RE: Where to place the word "optional" in heading text

Subject: RE: Where to place the word "optional" in heading text
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>, Hannah Drake <hannah -at- formulatrix -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:23:28 -0400

Our audience is technical, so .... what Robert says in his second paragraph, except I use the syntax they expect.... "... [Optional]" (where the square brackets are a command-line convention indicating that the sub-command/flag/value is optional).

I just extend the convention sometimes to features and configuration options and the like.
But it wouldn't seem right to put an entire heading in "[...]", so I reserve it for the word "Optional" at the end, when appropriate.

Since my stuff is User and Administrator and Reference and SDK docs, the customer has already bought what they're reading about.

On Tue, Apr 15, 2014, Robert Lauriston wrote:

Generally I prefer *not* to put "optional" in headings but instead to put a more detailed explanation after the heading, such as "This command is available only if you have installed the whatsit module"
with some explanation of why you'd want to buy the module.

When I have had a reason to put it in the heading, I put it in parentheses at the end, so that it's easier to read and emphasize the primary information over the secondary fact that it's optional.

On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 10:20 AM, Hannah Drake <hannah -at- formulatrix -dot- com> wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> Just curious where you place the word "optional" in headings. We're
> listing key features for a product, and some are optional. Marketing
> wants to put optional at the beginning "Optional Cool Thing" and I want to do this:
> "Cool Thing (Optional)".
>
> My reason: If someone reads optional, then they automatically pay less
> attention to the feature because they may or may not purchase it. His
> reason: he was told that parenthetical text should not exist because
> if something is worth saying at all then it shouldn't be in
> parenthesis. I have heard his argument before and generally agree, but
> I disagree for this use.
>
> What do you all think?
>
> -Hannah

The information contained in this electronic mail transmission
may be privileged and confidential, and therefore, protected
from disclosure. If you have received this communication in
error, please notify us immediately by replying to this
message and deleting it from your computer without copying
or disclosing it.


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Doc-To-Help 2014 v1 now available. SharePoint 2013 support, NetHelp enhancements, and more. Read all about it.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/NNcWqS

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com


Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives


Follow-Ups:

References:
Where to place the word "optional" in heading text: From: Hannah Drake
Re: Where to place the word "optional" in heading text: From: Robert Lauriston

Previous by Author: RE: Windows 7 installation
Next by Author: RE: Friday Hilarity
Previous by Thread: Re: Where to place the word "optional" in heading text
Next by Thread: Re: Where to place the word "optional" in heading text


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads