"If you want" question


Sometimes “if it works, don’t fix it” I am advised. Nevertheless some texts in LibreOffice Help still makes me scratch some itches…

Reading @jeanweber “Writing style” on using the imperative:

  • When appropriate (as in instructions), use the imperative. For example, instead of you should not use slang, say do not use slang.

I counted 299 occurences of the term “If you want” mostly in 2 situations

  1. “If you want to + action”, for example, “If you want to count only some text of your document, select the text”.

  2. “If you want, you can + action”. For example “If you want, you can associate a page break…”

In both cases “If you want” seems in excess. The first by following the Imperative rule quoted above and the second because of the verb can, which IMHO infer your decision/wish.

Keep the “don’t fix it” rule?


1 Like

Hello Olivier

I agree with Jean. Chapter 4 of the Getting Started Guide is terrible and no thought of using the imperative.


Peter Schofield
Technical Writer, LO Documentation Team

It would be great, if effort of the documentation team would go into cleaning the finished guides to make them easier to update extisting translations from finished/work-in-progress translations of previous versions of the guide.
The GS wasn’t cleaned in its one or two last iterations and as such will probably get less translation updates or slow down the translation efforts of the l10n teams …
In the process of publishing a guide it is still not clear who does this - I think the English guide should not be officially published, if the guide chapter files do not get cleaned.