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.
I could assume a certain amount of knowledge on the part of my audience... I always included a section that said something like "The conventions in this document assume a basic knowledge of Windows software."
If you have *really* basic users, you would have to spell it out for
them everywhere anyway.
<snippety snip snip snip>
IMHO, that would be a conventions section, Nora. As soon as you mention something that the reader may use to understand where your head was when writing the manual, you're giving them a type of "conventions dictionary".
And as far as spelling it out for really basic users, all that is is including the conventions within the manual. I think that whether we like it or not, we all use "conventions translators" in some way, and our users are the better for it, so why not?
(sniff, sniff, do I smell burnt toast?)
my laptop is dead and so is my signature macro
comeaul -at- csa -dot- ca