Re: Display, Displays, or Appears

Subject: Re: Display, Displays, or Appears
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2008 17:51:08 -0700

Lauren wrote:

> In the case of windows opening, telling somebody that an action opens a
> window, when procedures frequently result in new windows, states the obvious
> and expected result of an action, so the mention of the action, "a window
> opens," is unnecessary.

Where [button + window] is a matched set, they're like [horse and
carriage], or [soup and sandwich].

Could I generalize these pairs as just button in the documentation,or
horse at the livery stable, or soup when ordering at the cafe, and still
be understood correctly? No, of course not, though it might be easier
for me to refer to them that way because I'm exhausted or something.

> If the occurrence of a window is rare in the application, then it should be
> addressed, but if nearly every widget is a window, then nearly every action
> to begin a procedure will include, "and a window opens." Isn't that
> repetitive?

The case where I'm tempted to agree with you is when the UI developer
has created a tedious interface. For example, a procedure that requires
me to click OK a bunch of times in a row to get out of nested dialog
boxes--it tempts me to write:

xx.) OK your way out.

The designer/developers whose products I've done this to seem OK with
it. I think they see it as helping by not underscoring the tedious
design with tedious instructions. Still, that solution doesn't judge
mentioning anything as unnecessary--the steps where the dialogs were
introduced still include their appearance as a statement of the result.

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com


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.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -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 admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


RE: Display, Displays, or Appears: From: Lauren

Previous by Author: Re: Display, Displays, or Appears
Next by Author: Re: updating or changing sources in links
Previous by Thread: RE: Display, Displays, or Appears
Next by Thread: RE: Display, Displays, or Appears

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

Sponsored Ads