park Lane, Suite 200
Lafayette, Colorado 80026
Phone: 303-926-1982
FAX: 303-926-1510
E-mail: paul -dot- strasser -at- windsor-tech -dot- com

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References a later chapter: From: Evan Martin

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