Difference: CAPUserDocumentationSP12 ( vs. 1)

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User Documentation Outline

Computer Applications Practicum, Spring 2012

This outline specifies the minimum content elements for user-level documentation of your system. Submit drafts of your document in Word format to facilitate response to comments provided by the instructor. You may use any appropriate document formatting style as long as this outline is followed and the content elements are complete.

Cover Page

Provide a cover page with the necessary content, such as the name of the document, date, and Author.

Revision History

Provide a revision history table of this document with column titles: Revision Number, Date of Release, Author, and Summary of Changes.

Table of Contents

Provide a table of contents with a list of the document sections and the pages on which they begin.


The introduction should contain paragraphs providing the following information

  • purpose of system: high-level description of the system, including its primary purpose, and expected kinds of users
  • environment: the operating environments and platforms supported by the system
  • document overview: Provide information on how the document is to be used. Discuss any conceptual background information that should be familiar to users of the system, such as common process workflows or resources that are expected to be available to users.

Instructional Manual

The instructional manual section provides directions for the user on the functions and operational procedures for the software.

  • *Functions and Operating Procedures:* Provide instructions for performing each major function or procedure. Give a brief overview of the purpose of each procedure, with step-by-step instructions for execution. Specify any user inputs or administrative activities that must be performed before starting the task. Define the expected results and any procedures for examining these results. Describe any related functions.

Reference Manual

The reference manual section should provide explanations of abnormal conditions that may arise when using the software, including error messages and related recovery procedures.

  • *Error Messages and Resolution:* Provide a list of error messages and their resolution. The document should address all known error triggers in detail; each error message with an identification of the problem, probable cause, and corrective actions should also be defined. Problem resolution should include contact information for reporting issues that cannot be resolved by the end user.

Installation Information

Provide a detailed explanation of installation procedures for installing any required system elements, such as equipment or software.


Provide references to any sources (web or printed) used in the creation of the User Document.


Provide an alphabetized list of definitions for special terms and acronyms used in the document.

Appendices (as needed)

The appendices should contain any supporting material that is too detailed or large to be included in the main body of the document, such as details about procedures that are not likely to be performed by the ordinary user. Refer to each appendix in the main body of the text where the information applies.

-- RobertKasper - 2012-04-03

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