Examples of user guides

Examples of user guides

Sample Applications User Guide, Release Each command (of type cmdline_parse_inst_t) is defined statically. It contains a pointer to a callback function that is executed when the command is parsed, an opaque pointer, a help string and a list of tokens in a NULL-terminated table. Sample User Manual Template. If you wish to design a use manual template for your product then you can use the format of this template. This template provides all the necessary information and guidelines about the use of product. The template given here in example if of a handheld device and you can also download and edit this template for your specific requirement. Oct 22,  · User Guide Tutorial. A User Guide explains how to use a software application in language that a non-technical person can understand. In general, user guides are part of the documentation suite that comes with an application for example, Data Sheets, Release Notes, Installation Guides and System Administration Guides. The examples can be all kinds of “How-to,” “Installation,” and “Getting Started” guides. Correspondingly, user guides can be created both in a form of written documents (e.g. troubleshooting guides with step-by-step explanations) and in the form of different media such as help video. System Summary User’s Manual Page SYSTEM SUMMARY. System Summary section provides a general overview of the system. The summary outlines the uses of the system’s hardware and software requirements, system’s configuration, user access levels and system’s behavior in .

A user guide is essentially a book-length document containing instructions on installing, using, or troubleshooting a hardware or software product.

User Story Examples

A user guide can be very brief—for example, only 10 or 20 pages or it can be a full-length book of pages or more. While this definition assumes computers, a user guide can provide operating instructions on practically anything—lawnmowers, microwave ovens, dishwashers, and so on. The more complex the product, the greater the page count. When this happens, some elements of the user guide get split out into their own separate volumes—especially the installation procedures, troubleshooting procedures, and the commands.

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  • A user guide can even contain a brief tutorial—for example, getting users started using the product—but if there is too much tutorial, it too goes into a separate book. A user guide is a combination of many things presented in this online textbook.

    Examples of user guides

    At its core is instruction writing; you need to be good at the writing style, headings, lists, notices, highlighting, tables, graphics commonly used in instructions. For an overview of these elements, see the page-design chapter in this online textbook. As a set of instructions, a user guide should use the style and format that is presented elsewhere in this online textbook:. As a book , a user guide must have some combination of the standard book-design components such as the following:.

    There is no standard combination or sequence of these elements; every company does it differently. Details on the contents, format, and design of these elements can be found in the book-design chapter. Note: Not all of the following styles and formats are not necessarily recommended.

    User Guide Tutorial

    Get in touch using the e-mail address at the bottom of this page if you have questions. This book is 5. It uses by-chapter pagination, with new chapters and sections beginning on a righthand page. This book is also 8. It is uses consecutive page numbering throughout the book and is about pages long.

    An important part of user guides—in fact, of almost any technical document—is the process that produces it:. As you can see, a user guide brings together many of the topics covered in this online textbook. If you are taking a technical writing course, you probably cannot implement all these features and phases of a user guide.

    Get with your instructor to see which are required. I would appreciate your thoughts, reactions, criticism regarding this chapter: your response — David McMurrey. User Guides Tell them how to operate it! Tell us where you are located! Instructions Precautionary information Reference information Getting-started information About the product Technical background. See examples of user guides. Style and Format for User Guides A user guide is a combination of many things presented in this online textbook.

    As a set of instructions, a user guide should use the style and format that is presented elsewhere in this online textbook: Headings. Use headings to mark off key contents of the information so that readers can find it quickly.

    See the chapter on headings for details on planning and designing headings. Use numbered and bulleted lists to help readers scan information quickly. See the chapter on lists for details on planning and designing lists.

    Special notices. Use special notices such as warnings, cautions, and notes to alert readers to potential problems or emphasize special points. See the chapter on notices for details on planning and designing notices. Instructional design. In general, use the standard design of instructions; primarily, this means task-oriented headings and sections and numbered vertical lists for actual steps that readers are to perform.

    See the chapter on instructions for details on planning and designing instructions. Instructions—and therefore user guides—also make abundant use of: Graphics. Show readers key components of the objects they will be working with, before and after views, and illustrations of key actions that readers must perform.

    See the chapter on graphics for details on planning and designing graphics. Provide statistical information and other such details in easy-to-access table form. In user guides, tables are particularly useful whenever reference-type information must be presented. See the chapter on tables for details on planning and designing tables. Use a consistent and standard scheme of highlighting bold, italics, alternate fonts, color, caps, and so on.

