One-step procedures (reply)

Subject: One-step procedures (reply)
From: Daniel Strychalski <dski -at- CAMEONET -dot- CAMEO -dot- COM -dot- TW>
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 1995 04:27:33 +0800

Regarding how to format a one-step procedure (Kelly Kremin, April 28), I
assume each step in a multi-step procedure is numbered. I've seen people
put "1." in front of a one-step procedure and leave it at that! I'm sure
none of us would consider this a solution, though.

First, check your organization. Some drafts I've gotten have contained
one-step procedures that were better incorporated into other procedures.

Sometimes you can add something useful:

1. Make sure you have saved the drawing, if you expect to need it later.
2. Press Q to quit.

Sometimes you can use distinctive formatting. I've recently taken to
bolding numbered steps. (Heavens! Bolding entire lines? Bear with me.) I
keep the instruction itself to one or two lines with a hanging indent, and
put results, explanations, warnings, etc., in fully indented paragraphs,
without bolding, below the description of the action.

Bolding each one- or two-line instruction makes it easy for the lazy or
hurried reader to find the "meat" of the procedure quickly, and makes the
page visually interesting in the absence of illustrations.

Entire lines of boldface at the normal font size look awful, so I reduce
the size by 0.2 points (or whatever gives me nearly the same width as the
unbolded body font). The results are attention-getting but unobtrusive.
(Grinder on: WordPerfect does it, Word doesn't. Grinder off.)

If all your numbered steps get distinctive treatment of this or a similar
kind (and this treatment is reserved for these alone), a one-step procedure
could also be so treated. It would then be recognizable for what it is even
without a number or bullet.

Dan Strychalski dski -at- cameonet -dot- cameo -dot- com -dot- tw

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