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Subject:Re: Numbered list vs bulleted list From:"Bergen, Jane" <janeb -at- ANSWERSOFT -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 19 Nov 1997 08:53:57 -0600
Always use a NUMBERED lists for two or more steps in a procedure that
must be followed sequentially (example: installation procedures).
Always use BULLETED lists for groups of items for which there is no
sequence (example: list of hardware requirements) or for a single
procedure (I prefer the sideways arrow or triangle for this one).
The little hand bullets went out with the dot-matrix printers and Aunt
Tillie's efforts at her sewing circle's newsletters. I'm not sure which
software docs your programmer has been looking at, but the nicer, newer
docs generally don't have a lot of clutter. When I teach the basics
(using Styles, bulleted lists, inserting graphics, etc.) of Word to
programmers, they tend to want three or four (at least) font styles,
every little bullet/symbol/geewhiz thing they can find, and they love
smacking a graphic in the middle of the page and wrapping text on both
sides. Sigh..... go figure!!! Like climbing Mt. Everest, I suppose
"....because it's there"!
The distinction between numbered (for sequential) and bulleted (for
non-sequential) is pretty standard and you'll find this addressed in
most DTP and technical writing texts.
Hope that helps,
Jane Bergen, Technical Writer,
AnswerSoft, Inc. Richardson, TX
janeb -at- answersoft -dot- com
On Wednesday, November 19, 1997 8:34 AM, Don Timmerman
[SMTP:timmerma -at- IPDLINK -dot- IPD -dot- ANL -dot- GOV] wrote:
> Hi all,
> I've just returned from the archive with very little success. Here's
> the scenario.
> The author (programmer) wrote a software installation and user guide
> for a DOS program (not a commercial software). Action steps are in
> bullet lists; each bullet has been replaced with a graphic pointing
> hand (side view).
> The editor had to leave the project for several days (business trip)
> and I am filling in because of the project deadline. I contend that
> any list of action steps be numbered if those steps must be performed
> sequentially. The DOE Standard Writer's Guide for Technical
> Procedures states the following, "Action step numbering identifies
> individual action steps and their sequence."
> The editor contends that this item is not an issue. The bullet list
> is fine because that method is used in many software docs. What say
> you? Also, have I answered my own question?