Re: Procedural Steps

Subject: Re: Procedural Steps
From: Rebecca Phillips <Rebecca -at- QRONUS -dot- CO -dot- IL>
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 1996 16:39:08 +0200

Whirlers:

My personal observations.

I can't stand those numbered non-steps either. On the other hand, when
you are displaying the picture that pops up, you might feel that part of
the text is dangling after the picture. (Although that probably
indicates some other style problem.)

>You mentioned that "some commercial software manuals <snip> often do not
>consistently
or regularly number the steps." Well, if they aren't internally
consistent, I wouldn't be too concerned about their being an authority
on how to properly format a manual. This actually relates to the
argument on how to rate typos. While inconsistent numbering might irk
editors, people are still buying these books because (I assume) the
writing is lucid and explanations are complete.

I think numbered steps are great! There's nothing I hate more than
sticking my left index finger in the book and doing something else with
my right hand. Also, numbered steps stand out graphically in the book. A
lot of readers don't want to read a paragraph explaining them what the
function does; they already decided they want to do it and are looking
for the steps. When they see that number 1, it signals, "Start here if
you already know you want to do this."

Rebecca



Rebecca M. Phillips
Documentation Manager
Qronus Interactive Ltd.
Automated System Testing
http://www.qronus-int.com
rebecca -at- qronus -dot- co -dot- il

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