RE: Style guides for software user manuals

Subject: RE: Style guides for software user manuals
From: "Broberg, Mats" <mabr -at- flir -dot- se>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2005 13:17:32 +0100


For starters, I would recommend:

- Sun Microsystems "Read me first! A Style Guide for the Computer

- Microsoft's "Manual of Style for Technical Publications", Third

The first is available second-hand att, the second one here:

Best regards,
Mats Broberg
Technical Documentation Manager

Patrick Wright wrote:

> Hello
> I have been looking around for style guides for user's
> manuals for GUI software applications. Am writing in
> (British) English, but living in Berlin so don't have access
> to large English-language bookstores (there are some, just
> not where I can browse many shelves of books on writing).
> The manual I am writing will mainly be read in printed form,
> with a PDF version available. My clients have asked for a
> prototype version in HTML, which I am not too worried about,
> as they just need an idea of how it will look.
> The problem I have in this case is that the application has a
> huge set of menus--both main and context menus--dialogues and
> configuration options. This means that when referencing any
> of these UI items, if I am not careful about how I highlight
> or distinguish them, I end up with a blur of styling.
> The manual's readers are professionals in their fields, but
> may not be entirely fluent with GUIs, and it is important
> that the presentation of the many options in the application
> be readable and easy to follow.
> References/websites, etc. are welcome.
> Many thanks
> Patrick


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