Insert --> Arrow --> For Action. -Reply -Forwarded

Subject: Insert --> Arrow --> For Action. -Reply -Forwarded
From: Lisa Comeau <COMEAUL -at- CSA -dot- CA>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 14:20:08 -0400

Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 14:07:15 -0400
From: "Lisa Comeau" <COMEAUL -at- csa -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OK -dot- EDU
Subject: Insert --> Arrow --> For Action. -Reply

Holly Turner said (about using arrows instead of writing out menu command directions):

Instead of writing...
1. From the File menu, choose New, and then choose Mail Message

We would write...
1. File --> New --> Mail Message.

I don't think that a system administrator would be terribly confused by the arrows...however, the arrows seem awkward to me.

What are your experiences?

So I tell her:

Personally, as a "power-user" of most software applications, I don't feel the need to see the first example, I feel I'm "beyond" having every step explained to me.
As an instructor, I know that some people need more information than just an arrow.
I usually explain my conventions somewhere in the document, and then write the instructions like this:

Choose File ...New...Mail Message

In my experience, the ellipsis tells the user that each item is a menu choice. Experienced users can usually figure this one out, and so can most "new" users. And if they can't, it's always defined in the "conventions used in this manual" section I anally include in *every* manual I write.

Just my opinion...
Lisa Comeau
IS Super-User/Trainer
Certification and Testing Division
Canadian Standards Association
Rexdale, ON
comeaul -at- csa -dot- ca

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