The following typographical conventions are used in this book:
Used for commands, programs, and options. All terms shown in bold are typed literally.
Used to show arguments and variables that should be replaced with user-supplied values. Italic is also used to indicate new terms and URLs, filenames and file extensions, and directories.
Used to show the contents of files or the output from commands.
Used in examples and tables to show commands or other text that should be typed literally by the user.
Used in examples and tables to show text that should be replaced with user-supplied values.
Used in some examples as the root shell prompt (#) and as the user prompt ($) under the Bourne or bash shells.
A final word about syntax: in many cases, the space between an option and its argument can be omitted. In other cases, the spacing (or lack of spacing) must be followed strictly. For example, -wn (no intervening space) might be interpreted differently from -w n. It's important to notice the spacing used in option syntax.
I use a shorthand notation to indicate paths. Instead of writing "From the Start menu, choose Find, then Files or Folders," I write: Start Find Files or Folders. I distinguish menus, dialog boxes, buttons, or other GUI elements only when the context would otherwise be unclear. Simply look for the GUI element whose label matches an element of the path.
In a keyboard accelerator (such as Ctrl-Alt-Del), a dash indicates that the keys should be held down simultaneously, whereas a space means that the keys should be pressed sequentially. For example, Ctrl-Esc indicates that the Control and Escape keys should be held down simultaneously; Ctrl Esc means that the Control and Escape keys should be pressed sequentially.
Where a keyboard accelerator contains an uppercase letter, you should not type the Shift key unless it's given explicitly. For example, Ctrl-C indicates that you should press the Control and C keys; Ctrl-Shift-C indicates that you should press the Control, Shift, and C keys.