From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "Michael West" <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 14:41:15 -0800

"Michael West" <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com> wrote in message news:...

> Context sensitive help is intended to help user who
> are looking at a particular object or dialog and aren't
> sure what to do with it. But what about users who know
> what they want to do, but aren't sure where it is or what it's
> called? How would your method help them?

It wouldn't, really, but I was attempting not to stray too far
from the post I was replying to. In the newest docs we're
working on, we try not to duplicate instructions that already
exist online in our printed material, so any books we create
would be much more task-oriented rather than a reference-
manual like rundown of every command, and wouldn't have
this sort of instruction in it at all. It's just that most SW docs
I see still do, and if I were forced to write one, that's the way
I'd do it.

> What does the second sentence accomplish?

Damned if I know, but every SW manual I've ever written,
somebody wants to see it. Sometimes you just have to pick
which stupid requirement you're going to expend energy on
getting rid of.

> Don't you think most users, once they've found that checkbox,
> would understand what it is for simply by reading the label?

Depends on the application. For the backup copy situation being
described, yes, definitely. The really useful stuff would be in the
"yadda yadda part, not the "creates backup copies part."

Gene Kim-Eng

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