RE: Documenting enabled/disabled items

Subject: RE: Documenting enabled/disabled items
From: "Giordano, Connie" <Connie -dot- Giordano -at- FMR -dot- COM>
To: "'Christina Tolliver'" <christina_tolliver -at- hotmail -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 15:53:58 -0500

I'd go with something similar to the second method. Are these fields
enabled/disabled depending on access rights? If so, you may want to
consider a chart. That's worked extremely well for me in the past.

Connie Giordano

-----Original Message-----
From: Christina Tolliver [mailto:christina_tolliver -at- hotmail -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, December 13, 1999 12:13 PM
Subject: Documenting enabled/disabled items


After procedure steps, do you document which fields are enabled and which
are disabled? What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so, or not?

My question pertains particularly to software that is not consistent in
appearance or behavior. In my company's software, fields with a white
background are not always editable, and fields with a gray background are
not always read-only. The current user documentation indicates when fields
become disabled or enabled. Here's an example.

2 Click the Add button.
The non-editable fields are disabled.
The editable fields are enabled.

Whether or not you would _word_ things this way, do you think such a
statement helps users? (Our users are familiar with Windows but are not
computer whizzes.) Would this example be more helpful if the specific field
names were listed? Then, the example might read this way.

2 Click the Add button.
The Host, Switch, and Equipment boxes are disabled.
The Calling Feature box is enabled.

If this kind of information is helpful to users, it's worth the maintenance
effort for us writers to keep up with what fields are enabled when. But if
this is just a case of stating the obvious, maybe it's not worth our effort.

What do you think?

Christina Tolliver

Get Your Private, Free Email at

Sponsored by Weisner Associates Inc., Online Information Services
Training & consulting for RoboHELP, Dreamweaver, HTML, and HTML-Based Help.
More info at or mailto:training -at- weisner -dot- com -dot-

Sponsored by ForeignExchange (
Rely on ForeignExchange for responsive and professional
software localization and technical translation services.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: connie -dot- giordano -at- fmr -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-19883K -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: RE: Hosted Applications - Documentation and Help Systems
Next by Author: RE: Tracking off
Previous by Thread: Documenting enabled/disabled items
Next by Thread: RE: Documenting enabled/disabled items

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads