Re: "using" as a verb in a task heading

Subject: Re: "using" as a verb in a task heading
From: Janice Gelb <Janice -dot- Gelb -at- Sun -dot- COM>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 03 Jul 2008 09:30:01 +1000

Milan Davidovic wrote:
> Let's say you have a task -- for demonstration purposes only, we'll
> call it Verbing the Noun. There are two ways of verbing the noun, so
> one could construct headings as follows:
> Verbing the Noun
> Using Method A
> Using Method B
> As I was taught in my initial training, "using" is a poor choice for a
> verb in a task heading (sound familiar? or is this just me?). In this
> case, though, it may be okay. What do you think?

As others have said, you should generally try for a
stronger and more specific verb than "Using" if possible.
However, more context would be helpful here, as you might
not need a second verb at all, for example:

Verbing the Noun
Verbing the Noun With Method A
Verbing the Noun With Method B

Our corporate style calls for conceptual sections to
have titles using a gerund but procedural titles to
start with an infinitive, so our formulation would be
(inserting more specifics as an example):

Verbing the Noun
To Verb the Noun at the Command Line
To Verb the Noun Through the GUI

If your documentation is entirely in print or in a help
outline structure, you might be able to get away with
not having to repeat the "verbing the noun" phrase as it
will be right there. However, if you are delivering your
documentation in a browser online format, you might want
to repeat the phrase as your audience might come to one
of the subordinate heads through a search and the added
context would be helpful.

-- Janice

Janice Gelb | The only connection Sun has with
janice -dot- gelb -at- sun -dot- com | this message is the return address

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"using" as a verb in a task heading: From: Milan Davidovic

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