Re: Writing simple procedures

Subject: Re: Writing simple procedures
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 19:26:01 PDT

>Heli Roosild suggested the following wording for menus:
> NO Select Save from the File menu
> YES From the File menu, select Save.
> Open the File menu and select Save. [etc.]

I find both of these overly verbose for a manual that presumably
is going to refer to mouse selections hundreds or thousands of times.

In a system with cascading menus, such as Interleaf and other accurate
copies of Xerox PARC's good ideas, the conventions tend to boil
down to something like:

Select File->Save.

With the "File->Save" in a distinctive font, and the "->" as an actual
arrow character. With a cascading menu system, this might go four
or five menus deep: "Font->Props->Underline->Double."

For the more broken versions, such as those used in Windows and on the
Mac, the same operation requires many more mouse clicks, but the
concept is the same:

Select File->Save As..->File Format->RTF and choose OK.

Remember: Stupid readers can't read instructions anyway, so dumbing
things down beyond a certain point doesn't accomplish anything.

-- Robert


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