Re: Italics in End-User Manuals

Subject: Re: Italics in End-User Manuals
From: Mike Bygrave <bygravem -at- INTUITIVE -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Fri, 17 May 1996 10:10:00 +-100

>>Any opinions regarding the use of italics in end-user manuals?<<

I tend to use italics to mark references and names in my documentation. =
However, IMHO there are no set rules - where and when you use bold and =
italic text is largely down to your own judgment on style. The main =
thing that I would say is that - as long as you use italics sensibly and =
consistently - you can use them wherever you like. However, I'm sure =
there are some structuralists out there who are prepared to shoot me =
down on this one.

With regard to your other message:

>>Can anyone tell me if they have either produced a survey or seen the =
>>of a survey comparing left and full justification of text in end-user
>>manuals? I was taught in one of my Technical Writing classes that =
>>full justification was considered to be a less effective method of
>>presenting instruction.

IMHO, the use of full justification is a balance between line length and =
hyphenation. Or, to put it another way, it is often a balance between =
aesthetic quality and readability. In most 'normal' applications, I =
think that left-justified text looks more interesting on a full-width =

Incidentally, the opinions I have expressed above are based upon 'true' =
English (as in that which you get in England, where I'm from). Some of =
the finer (and, indeed, courser) points of grammar will differ in =
American English. I noted recently that a discussion arose around =
whether a full stop (period) should be placed inside or outside of =
quotation marks. In English, if the full stop is being used to denote =
that end of the sentence which contains the quote, it should always =
appear outside the marks - even if the quote is a complete sentence =

Mike Bygrave - Technical Writer=20
bygravem -at- intuitive -dot- co -dot- uk =20
"1966 was a great year for English=20
football - Eric Cantona was born."

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