Tech. writing list

Subject: Tech. writing list
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 1996 13:36:49 -0600

Eric Ray asked about how various people handle numbered
steps. My favorite approach is the one used by WordPerfect
(if memory serves): number the actual step, boldface that
entire line, then provide the nonessential details as an
indented paragraph beneath the step. This has one great
advantage over other approaches: it separates the step from
the elaboration (thus, expert or uninterested users can
skip the elaboration, but others have it immediately
available).

Quickie example (caps substitute for bold and I can't do a
reliable indent with my software, so just imagine the
elaboration is indented):

1. SELECT THE FILE.
You can select a file in three ways: with the mouse, with
the keyboard, or by telling the Voicemaster software
"select <filename>". [Yeah, I know... everyone's gonna ask
for "filename" instead of the actual file.]

2. OPEN THE FILE.
You can do this in three ways: double-click with the mouse,
press Command-O, or tell the Voicemaster software "open".

etc.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.


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