TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Improving the clarity From:Richard Dimock <red -at- ELSEGUNDOCA -dot- ATTGIS -dot- COM> Date:Mon, 14 Aug 1995 15:42:00 PDT
The original poster said :
"To open a file, select Open from the File menu."
Others have commented for our mutual enlightnement.
Dick Dimock of El Segundo takes the podium:
In my old days of military writing, for large systems, we
had to FIRST tell the user WHERE to go, and SECOND tell them
WHAT to do.
"At the front of the Power Cabinet, turn the red POWER switch
I still follow this rule as I direct the user in menus.
"From the File menu, select Open." or "In the File menu, click Open."
"From the Open menu, select Framis."
Simple and unambiguous and direct.
But to get deeper quicker, I use:
"Select File>Open>Framis." This is more compact, but won't fit
some style guides.
I also use:
"Select the following option sequence.
File Menu ALT + F
Open CTL + O
Framis CTL + ALT + DEL"
There are lots of ways, but I always follow the action sequence in the
instruction. Usually. Most of the time. Almost always. Mondays and Fridays.
Steps off podium. Artfully dodges tomato.
Dick Dimock Artfully Senior Information Developer
El Segundo, CA Where a high, white, dense cloud stands
on three white legs. Each leg seems to
be stuck in a refinery stack. The cloud
stretches down wind, feet still stuck.