Re: RE[2]: Single-step procedures

Subject: Re: RE[2]: Single-step procedures
From: Alexia Prendergast <alexiap -at- SEAGATESOFTWARE -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 18:04:08 -0400

Another fairly common solution in online help and in computer
documentation is to use a "single step" dingbat, like a small
black triangle, for one-step procedures.

In docs and help, we always present procedures the same way so users
can spot them easily. (Nothing is more aggravating--especially if
you're as impatient and cranky as I am--than searching through text
that all looks alike to find out what to do.)

We use these two "techniques":
-tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, tell them
what you've told them
-use typographical cues to make procedures easy to find

To do something, follow these steps: (in bold)
1. Do this.
2. Do that.
You have done something. Now you can...

In the docs, I don't have any one-step procedures. Every now and then,
I have to construct two steps where I could have had one, but in those
rare cases, it's worth it for consistency.

In the help, I use the one-step triangle dingbat for one-step
procedures. Otherwise, I use the same rules as the docs.

Alexia Prendergast
Senior Technical Writer
Seagate Software
mailto:alexiap -at- sems -dot- com

>From: Ridder, Fred[SMTP:F -dot- Ridder -at- DIALOGIC -dot- COM]
>Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 1997 5:37 PM
>Subject: RE[2]: Single-step procedures
>I've had much the same reaction as Geoff Hart--at first
>believing that numbering a single-step procedure is
>foolish, but eventually coming around to the belief that
>structural consistency is probably important enough
>to warrant the foolish-looking number.
>Various posts on this thread have suggested at least
>three good approaches to solving this problem:

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