Re: Tutorial vs. User Guide

Subject: Re: Tutorial vs. User Guide
From: nburns -at- NOAO -dot- EDU
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1993 09:03:12 MST

>Can anyone provide a good distinction between a tuturial and a user's
>guide? Also, as I will begin working on my first tutorial, I would like
>some good reference materials to read through on writing tutorial


>Kelli Martin
>Senior Research Technologist
>Ag & Bio Engineering
>222 Ag Engineering Building
>University Park, PA 16802
>KSM5 -at- psu -dot- edu


In his book, "How to Write a Computer Manual," author Jonathan Price states:

"A tutorial offers step-by-step training focused on a particular activity.
You guide readers through every keystroke. Reference material is more
general: it offers procedures that users can apply in many different
circumstances, giving exceptions, warnings, asides, and extra data."

I have used tutorials to learn the basics of some application programs.
Typically, they give the basics of starting up, creating a file, performing
a series of specific exercises - all to help me feel comfortable with the
program. Tutorials are not meant to cover everything - only the basics.

User guides typically cover installation, screens and menus, a description
of each feature in the program or system and all the possible ways to use
the feature, cross references, and a glossary.

Nancy Burns
National Solar Observatory, Tucson, AZ
nburns -at- noao -dot- edu

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