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.
Re: For references or directives, do you say where/why and then what/how, or vice versa?
Subject:Re: For references or directives, do you say where/why and then what/how, or vice versa? From:Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com> To:"Wright, Lynne" <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- kronos -dot- com> Date:Fri, 17 Aug 2018 12:44:00 -0400
The house style at my current employer is to use letters for callouts. I
disagreed at first (for the reasons given), but it's another one of those
hills I don't need to climb up, much less die on. Letters or numbers, it
gets the job done, and the small disambiguation is a bonus.
Besides, several of the managers/users here said they found it less
confusing to use letters, especially since the legend tends to immediately
precede the procedure. In the spirit of "know thy audience" and "keep
management happy", I conceded. :D
On Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 12:20 PM, Wright, Lynne <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- kronos -dot- com>
> I agree... its more or less a universal standard that numbers on a graphic
> are associated to callout entries that are listed in numerical order right
> after the graphic.
> Not that using letters isn't fine; but I certainly wouldn't start changing
> all my callout numbers to letters on the very remote chance that somebody
> might get confused.
> I think sometimes we create more work for ourselves by overthinking things.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=kronos -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> <techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=kronos -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> On Behalf
> Of John Allred
> Sent: Friday, August 17, 2018 11:43 AM
> To: Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com>
> Cc: techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: For references or directives, do you say where/why and then
> what/how, or vice versa?
> The use of numbers for callouts is a long-standing practice that I agree
> with. Yes, âsome peopleâ will fail to understand the simplest of
> instructions. Can that be remedied through changing conventions?
> On Aug 17, 2018, at 9:42 AM, Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> > ...
> > My current preference (subject to change with better data) is to use
> > letters as callouts on the graphic and refer the reader to that
> > callout letter. This was after much grumbling on my part, since my
> > preference is to use numbers, not letters, but the argument that the
> > reader could interpret the callout number as being associated with a
> > numbered step was enough to convince me to change my ways.
> Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and
> content development | http://techwhirl.com
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as Lynne -dot- Wright -at- kronos -dot- com -dot-
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
>http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and
> Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online
> magazine at http://techwhirl.com
> Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public
> email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and content development | http://techwhirl.com