TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
> Yes, by all means use the Imperative mood in procedural (or even
> non-procedural) content. If I were instructing a friend in
> conversation, I would say "Click the Franistan button." But I
> would also
> say to that friend "Check that you've entered all the Fritzin
> information before you click the Franistan button." Avoiding the
> second-person pronoun would force me to shift things to a
> "Check that the Fritzin information has been entered..." Bleagh!
"Enter all the Fritzin information before clicking the Franistan button."
Fewer words, no contractions, active voice, and easier to write and read
(for me, anyway).
If writing "Enter all..." is not sufficient and another check is required,
"Enter all the Fritzin information and recheck the information before
clicking the Franistan button."
This is the same number of words as the "you" example (counting the
contraction as one word), but there are two steps in the sentence instead of
> Again, why avoid "you" in any content, procedural or otherwise?
It's rude and bossy, like finger pointing and it uses more (and unnecessary)
words than not stating "you."
Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more. http://www.DocToHelp.com/TechwrlList
True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity! http://www.helpandmanual.com
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-