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Active voice is the appropriate choice for all types and sections of technical documentation, and for training and service manuals. The Microsoft Manual of Style is used by professional technical writers. The 4th edition (2012) says: In general, use active voice. Active voice emphasizes the person or thing performing the action. It's more direct than ...


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Whatever results in the less convoluted and easier to understand syntax. Usually people find it easier to understand active voice. Even research articles are today usually written in active voice and avoid confusing self-reference-avoidance (do: "We conducted a study...", don't: "A study was conducted ..." [by whom?]). Machines are operated by persons, they ...


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My preference is for passive voice for reference material, some active for tutorials/howtos and whatever is easiest to understand for instructional or theoretical overviews. For example a mechanic changing a tire will check the manual for inflation pressure and lug torques (reference), a teenager will want a youtube video (howto), but an engineer will want ...



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