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The first line on page one: "You must create a map definition before
you plot a map." Not "A map definition must exist before a map can be
plotted." Somebody's got to do it -- why not cop to that fact?
Arthur, I don't know your software, but I've used and written mapping software
manuals in the past, and have a question for you (and thus a point about
passive voice): Can a user use an existing map definition, created by someone
else, or provided with the software as a set of default definitions? If so,
then your use of the active voice _exclusively_ disguises this fact. If a naive
user wants to make a quick map of, say, Philedelphia, just to plot the known
locations of the company's stores, then there may be defaults he doesn't know
about, and enters with trepidation into the complex activity of defining one.
Just a thought.
Gwen (ggall -at- ca -dot- oracle -dot- com)
P.S. What is the software? I know most of them, at least by name