Re: Using tables for content

Subject: Re: Using tables for content
From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2013 06:22:17 -0400

This is a style that was once known as a Definition List. You wanted a clear cut view of Term - Definition or Task - Result and you wanted it neat with a clear straight line along the leading edge of the Definition / Result column.

Now a DL is not an option in most list formats. You could simply use a numbered list and format it with a tab at halfway across the page, but if either task or result is longer than half a page, the wrapping will mess up the look.

This style allows a person who knows little about the task to perform the task. There is a task. There is an expected result. How many times have you run a procedure and wondered if things were going smoothly as you had no idea if what was happening is what should be happening?

It also was used in ATPs, where you had a task and an expected result to confirm or a place to enter results of that test step.



I think the Mercedes example is a poor way to do it not because of using the table but rather the writing inside the table. I've read lots of service manuals and they are much easier to read than this even using a similar layout.





----- Original Message ----- From: "Slager Timothy J" <Timothy -dot- Slager -at- dematic -dot- com>
To: "Sean" <seanb_us -at- yahoo -dot- com>; <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Friday, October 25, 2013 11:00 AM
Subject: RE: Using tables for content


The company that required us to put steps in a table also required that steps be broken down to their lowest level. Sean's example below would have been:
1. | Click File. | A dialog box opens.
2. | Click Open. | The file opens.

For every action, the expected result is listed. A bit wordy, but utterly unambiguous. In many (most?) cases the third column could be ignored, but it's there, just in case. I suspect the format also facilitated testing of the software.

------------------

1. | Click File, and then click Open. | The file opens.

Sean



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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
RE: Using tables for content: From: Janoff, Steven
Re: Using tables for content: From: Robert Lauriston
RE: Using tables for content: From: Janoff, Steven
Re: Using tables for content: From: Robert Lauriston
RE: Using tables for content: From: Janoff, Steven
Re: Using tables for content: From: Lauren
RE: Using tables for content: From: Janoff, Steven
Re: Using tables for content: From: Lauren
Re: Using tables for content: From: Sean
RE: Using tables for content: From: Slager Timothy J

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