Style Guides

Subject: Style Guides
From: Michael Salsbury <michael -dot- salsbury -at- CYBERLINK -dot- BEAVER -dot- PA -dot- US>
Date: Sun, 25 Sep 1994 01:03:50 -0500

Madeline Bechtold mentioned in her message to Kendall Robinson that
his department should consider developing a style guide. That
sounds like good advice.

Years ago, when I was the company's only technical writer, I put
quite a bit of work into creating standards for all of our
documentation. I had standards for wording, spelling, layout,
etc. I concentrated on these major concepts: standardization/
consistency, ease of maintenance, and clarity.

It's not about two years since I was involved in documentation.
Many of the standards have been changed, etc. My old guides are
pretty much gone. It's probably no loss.

Are style guides being used by most of your organizations? What
sort of information is covered in your style guide? What parts
of the style guide do you believe have been the most effective at
improving the overall quality of your documentation?

In a somewhat related question, is there a formal sign-off process
in your organization for documenation? What functional areas are
involved in the sign-off (e.g., programmers, project leaders,
tech support, tech editors/writers, management)?

michael -dot- salsbury -at- cyberlink -dot- beaver -dot- pa -dot- us

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