    Examples of user guides

    See the chapter on highlighting for details on planning and designing highlighting guidelines. Components of User Guides As a book , a user guide must have some combination of the standard book-design components such as the following: Front and back covers Title page Edition notice Trademarks Disclaimers Warranties License agreements Safety notices Preface Appendixes Glossary Index Reader-comment form There is no standard combination or sequence of these elements; every company does it differently.

    The most obvious are those step-by-step directions on how to assemble, operate, or troubleshoot the product. Instructions in user guide should generally be task-oriented —that is, written for specific tasks that users must perform.

    Instructions should generally use vertical numbered lists for actions that must be performed in a required sequence.

    User Manual Template

    Similar or closely related instructions in user guides should be grouped into chapters. Precautionary information.

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    You'll see notes, warning, caution, and even danger notices in user guides. These represent liability concerns for the manufacturer of the product. Reference information. User guides typically contain plenty of reference information, but only up to a certain point. For example, if there are numerous commands, a separate book for commands is necessary. Reference information in user guides is often presented in tables: columnar lists of settings, descriptions, variables, parameters, flags, and so on.

    Getting-started information. Some user guides will actually include brief tutorials that will help new users get acquainted with using the product. About the product. User guides also provide some description of the product, a review of its essential features or its new features.

    Sometimes this information also gets put into a separate volume, if it is extensive.

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  • Typically, the volume will be called something like "Introducing New Product Sometimes, users guides will include technical explanations of how the product works, what physical or chemical principles are essential to its operation, and so on. Descriptive Examples of User Guides Consider these examples.

    Thermo-Calc Software

    Covers: On the front cover, you see the full book title, a version number, the company name with its logo, and warning that the book is not for retail sale. The back cover contains advertising material—rather atypical for user guides—on the product's best features, special offers on the full version, a number to call, and the book number.

    Title page: The first page inside this user guide is the title page, which includes the product name, the book title, the book edition number, the date of the edition, the company logo which includes its name , several addresses for the company, and the not-for-retail-sale warning. The company name has a registered trademark symbol beside it; the product name has the trademark letters beside it.

    No trademark symbols are shown on the front or back covers. A greener approach is to omit the title page, since it is practically a duplicate of the front cover, and put the edition notice on the back of the front cover.

    Edition notice: On the back of the title page is the edition notice. This edition notice includes the book title, a copyright notice, legal statements concerning copying the book, list of trademarked product names occurring in the book, and the document number.

    Contents of This Chapter

    License agreement: On the next page is the software agreement, a two-page thing that outlines permitted uses of the software and related warranties. Table of contents: The TOC begins on a right-hand page numbered "i" and lists up to level of headings within the chapters. Headers and footers: The book title is used for both the left and right footers: on the left page, the title is right-aligned; on the right page, the title is left-aligned. The page number appears opposite of both footers, and a solid ruled line is placed just above both footers.

    The chapter title is used for the inside header on each page; the current heading is used for the outside header on each page. A solid ruled line is placed just beneath these headers.

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  • Preface: The overview which is treated as chapter 1. It contains some promotion of the product, a diagram of the product's many uses, hardware and software requirements on its use, an overview of the manual contents, and instructions on how to get help.

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    Body chapters: Chapters use the following design features: Chapter title—Large bold Arial letters with the chapter title on the left margin and the chapter number on the right and a double ruled line below. Headings—First-level headings are about 1 point smaller than chapter titles, left aligned, with a solid ruled line just below.

    Second-level headings are about 2 points smaller, left aligned, with no ruled line. Text—Body text is a serif font about 10 points in size. This manual does not use hanging-head format; run-over text extends to the same left margin as do headings. Graphics—Numerous screen captures are used through the book; they are all centered. Lists—Numbered lists are used for items in sequence such as steps. Open squares are used for bulleted items that have a subhead.

    Otherwise standard filled disks are used as bullets. Highlighting—Text that users must type uses a sans serif type probably Arial as do screen buttons, options, field names, and system messages. Bold is used for simple emphasis.


    Notices—Only notes and hints are used. The word "Note:" or "Hint" uses bold-italics. The text of the notice is regular body font indented an inch. Appendixes—The book ends with two appendixes: Appendix A addresses common problems with a situation—solution format; Appendix B addresses fonts.

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