Re: Procedural Steps

Subject: Re: Procedural Steps
From: TIMMERMAN <timmerma -at- IPDLINK -dot- IPD -dot- ANL -dot- GOV>
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 1996 10:19:55 CST

Eric writes,

I've been doing some research into using procedural steps, as in:

1. Select some text.
2. Click the B button.
3. Do something else.

* * * * * * * * * * * * Reply Separator * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We do a lot of this type of writing where I work and the guideline we
follow is one step for each action performed by a person. For
example,

1. Select some text. The selected text appears highlighted on the
screen.
2. Click the B button. The selected text changes to boldfaced.
3. Do something else.

Another place at which I worked used the same guideling but used
normal text for the action (white text below) and italic text for the
reaction (yellow text below).

1. Select some text. The selected text appears highlighted on the
screen.
2. Click the B button. The selected text changes to boldfaced.
3. Do something else.

This method clearly differentiates between the action a person
performs and the result of that action. The italic text provides
additional information that helps new users (as opposed to very
experienced users) confirm that they have done the correct thing
during each step of the procedure.

Enough said,

Don Timmerman, dtimmerman -at- anl -dot- gov
Sr. Tech Writer
Argonne National Laboratory


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