7. Constructing Text


Cross-references identify for a reader additional information about a specific topic that is available within the document or a different source. To be useful to a reader, cross-references must be specific and accurate. Include any detail that will help a reader find the information easily.

There are several acceptable formats for cross-references. These formats are often dependent upon where the cited information is located (within your document, another document produced by your company, or a third-party document) and the length of the reference.

However, you should never use a cross-reference:

    Instead, provide the vital information. If the information is extensive, you can summarize it and also include a cross-reference to the source.

    For safety information, use Caution or Warning text.

Fonts, Punctuation, and Capitalization

      Refer to Chapter 4, "System Board and Component Replacement," in SPARCserver 1000 System Service Manual.

      Refer to Chapter 6, "Copying Files to a Diskette."

      . . . as shown in Figure 9, "Null Modem Cabling."

      Go to step 4.

      Refer to page 42 for further information.

Writing Cross-References

Cross-references break the flow of your discussion, and therefore you should write them so that a reader easily recognizes when you have given a reference.

    Wrong: To reboot, see Chapter 4.

    Right: For instructions on how to reboot, see Chapter 4.

      Use the diff filename1 filename2 command to compare two files (see Section 1.2).

      Use the diff filename1 filename2 command to compare two files. See Section 1.2, "Working With Text Files," in Chapter 2 of UNIX Simplified.

Cross-References to Third-Party Documents

      One of the reference books used in preparation of this document was The Deluxe Transitive Vampire by Karen Elizabeth Gordon (Pantheon Books, 1993).

Cross-References to Text Within Your Document

You can provide a cross-reference to a part, chapter, appendix, section, figure, or table within your book.

      See Chapter 4, "Closing the System Unit Cover."

      Go to Section 3.3.2, "Reserving Disks," in Chapter 3, "Getting Started."

    For example, here are shortened versions of the previous example:

      See Chapter 4.

      . . . as described in Section 3.3.2.

Cross-References to Another Document Produced by Your Company

      Refer to Intellicon's Administrator's Guide for X Terminal Software, part number 690-32-1146.