On page 498 of the file <scrivener-manual-letter.pdf> it says:
The Corrections tab contains optional typing aids, such as typographic enhancements (superscripted ordinals, em dashes, smart quotes, etc), word completion, and control of the spelling engine.
The table on contents made no obvious mention of spelling. So I did a search for “spelling.” This was the first of four or five results. I was not reading systematically, therefore had no context. Having read right through the Tutorial file, I’m now at work on my project, learning as I go. It’s going well.
Have you considered internal links within the PDF for key words such as “Tab” to take the reader back to where the context is set out? More work putting them in place, but would reduce forum queries such as this one. Just a thought.
I’m afraid I don’t follow. This would strike me as a very confusing line:
“The Corrections tab (Appendix B) contains optional typing aids…”. The section we are in already is the corrections reference, so putting a link after that word leads the reader to believe the corrections tab is discussed elsewhere, when it isn’t (at least not in detail). I don’t think it would occur to them that “tab” is the word being referenced here, as a glossary term almost, since the word tab is only part of a compound noun here.
I don’t think this is a huge problem, at least I’ve never had anyone express confusion over this matter before, so there isn’t much of a forum query level to reduce.
What I would like to do is touch these appendices up a bit with icons at the top and a brief description of how to get to it, like “Scrivener > Preferences : Corrections”, beside the icon. Now that we’ve got high-resolution icons for the Retina version, this should be easier to do.
I jumped right in the middle of Appendix B as a result of a search for “spelling.” The intent of Appendix B is self evident for anyone who started at the beginning of Appendix B, but disorienting when jumping into the middle. Indeed, I didn’t even know I was in an Appendix, just that I was on a page with the code letter “B”. If there were an obvious link on the word “tab” I would have clicked on it and if that link took me to a “footnote” identifying the intent of the Appendix, that this section of the docs is describing the Preferences functions, I would have had my answer.
As it happens, I did indeed scroll up to gain my bearings, but visually there was nothing in the typographic design that jumped out at me that “here” is orientation. I was looking at the text visually, scanning rapidly (not reading). Footnotes are valuable in documentation. If I had this confusion there are at least a couple of dozen others who just gave up and didn’t pursue the issue. Only a very few will speak.
I hope the above are a help. Your work is valuable. Scrivener is an amazing program and my project would be dead in the water without it.
I think my solution of prefacing the section with a description of what the section refers to, so that you do not need the chapter level context, is a better one in this case—or at least it is something that a single person can accomplish and still do other things with their day.
There is literally no limit to the number of scenarios which could involve someone using the search feature and landing in the middle of a page without context. That’s just the nature of searching, in opposition to the nature of language, which establishes a concept and then uses measurable inches of space to expound upon that concept, eventually pushing it out of view—so after searching you have to get your bearings as you eventually did. I cannot feasibly anticipate every search pattern people will use, and analyse and footnote every such blind spot in every paragraph of the user manual so that it could be treated as a fresh instance that has never been explained before.
To be clear, it’s not that I disagree with your point: I just think the solution is more immediately making it obvious that Appendix B.9 is in regards to the Corrections preferences tab for those that are unaware of what Appendix B is all about, rather than attempting to cross-wire every potentially confusing word in a 500 page book.
I’m embarrassed. Looked again at the PDF at B9, page 498, and saw for the first time the page header “Appendix B Preferences.” Had I scrolled all the way back I would have seen the existing introduction to the Appendix. Or had I thought through the page header itself, the word “Preferences” would have been a sufficient trigger for what was going on.
And we would not be having this conversation.
You are indeed quite correct. It’s impossible to cover all the potential scenarios.