Re: Suggestions welcome for this brief online help sample

Subject: Re: Suggestions welcome for this brief online help sample
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 03 Nov 2005 12:40:54 -0500


Karen wrote:

To add a widget

1. Click Define A New Widget.

lowercase "a":

1. Click Define a New Widget.

2. Type the new widget name in the text box.

2. Type the new widget name in the name field.

3. Click Enter.

3. Press Enter. [assuming you mean the Enter key on the keyboard, not a button on the monitor says "Enter" on it]

4. A Color dialog box opens.

The Color dialog opens.

This is not a step. It's the consequence of step 3. Because it's short, I'd run it in:

3. Press Enter. The Color dialog opens.


5. Click the color of your choice from the Basic
colors, Custom colors, or the Color matrix.

Select might or might not be a better verb, depending on how the dialog is set up.

6. To save a color to the Custom colors, click Add to
Custom Colors.

ok

7. Click OK.
8. The new widget is now displayed in the list box
preceded by the assigned color.

6. Click OK. The list of widgets now includes the new widget name and its identifying color. By default, the new widget is active.

9. By default, the new widget is active.
10. To deactivate the widget, click on the name and
clear the Active check box.

7. Optional: To deactivate the widget, click the name [not click _on_ the name] and clear the Active box.


First, the customer does want "Click OK" in there.
(They use non-standard interfaces where there are OK
and DONE buttons.)

Steps 4, 8, and 9 are not procedures that the user has
to perform. Should they be considered steps or
possibly notes?

Steps 6 and 10 are optional. Is this the approach you
would take?

I've been using the Microsoft Manual of Style for
Technical Publications as a guide. Unfortunately, the
section on procedures is very limited. Also, when I
review help screens in different Microsoft programs,
each program is distinctly different (and don't even
use the MSTP standards).
Any pearls of wisdom are welcome!



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References:
Suggestions welcome for this brief online help sample: From: Karen

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