RE: Using tables for content

Subject: RE: Using tables for content
From: Slager Timothy J <Timothy -dot- Slager -at- dematic -dot- com>
To: Haim Roman <haim -dot- roman -at- gmail -dot- com>, "Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- ga -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2013 19:10:14 +0000

I was once required to use tables for documenting software for a customer in a highly regulated industry. The table included:
- Step number
- Step
- Expected result

The expected result for each step was interesting, and generally helpful. The field was not required, but if something happened when you followed the step, then you filled that field.
1. Click A. The B window opens.
2. Enter X into the Y field.
3. Press ENTER. The gizmo galumphs.

The table format was helpful for writing, since I was forced to consider consequences of each step (as one always should) and for the user, who could count on expected results being posted. I'm sure it could have been done without a table, but I can't say the table detracted and my lasting impression was that it worked rather well. That said, we don't normally use tables for procedures.


-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+timothy -dot- slager=dematic -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+timothy -dot- slager=dematic -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Haim Roman

I love tables for presenting information & use them a lot. But it seems to me that for procedures, they're usually not appropriate. But maybe there are exceptions. I think Steven's correct: write examples both with & without tables & get feedback.

-- Howard (Haim) Roman

On Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 7:23 PM, Janoff, Steven <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- ga -dot- com>wrote:

> Interesting question. Seems like an older style, more
> engineering-oriented. I'm thinking of the Edmond Weiss books and the
> STOP documents from the 60s.
> Steve

> -----Original Message-----
> From: On Behalf Of Sean
> Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2013 6:45 AM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Using tables for content
> Hi all,
> So, whilst I search the archives, can we have a live discussion on the
> pros and cons of using tables for tech writing content. Consider a
> traditional procedure that uses step: in the left column, the action,
> and in the right column, the result. It seems, for Word, each row
> needs to be numbered manually.
> Conversely, there is standard ordered list approach without using a table.
> Thoughts?
> Sean

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Using tables for content: From: Sean
RE: Using tables for content: From: Janoff, Steven
Re: Using tables for content: From: Haim Roman

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