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I suspect it the rule has to do (hah!) with the adjective rule as well as the desire to avoid 
confusion with some sort of verbing.  I think the nouning of it is typical English language 
vocabulary creativity.

One factor in being consistent, of course, is to assist translation.

I never saw HOWTO until I was looking up something on a Linux CD one time.  I had seen man pages 
for years before, of course.

Enough speculation!

Your mention of "style guide" reminded me that there is a Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical 
Publications, though I don't know if it has been kept up.  I had to look at three wrong choices 
before I found it in my disorganized bookshelves.  It actually has "how-to" in the index.

Here is the Entry:

   "how-to vs. how to

   "   Hyphenate as an adjective (as in 
       'how-to books'), but use two words 
       as an adverb plus infinitive (as 
       in 'This is how to format your disk').

   "   In headings and titles, do not 
       capitalize the 't', as in 'How-tos, 
       Tips, and Tricks' or 'How to Format 
       Your Disk.' "

Notice that they don't address nouning, but they use "How-tos".  (The so-called computer dictionary 
is worse.  Fortunately or unfortunately, the dictionary has no entries with title in the how* 
range.  Clearly Bill Gates did not proof-read any of this or some serious howlers would have been 
eliminated.  Bill is very astute concerning language and clarity.)

Citation:

  Microsoft Corporation.  Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications, 2nd edition. 
Microsoft Press (Redmond WA: 1998).  ISBN 1-57231-890-2 pbk with CD-ROM.

Experimentation:

I thought I might try searching the CD-ROM version of the document. There is a Microsoft .chm 
version, but it's search treats "how-to" as two separate words.  Bummer. Ahah, they talk about 
"readme files" not "read-me files" but that is probably a typographical issue, since the name of 
the file is being referenced.  I suspect that is the ONLY case where "howto" is usable, as well as 
fully capitalized, when it is about files having a particular name or the application that coughs 
up such files (the howto command).

Laughs:

I tried running the install of the book on the CD-ROM using Windows 7 64-bit :).  The installer 
said it needed to install IE 4.0 in order to operate.  I declined.  It looked so 1990s too.  Wow.

Well that was fun.

 - Dennis

-----Original Message-----
From: Jean Weber [mailto:jeanweber@gmail.com] 
Sent: Saturday, November 05, 2011 16:37
To: documentation@global.libreoffice.org
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-documentation] "how-to" or "howto"

Thanks, Dennis. Although I don't consider Wikipedia a definitive
source, it's always nice when it agrees with me. ;-)

I note this sentence in the Wikipedia article you cited: 'The correct
way to write it in English is "how-to", but it is common practice to
write it as "HOWTO" in the Linux community.' That explains to me why
many people on this project are used to the all-caps version. However,
the majority of LO's users are Windows users and, therefore, I assume
most the readers of our documentation are Windows users; they are less
likely to be familiar with Linux conventions.

Unfortunately, no style guide citation is given for the statement 'The
correct way to write it in English is "how-to",' and I've been unable
to find anything about this in a quick look through my style guides.
Another possibility is to use "how-to" as an adjective, not a noun:
for example, "a how-to guide" instead of "a how-to" or "a list of
how-to guides" instead of "a list of how-tos".

--Jean

On Sun, Nov 6, 2011 at 06:36, Dennis E. Hamilton
<dennis.hamilton@acm.org> wrote:
You have Wikipedia on your side, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HowTo>.

The HOWTO as a companion of FAQ and README is noted.  I also think there is affinity with the 
MAN-page Unixism, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_page>, although it is apparently uncommon to 
use "man" full-capitalized.

North America goes off daylight savings time in about 13 hours.  Hoo Haa.  Now if I just go to 
bed early anyhow!

 - Dennis

-----Original Message-----
From: Jean Weber [mailto:jeanweber@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 05, 2011 12:57
To: documentation@global.libreoffice.org
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-documentation] "how-to" or "howto"

On Sunday, November 6, 2011, Marc Paré <marc@marcpare.com> wrote:
I just wanted to ask if there is an agreed view on whether to use the
term "how-to" or "howto" or "HOWTO" (all uppercase) on our LibreOffice
pages?

I believe that the convention is "HOWTO" much in the same way that we use
"FAQ" in uppercase. Is this how it is being used in documentation?

I just wanted to ask for the sake of consistency on our web pages too.

Cheers,

Marc


I prefer "how-to" as a generic term. It's not like  FAQ, which is an
acronym or initialism. I haven't researched this in style guides,, however,
so I'm not (yet) dead set on it. I don't recall if the term is in our own
style guide (which isn't fully up to date); I'll check that later.

--Jean

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