Re: Procedural Steps

Subject: Re: Procedural Steps
From: Sella Rush <SellaR -at- APPTECHSYS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 1996 15:11:41 -0800

I've read all the posts so far and have one additional comment.

Like Amy and Ann, I also separate my user action from user
"verification" info. Unless you turn it into an action (i.e.,
"verify"), the reader may easily be left unsure about what is expected
of them.

BUT, I also preface any numbered instructions with an infinitive. So
all my instructions look like this:

To make text bold:

1. Select some text.
The text will appear highlighted on the screen.

2. Click the B button.
The text will be boldfaced.

3. Do something else.

I do this because I expect that my audience will be scanning the pages
looking for instructions on a specific task. I'm sure I didn't come up
with this myself--it's probably pretty common.
Sella Rush, Tech Writer
Applied Technical Systems, Inc. (ATS)
Bremerton, Washington
Developers of the CCM Database

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