I agree with all the respondents who said they'd remove "when
necessary." If the user is on pages x, he or she understands that they
don't have to go to page x.
----- Original Message -----
Date: Thursday, August 10, 2006 1:32 pm
Subject: OT: Writing/editing style
To: framers at frameusers.com
> Again, since there are so many veteran writers on this and who
> learned through the years to maneuver their way through the
> I am writing to a major application, that when launched, results
> in three
> other applications being launched and running continuously in the
> background. Icons for these three applications are present in the
> System Tray. If a user double-clicks on one of these icons, the
> window for the background application opens. The first time that a
> opens the main window for one of these background applications,
> they open
> to a default tab. Then, let's say the user opens another tab on
> the main
> window, completes the actions that he/she needs to on the tab,
> minimizes the main window, (remember, these applications cannot be
> while the main application is running. The user must always just
> the main window for the background application), then re-opens the
> window. Well, the last tab that user had open is now the tab that
> the user
> sees. This may or may not be the tab that the user needs, so in my
> instructions for procedures that are written for after the first
> time the
> user opens the window, I have this:
> 1.) In your system tray, double-click the [background application]
> icon. The [background application] window opens.
> 2.) If necessary, open the [tab].
> I have added the if necessary because the tab may or may not be
> the right
> one that is open for the user.
> My editor has removed the "if necessary" phrase saying that they
> are extra
> words and that the user will eventually figure out that sometimes
> don't need to open the tab - that it is already open. This seems
> counter-productive to me. We don't want the user to "eventually
> something out" in a User's guide - isn't the whole purpose of the
> guide to
> figure stuff out for the user?
> Believe me, there are some things worth falling on your sword for
> others, not so much or not all, and I have let the not so much/not
> all go,
> but his statement that "the user will eventually figure it out"
> irked me as it seems to be so very against the basic purpose of a
> Any thoughts, comments, etc. are appreciated. I will summarize the
> responses and go with the majority to make my decision as to
> whether I let
> this go or leave it in.
> Thanks so much,
> Tammy Van Boening
> Senior Technical Writer
> Jeppesen Sanderson, Inc.
> tammy.vanboening at jeppesen.com
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