Re: Conventions for denoting typed comm

Subject: Re: Conventions for denoting typed comm
From: "Gallagher, Susan" <sgallagher -at- STARBASECORP -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 10:47:19 -0700

Traci wants to know what typographical conventions to use in her first user

Well, Traci, by now you've figured out that there are no standards, you'll
just have to make up your own. But as you do so, keep in mind that too much
emphasis is equivalent to no emphasis at all.

Stuff to type is probably the convention that differs most in the majority
of manuals. It should be in serif type (so the user can distinguish between
ones and ells, for example). I currently use courier, but in other jobs
using other style manuals, we used the body font, bolded. This convention
can also be used for messages from the computer, but it usually isn't
necessary when you're documenting a GUI.

For buttons, control names, and other screen elements, I like initial caps
best (title case). It stands out enough from the text to be noticed, but not
enough to make the page look like (thanks for the term, Mark. I love it!)
raisin bread.

For menu selections, most of the conventions I've used bold the standard
body font and use an arrow dingbat to indicate a lower level selection (for
example Select File > Open). Some places include the elipses, others don't.

You'll also want to standardize your presentation of notes, tips, warnings,
cautions, etc.

Whatever you decide, include a section on typographical conventions in the
book's front matter. OK, so not everyone will read it, but it will be there
for reference for those who care (and it'll help make you consistent).

Hope this helps.

Sue Gallagher
StarBase Corp, Irvine CA
sgallagher -at- starbasecorp -dot- com

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