Re: Imperatives in procedures?

Subject: Re: Imperatives in procedures?
From: "Mike Starr" <mike -at- writestarr -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 11:21:31 -0600

I use my own version of the imperative with the navigation built in...

1. Choose the Edit>>Find>>Message menu item. Outlook Express displays a Find Message dialog box similar to the one shown here. <embedded image of dialog box>
2. Type TECHWR-L in the Subject field then click the Find Now button.
3. etc...

I use a character style for the important words so that they're highlighted and easy to find in the text.

Mike
--
Mike Starr WriteStarr Information Services
Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - Technical Illustrator
Graphic Designer - Desktop Publisher - MS Office Expert
(262) 694-1028 - mike -at- writestarr -dot- com - http://www.writestarr.com
----- Original Message -----

Message: 14
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2005 13:51:28 -0800
From: Jeff Scattini <jeff -dot- scattini -at- gmail -dot- com>
Subject: Imperatives in procedures?
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Message-ID:
<3d79bb70511211351g7b398ff4y8768ed698b9ce464 -at- mail -dot- gmail -dot- com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

Hi all,

I'm currently writing a series of task-oriented documents for a
software application.

I learned that one should always put the user-imperative at the
beginning of each step:

1. Click Start on the toolbar.
2. Select the program you want and double click that program.

However, one of my product managers wants to bury the imperative in
surrounding text:

1. On the left-hand side of the toolbar, click the Start button.
2. You can from there, search for the program that you want and then
click that program to open it. The program window will then open.

I have searched the MS Manual of Style, (which is what we've used as a
starting point for our in-house style guide) and it states that you
can put the navigation before the imperative. Our in-house style guide
states to use the imperative first, but the in-house styles are less
than 6 months old and still fairly fluid.

I'm trying to get a sense if I'm picking a dumb battle or if people
have found that using the imperative is more or less usable for their
readers.

Thanks,
Jeff

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