RE: 2 style questions -- colons before tables, and "radio buttons"

Subject: RE: 2 style questions -- colons before tables, and "radio buttons"
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 10:10:10 -0700


The style I've established at TuVox does not use the word button. When I
want the user to select a particular option in a set of radio buttons, I
say "click <the option>". As a note, the Microsoft Manual of Style for
Technical Publications 3rd edition prefers a reference to the option
itself (as I do) or a reference to "the option <option>". They
discourage the use of "option button" except when you refer to the
control itself, and say that "option button" is always preferable to
"radio button".

I prefer figures and tables with captions, and I put the caption at the
top of the table. I also add a table of figures and table of tables to
my front matter if I have roughly five or more figures or tables. I know
this is obsessive, but I've had to work from a hardware user manual that
did *not* follow this style. You can not *imagine* how frustrating that
is! For the same reason, I number figures and tables by chapter, and I
put a cross-reference in the text, even if the table immediately follows
the text, as in:

The settings are listed in Table 3-2 "List of Settings":

TABLE 3-2 List of Settings


Joe Malin
Technical Writer
jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com
The views expressed in this document are those of the sender, and do not
necessarily reflect those of TuVox, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-216553 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-216553 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Tom
Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2005 6:43 PM
Subject: 2 style questions -- colons before tables, and "radio buttons"

I have two style questions I'm hoping to get feedback on:

(1) In user guides, do you use the term "radio button," "option button,"
or something else to describe what are traditionally known as radio
buttons among developers?

(2) When tables do not have captions, do you allow the tables to be
introduced with a colon, such as in the phrase, "The X fields are
described as follows:" -- and then a table list of fields appears?




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