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

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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

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