RE: References a later chapter

Subject: RE: References a later chapter
From: Kim Roper <kim -dot- roper -at- pixelink -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2002 16:38:56 -0400

Paul Strasser wrote:
> 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 task.

Absolutely. One of these days I'm going to finish numbering and writing the
Rules of Technical Writing:
Rule 3: Don't force 'em to think.
Rule 3a: Don't make 'em hunt for information they need *right now*.
It's a manual, not a mystery novel.

On the other hand ...

> But if it's a cross-reference for information purposes ("for detailed
> information about Code Tables see page 135"), by all means
> cross-reference.

This doesn't contradict Rule 3 or Rule 3a. Far from it. If the information
is not necessary immediately to complete the task, or it's beyond the level
of the average user, then you could be forcing 'em to think or hunt for the
next piece of information. Hence:

Rule 4: Don't force 'em to slow down or stop before they get to where
they want to be.

As for the location of the cross referenced materials, who cares? As long
the sign posts are clear (me, I like page numbers), you're sticking to Rules
3, 3a and 4.

(For those that might be wondering:
Rule 1: Know your audience.
Rule 2: Cover your a$$.)

Sláinte ... Kim

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Kim Roper, Technical Writer
mailto:kim -dot- roper -at- pixelink -dot- com
Tel: +1 (613) 247.1211 ext 256
Fax: +1 (613) 247.2001

3030 Conroy Road
Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 6C2
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

Experience RoboHelp X3! This new RoboHelp release combines single sourcing,
print-quality documentation, conditional text and much more, into the most
monumental release of RoboHelp ever!

FrameMaker-to-PDF TimeSavers Assistants let you enhance & automate navigation
in PDF doc sets (chapter tabs, next/prev chapter/pg, bookmarks, popup menus);
create interactive PDF forms, rollover popups; presentations:

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: what's the world coming to
Next by Author: RE: Should a PDF include "Printed in Country" phrase ?
Previous by Thread: RE: References a later chapter
Next by Thread: Research Methodology

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

Sponsored Ads