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've asked this question several times in over 10 years of technical
writing. But times and opinions change. I'd like to ask it again. I
can't seem to connect to the archives right now, so apologies if this
topic was covered recently.
My initial training stressed the need to atomize the steps in a
procedure. In other words, each sentence should include one action.
However, I've noticed many people, most notably Microsoft, now including
several actions in a single step when that step describes how to
navigate to a menu option. For example, to explain how to open the
Add/Remove Programs item on the Windows Control Panel, the instruction
might be this:
1. Click Start, then point to Settings, then click Control Panel, then
double-click Add/Remove Programs.
How do you all feel about this? Would you prefer to see a notation like
Start | Settings | Control Panel | Add/Remove Programs?
Aurigin Systems, Inc.
kcakebread -at- aurigin -dot- com