Technical Writing Books

Subject: Technical Writing Books
From: "Misti Tucker USAET(UTC -04:00)" <mtucker2 -at- E-MAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 15 May 1997 14:18:57 EDT

>How accurate is this book? Should I take what the book says with a grain
>of salt? Does this book reflect the industry's standard? Or are these
>technical writing "rules" one company's opnion?

There are many things about writing style that are a matter of opinion,
and in which the only firm rule is that it's best to be consistent in
whatever way you choose to go. The MicrosoftManual of Style was adapted
from the MS in-house sytle guide and in many instances reflects the way
they have decided to go on issues.

It's a good idea when you're just starting out to have access to two or
three style guides. That will give you a better idea which rules are
hard and fast (all of your sources agree) and which are judgement calls
in which the critical thing is to be consistent. (Your sources disagree.)

>For example, I have been told to write "click on the button" but according to
> the Manual of Style book, the correct way is to write "click the button."

Just for the record, Microsoft style guidelines aside, I prefer the way
you've been taught. ;) It seems to be there is an implied mouse in the
construction. That is, "Click (the left mouse button) on the OK button."

Misti Tucker
Technical Communication mta -at- cyberspace -dot- org (h)
& Help System Design mtucker2 -at- e-mail -dot- com (w)

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