Re: Writing procedures

Subject: Re: Writing procedures
From: "Mike Starr" <mike -at- writestarr -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2009 09:28:14 -0500

When we document a procedure we may not use all of the controls presented in
a given dialog box. Use the appropriate warnings and notes that are
applicable to the specific dialog box controls you reference in the
procedure.

If you've already described the controls on a given dialog box, there's
usually no need to describe them again in the context of a procedure unless
there are specific "gotchas" related to individual controls. However, a
link/cross-reference to the reference material for the dialog box is
useful/appropriate.
--
Mike Starr WriteStarr Information Services
Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - Website developer
Graphic Designer - Desktop Publisher - MS Office Expert
Phone: (262) 694-1028 - Tollfree: (877) 892-1028 - Fax:(262) 697-6334
Email: mike -at- writestarr -dot- com - Web: http://www.writestarr.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "Claudine CHAUSSON" <claudine -dot- chausson -at- jwaretechnologies -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2009 9:06 AM
Subject: Writing procedures


> Hi everyone,
>
> This is my first posting on this list though I've been reading it for
> quite a while now. Beforehand, forgive my English as it's not my native
> language.
>
> Quite recently, I've changed job. In this new software company, there's
> hardly any existing doc so I'm almost writing everything from scratch,
> especially procedures. I haven't done that (writing from scratch) since
> my degree in technical writing and I need some refresh on a few
> fundamental things.
>
> I'm developing topics with DITA in order to single-source to help
> (haven't chosen a format yet) and pdf. I've described the interface and
> now I'm writing procedures for the tasks that can be done through the
> interface. I've been quite thorough in the interface description: all
> fields, options, and possible values (when a choice needs to be done)
> have been described. Warnings and notes have been written too to call
> out the user attention to some specific aspects.
>
> So my questions are:
> o In my procedures, should I repeat warnings and notes? Or is a simple
> link to the interface description enough?
> o Should I list options and describe their possible values all over
> again?
>
> Note that when I say "repeat", or any similar word, I'll be using DITA's
> conref functionality.
>
> I feel like I shouldn't need to repeat this information again but as a
> lone technical writer, some help will be appreciated.
>
> Thanks.
>
>
> Claudine CHAUSSON
> Technical writer
> JWARE Technologies

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References:
Writing procedures: From: Claudine CHAUSSON

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