RE: what to do when there are two paths for a procedure

Subject: RE: what to do when there are two paths for a procedure
From: "Nancy Smith" <smithcds -at- ici -dot- net>
To: "'TECHWR-L, a list for all technical communication issues'" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>, "'Amy Lattof'" <amyl -at- learnlinc -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 21:45:17 -0400

I had a situation where I had to do it two ways --
show a path for a mainframe user and a button for a
Windows user. I did something to make the menu path
distinctive, like using Arial 8 pt bold and graphic
arrows and but it in the left margin. Then I used
the button in the step. If you design a format that
is distinctive and that will always be the same
whenever you have that situation, I think you'll be
satisfied with the results and your manager will be

Nancy Smith

bounce-techwr-l-10572 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com[SMTP:bounce-
techwr-l-10572 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com] on behalf of Amy
Lattof[SMTP:amyl -at- learnlinc -dot- com]
Reply To: Amy Lattof
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 1999 5:03 PM
Subject: what to do when there are two paths for a

Hi all,

What do you do when the software you are documenting
has two paths for most
of its tasks? For example, to launch an application
you might:

a. Select Tools > Run > MyApp, from the menu bar.
b. Click the MyApp button on the toolbar.

I've been dealing with them by documenting the
"formal" menu way in the main
procedure, and then giving the quick "button" way in
my shortcuts column (a
section that runs next to the main column and gives
quick tips, definitions,

I'm pretty satisfied with this solution, but my
manager wants to document
both paths in the main procedure. Sooo, it would go
some thing like:

Select Tools > Run > MyApp from the menu bar, or
click the MyApp button on
the toolbar.
And then the button way would also still in the
shortcuts column.

What do you think? Is my original scheme effective?
Is his suggestion
confusing (I think it would be...) Am I really off
the wall here? Any
comments or suggestions are welcome.


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