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Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors, Second Edition by Elizabeth Wilde, Shannon Rouiller, Deirdre Longo, Polly Hughes, Ann Kilty Hernandez, Michelle Carey, Gretchen Hargis

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Chapter 9Retrievability

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Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.

—Samuel Johnson

Retrievability is the characteristic of information that enables users to find specific information. Good retrievability ensures that users don't get lost in a maze of information. Users want to find what they need quickly and easily. Many elements contribute to good retrievability: obvious ones like tables of contents, indexes, links, and headings, and not so obvious ones like highlighting, revision markers, icons, and navigation panes. These elements are entry points—signposts that orient and ...

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