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'd think that since fields and the values in them look different in windows
applications than they did in 3270 screens, that a simple typographic
variation might be ok. you might consider using column headings to
distinguish between the field and the description.
just to complicate matters, even if you show the entire window at the
beginning of the section, would it be worth it to break out sections of the
window and repeat them closer to the description of the data elements. I'd
think it'd be kinda tough on the reader to be flipping back and forth from
the screenshot to the description. for example, envision what a typical
order entry screen might appear like - customer info, order info, shipping
info, pricing info. so you might have:
Use this window to .....
customer info portion
order info portion
i think it worked pretty well for some of my doc, esp on really busy screens
with a lot going on.
droberts63 -at- earthlink -dot- net
Delores Delago for President
> -----Original Message-----
> I?m re-writing a document that was used with our old mainframe-based
> application. The new document, more than less, is a users? manual for the
> widows based version of the application. The client wants the new document
> resemble the old one as much as possible
> The old document had screen captures of the mainframe
> screens from a terminal. There would be one screen capture on a
> page followed by a few pages of the data elements? names and
> data elements were numbered with a distinctive font set on the screen
> The screen shot would have an element such as "Last name," and next to
> words might have been a "1" so the reader of the guide knew that the
> wasn?t an actual part of the screen. A page later, the #1 data element
> "last name" with it?s description along side in a numbered table of all
> elements on the corresponding screen.
> So, is there a better way to do this? Is it enough to have a clear screen
> and then in the subsequent pages list the names of the Data Elements, so
> the user views "last name" on the screen shot, and views "last name" in
> list of data elements, and that?s enough for him or her to make the
> connection. Or, do users need numeric clues in addition to the verbal
> like in the original document?