TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: SUMMARY: Choosing a menu option From:"Huber, Mike" <mrhuber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 14 Aug 1997 11:47:19 -0500
Decipherable isn't good enough. Sure, they could figure it out, but I
want to make it so easy for my readers that they forget they even read
it. Heck, %99 of what I write, the reader could figure out by playing
with the software long enough. The value I add is in making it easy.
My preference is for the "File | Open" format, but it's more important
(in this case) to be consistent than to be right, so I do what the rest
of my company does, which is what the MMoS says: "On the File menu,
mike -dot- huber -at- software -dot- rockwell -dot- com
>From: James Lockard [SMTP:norton -at- mcs -dot- net]
>I'm surprised so many technical writers dismiss the "Choose Message from
>the Create menu" format based soley on the word sequence. Are our
>readers really so simple that they cannot determine the order that short
>sentence conveys? I hope not. IMHO, the format, "Choose X from the Y
>menu," is the most clear and direct way to convey the thought. If your
>audience is going to get tripped up by the word sequence, perhaps,
>"Choose [menu title]>[menu item]" would be a better option.