Re: Your typographical conventions

Subject: Re: Your typographical conventions
From: "Harry Bacheler" <hbacheler -at- aol -dot- com>
To: "Nancy Allison" <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>, "Chris Vickery" <cvickery -at- arenasolutions -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 19:37:38 -0500

These are my thoughts about the typographical conventions. I do not address
the font type or size, in this email.



One thing I advocate at ALL times.



Key caps are ALWAYS uppercase and BOLD.



This is to make them stand out in sentences, paragraphs, and in
instructions.



This way the novice can get an idea that it is a key. For the experienced
reader/user they can serve as 'shortcuts' and quick references.



This is a table that is put into every document for clarification of the
typographical conventions that we created for a US Government agency.

-------------------------------



Table X-X, Typesetting Conventions

Type Meaning

Italic 1) New terms or phrases when initially defined.

2) An italic term followed by a page number
indicates the page

where that term is first defined.

Underline Menu and dialog box options with letters that appear
underlined

on screen indicate shortcut keys (hotkeys).

Monospace Information that you type, Web addresses, or onscreen
messages.

UPPERCASE Typically used to indicate Excel objects, such as functions
and cell

references. Also used to 'set off' KEY CAPS

Initial Caps Menus, Dialog Box Elements, and Commands are initially
capitalized.

(Some call this convention - 'Title Case'



A table similar to this was used in several user/operational/maintenance
manuals that I have seen over the years.



A convention that I use personally for web addresses, URLs, etc., is this
convention << URL >>



Using the 2 left arrows (uppercase comma) and the 2 right arrows (uppercase
period) allows you to set off the web address and URL so that you can do a
search for them. It also helps if you get to the point where the page is
printed in black and white, or gray scale.



I remember it being suggested (back in 1997 or 1998) that readers of
documentation that may have been published on the web and printed on a
standard laser printer would universally understand this convention.



Points to ponder.



If there is a consensus about this convention I have not heard anything.



I welcome any input that may be suggested.



Harry



----- Original Message -----
From: "Nancy Allison" <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>
To: "Chris Vickery" <cvickery -at- arenasolutions -dot- com>;
<techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2007 5:46 PM
Subject: Re: Your typographical conventions


> Chris says:
>
>>In my manual I use bold for button names and commands, and italics for
>>radio button selections or choices in drop-down menus.
>
> I'm curious. Why make the distinction between these two sets of items?
>
>>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.
>
> Oh yes. All you can do is hope that your reader is literate enough to
> understand why -- otherwise, the documentation takes a hit in credibility
> because of the poor literacy of the reader!
>
> (Just like the need never to split an infinitive or end a sentence with a
> preposition, not because those rules have had any serious weight for the
> past 100 years, but because readers and even in-house reviewers still
> perceive the text as incorrect and the writer as an ignorant fool.
> Aarrrgh.)
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References:
Re: Your typographical conventions: From: Nancy Allison

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