Re: Using tables for content

Subject: Re: Using tables for content
From: Scott Bulloch <scott -dot- bulloch -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2013 10:26:28 -0700

In the documentation I write, I mainly use tables for presentation of data,
either for data entry or for system information. I try not to put button
presses or tab selections in the tables.


For example:
1. On the <xxx> screen, make the following entries:
<table here with column headers for field, user action/values, and comments>
<data goes beneath>
2. Choose the <yyy> tab.
3. Make the following entries:
<another table>
4. Save your entries.


On Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 9:48 AM, Paul Hanson <twer_lists_all -at- hotmail -dot- com>wrote:

> What is your delivery format? PDF? HTML? Something else?
>
> Speaking about Word docs, I worked for a company that had numbered
> procedures within a three column table. The first column was an empty
> square
> (the thought being that the user could print the procedure and check the
> box
> when they were done), the second column was a numbered step, and the third
> the actual content.
>
> I remember this time in my career with fondness because as I began the
> massive task of converting that Word content to HTML (during the WinHelp to
> HTML conversion), I was also learning HTML and about this amazing technique
> for controlling format called "Cascading Style Sheets." With the three
> column format, I learned that you couldn't do a continuous OL within a
> table
> without adding start="N" <ol start="2"> so, essentially, it was manually
> numbering. I also learned that code like this:
>
> <p>1. Complete the ....</p>
> <p>2. Complete the ....</p>
>
> Should be rewritten to:
>
> <ol>
> <li>Complete the</li>
> <li>Complete the </li>
> </ol>
>
> And if I did that, adding a step prior to step 1 in a long procedure would
> not require manual renumbering. All of this was also at the time when the
> tables in the Word docs were being used to control formatting. The big buzz
> about *not* using tables to control formatting was deafening at the time.
> Around this time, I talked to Dave Gash @ WinWriters in 2004 in Boston
> about
> using tables in documentation and the takeaway from that discussion was
> that
> if your content is tabular, then yes, use a table. If it's not, don't use
> one.
>
> All that to say I do not have procedures in tables in any content I work
> with on a regular basis.
>
> Paul Hanson
> Senior Technical Writer
> My blog: http://prhmusic.blogspot.com
> My band: Lou's Classic Ride: https://www.facebook.com/LousClassicRide
> My frequently ignored Twitter account: @phrmusic - follow me!
>
>
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References:
Using tables for content: From: Sean
RE: Using tables for content: From: Janoff, Steven
Re: Using tables for content: From: Haim Roman
RE: Using tables for content: From: Paul Hanson

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