RE: Your typographical conventions

Subject: RE: Your typographical conventions
From: "Chris Vickery" <cvickery -at- arenasolutions -dot- com>
To: "Nancy Allison" <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 14:34:25 -0800

In my manual I use bold for button names and commands, and italics for
radio button selections or choices in drop-down menus. As far as fonts,
I use only two: a simple sans serif font for body text and a serif font
for the titles and headings.

Where I've *really* had trouble is capitalization. We have endless
debates over whether to capitalize the name of an object in our
application--do we capitalize only concepts that are unique to our app?
Do we always capitalize column headings? What if we refer to a column
heading in the body? Do we cap that?

We end up with sentences where the same word can be used generically, so
it's lowercase, and also used to name a specific app concept, so it's
uppercase. The word "File" for example.

Ugh. It's gotten to the Point where almost every Noun is capitalized,
like in German.

Chris

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+cvickery=arenasolutions -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+cvickery=arenasolutions -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com]
On Behalf Of Nancy Allison
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2007 1:07 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Your typographical conventions

I'm working on a docset that will be distributed as PDFs. It's about a
software application.

At my last gig, we had a font for everything under the sun. The
Typographical Conventions table pretty much filled an entire page. It
was overkill. If readers noticed it at all, I suspect they may have had
a sinking feeling as they thought, "Am I supposed to remember this??" Of
course, they're not. The fonts are supposed to be an aid, not a burden,
and in my view the reader shouldn't have to be critically aware of them.

What would you pick out in special fonts?

I'm leaning toward having only these:

Titles of documents, and emphasis: italics
Code and system messages: Monospaced font
User actions (data entered, menu picks, buttons clicked): bold

I *think* simple capitalization is enough to set off field names, window
titles, etc. But this is the one I'm waffling on.

What are your minimum special fonts for a software doc?
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printed documentation. Features include single source authoring, team authoring,
Web-based technology, and PDF output. http://www.DocToHelp.com/TechwrlList

Now shipping: Help &amp; Manual 4 with RoboHelp(r) import! New editor,
full Unicode support. Create help files, web-based help and PDF in up
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References:
Your typographical conventions: From: Nancy Allison

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