Style guide and/or templates for Technical Instructions

Subject: Style guide and/or templates for Technical Instructions
From: Paul Abbot <datapanix -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 11:16:38 -0500


I've been elected to create and maintain instructional documentation
for using various software development tools, like Visual Studio and
JBuilder. Most of the instructions are of the form "open C++ --> go to
File --> Click New.. --> type filename.txt" with most of the steps
requiring a checkbox-like bullet so the person following can check off
each step.

I'd like to set up a common template to provide a unified look
throughout the documentation. Is there a guideline, or templates,
available that can provide information about this. Things like should
the font change to, say, courier if the user must type something in?
Or like should the text break when the instruction calls to click a
button or select a menu?

I've been told (not a directive, but a suggestion) that "less is more"
and to not throw 16 different fonts and typesizes in the document. And
while I can agree with not overdoing it, I'm looking at a doc that I
have started that has *no* formatting, just plain text, and I find it
very hard to follow. There is no distinction between the text that
says "do this" and the text that says what the user is actually
supposed to do.

I'm using MS Word, but I'm enough of a geek to be willing to dive into
more beefy stuff like latex. Any insights would be most appreciated!

WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help
format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content
delivery. Try it today!.

Doc-To-Help includes a one-click RoboHelp project converter. It's that easy. Watch the demo at

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: RE: Warnings at front of document
Next by Author: Re: Most annoying word
Previous by Thread: RE: Format Painter, Redux
Next by Thread: RE: Style guide and/or templates for Technical Instructions

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads