Dealing with required/optional information in the same doc

Subject: Dealing with required/optional information in the same doc
From: "Victoria Wroblewski" <vwroblewski -at- bridgeport-networks -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 11:08:16 -0500

Maybe it's just not enough coffee yet for a Friday morning, but I'm
stumped. I think it's an issue on how to handle numbering.

In the doc I'm currently working in, we're working to combine procedures
that used to be two highly redundant chapters. Mostly the same
information and steps, but some variants. The problem I am having with
series of steps that are only required for 1 of the 2 configurations.

Sloppy Example:

Backing Up Data
Step 1: BIOS Config
Step 2: Installation
Step 3: Configuration
Setting Up Replication

They are all steps, but Backing Up Data and Setting Up Replication are
only required for 1 of the 2 configurations. All of the steps required
for either set-up are at least grouped together, the optional steps are
either before or after them. I don't want to get rid of the "Step"
references, since we've gotten good user feedback on them as a way to
keep track of were you are in the process (each "Step" is not a single
step, it is several that complete a particular function, like
Installation, etc.)

Do I give even the optional steps a step number and just note it (Step
1: Backing Up Data (Optional)). Do I just bite the bullet and manage
two 30+ page chapters where only about 4 pages are different? (I'd love
to have conditional or variable text right now but I don't, we use

- Victoria


New from Quadralay Corporation: WebWorks ePublisher Pro! Easily create
14 online formats, including 6 Help systems, in a project-based
workflow. Live, online demo!

Doc-To-Help 2005 now has RoboHelp Converter and HTML Source: Author
content and configure Help in MS Word or any HTML editor. No
proprietary editor! *August release.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archiver -at- techwr-l -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: Scanned Docs to Revise (Thanks)
Next by Author: any Oracle fountains of knowledge out there?
Previous by Thread: RE: Transitioning Text Across Platforms?
Next by Thread: Tech Writing Internships

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

Sponsored Ads