Instruction Manual

An instruction manual is a useful tool that one can refer to whenever he/she needs an infographic to look at when building something complicated. It is most commonly found on products that require a great deal of assembly, such as a computer, a cabinet, and so on. instruction-manual

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Instruction Manual Definition & Meaning

An instruction manual refers to a booklet or a book that usually accompanies an appliance (such as a sewing machine), device, computer game, or vehicle, that contains a written guideline or visual clipart informing users how to use the said product.

They are usually great tools to help users get up to speed with their product in a short amount of time.

What Is an Instruction Manual?

An instruction manual, also known as a user guide or a user handbook, is a document that is created with the intention to assist a user in using and understanding a particular product, service, or program. This document is usually written by someone who has technical knowledge about the product or by a company’s support staff. The wordings used in an instruction manual are usually user-friendly and when technical jargon is used, it is explained thoroughly.

10 Types of Instruction Manual

Operational Instruction Manual

An operational instruction manual (also known as a company operations manual) is a document that guides the members of an organization or employees of a company to perform their functions effectively. It usually contains the standard operating procedures for performing operations safely to create products and provide services. It’s also functionally similar to an employee handbook and serves as an encyclopedia of sorts for someone’s business.


Provider Instruction Manual

A provider instruction manual is a document that is used by medical or health care providers such as those that work in the dentistry field. This document normally contains different safety procedures and protocols for carrying out different medical services. This document basically ensures that the procedures being carried out are safe for the patients and up to the stringent quality standards.


Furniture Instruction Manual

A furniture instruction manual is a document that usually comes with a piece of furniture when a customer purchases it. Since furniture can sometimes be complicated, it’s important that it comes with a manual so that the customers who purchased the item won’t be left in the dark. As for the contents, it normally comes with instructions on how to assemble the furniture or how to use it in the right way.


Job Instruction Manual

Another manual that’s important in a workplace setting is a job instruction manual. This is normally used as a reference for someone who is currently undergoing training in a company. This type of instruction manual is also used for jobs that require manual labor such as factory work, janitorial work, water pump work, and so on.


Technical Instruction Manual

A technical instruction manual is a document that’s written primarily for users or for people with little to no technical knowledge about a particular product. Its primary function is to make it simple for the end-user to understand the technicalities of using a product or service. In other words, this document allows the users to get them up to speed on something.


User Instruction Manual

A user instruction manual is a document that’s intended to give assistance to users on how to use a particular product. This type of instruction manual should assist users in how to use a product safely, healthily, and effectively. It usually consists of textual visual information (such as an icon, clipart, a screenshot, or a table) to aid the user in completing specific tasks, such as assembling a tent, making a telephone work properly, and so on.


Software Instruction Manual

A software instruction manual is a form of documentation that is intended to instruct users on how to use a program or particular software product. This is important since it can help customers to get quickly acquainted with a software program quickly. It can also serve as a support document for customers to look at whenever they get confused or stuck with an issue.


Safety Instruction Manual

A safety instruction manual documents the safety practices, rules, and regulations in operating a hazardous piece of machinery or for working in a particular workplace. A safety instruction manual is important because it can reduce the chances of a user getting injured or ill when using a particular product. This document is also important in the workplace since it can prevent serious workplace accidents from happening which may lead to illness, injury, or death.


Product Instruction Manual

A product instruction manual is intended to guide customers on how to use a particular product, such as craft materials, monopoly board, and so on. This document allows users to get up to speed with a particular item, whether it is simple or complicated in nature. This document may also provide users with quick and detailed answers to whatever questions they may have about a product.


Work Instruction Manual

A work instruction manual is a document that contains documented guidelines that clarify how to perform work assignments. This document usually contains detailed descriptions of task-related steps to reduce the chances of any setbacks, damages, and inconveniences. This is also known as a work guide or a standard operating procedure.


Instruction Manual Uses, Purpose, Importance

Customers usually use an instruction manual whenever they need actionable information on how to navigate a product or overcome an issue when they encounter it. They usually come across this document whenever they need to operate certain equipment or when they need written instructions to properly accomplish a task. Here are some more uses and importance that an instruction manual can bring.

Sales Literature

A user manual is a document that can serve as sales literature for a particular product. This is a purpose that simply cannot be found on a product brochure or a study result. This document will provide everything in one place that can be helpful to a prospective client whenever he/she asks for information.

Product Inspections

Instruction manuals are also handy documents to have whenever an equipment or device inspection is being performed. During an inspection, the first document that the inspector will usually look for is an instruction manual and he/she will use it to compare the product being inspected with an approval sample. To ensure that this is effective for its purpose, this document should be written in great detail.

Product Usage Efficiency

A user manual will also tell the customer how to use the product (camera, telephone, drone) in an efficient manner. In an instruction manual, the product’s main features that are used frequently are usually highlighted, which in turn can help the user with the efficient use of the product. Aside from efficiency, they can also get deep in detail and contain thorough step-by-step instructions on using the product.

Proper Product Usage

Instruction manuals, at their core, provide information for users on the proper operation of a particular product. When written properly, their content should reach users with the intent to provide proper usage advice. This helps bring down the risk of the user bringing the product to an inoperable condition.

Increase of Sales

Instruction manuals are also used by businesses to drive their sales upward. They can do so since customers usually ask for a product manual to have any idea of how to use the product before they think about purchasing it. When they can’t understand what’s on the manual, or when there’s no manual present, then there’s a chance that they will simply move on to a different product from a different brand.

What’s in an Instruction Manual? Parts?

Table of Contents

This part of the manual lists the content/chapters in order of presentation with their corresponding page numbers.

Procedural Steps

This serves as the main body of an instruction manual and contains logical, numbered steps that help a user solve a problem.

Tables and Graphs

These elements help enhance the content clarity of the instruction manual by showing how the sections of content relate, compliment, and contrast with each other.

Glossary of Terms

This part of the instruction manual defines any technical jargon that may be present in the document.

Precautionary Information

This part of the instruction manual aids in user safety and usually helps the manufacturer address liability concerns that are related to the product.


How to Design an Instruction Manual?

1. Select an instruction manual size.

2. Decide on the instruction manual’s purpose.

3. Pick your desired instruction manual template.

4. Modify the contents and structure of the template to suit your purpose.

5. Add supporting images/graphics whenever possible.

6. Finalize the template and download.


Instruction Manual vs. Guide

An instruction manual provides detailed technical information on how a product is used or how to follow standards in the workplace and can also be known as a textbook or a workbook.

A guide is a document that provides to-the-point, concise, and user-specific information and is also known as a catalog or a guidebook.

What’s the Difference Between Instruction Manual, Handbook, and User Manual?

An instruction manual is a document that provides instructions that serve as guidance on how to use a product, how to carry out tasks in the workplace, and so on.

A handbook is a book that is capable of being conveniently carried as a reference and can also be a concise reference book that talks about a particular subject or topic.

A user manual is a document that is intended to assist users in utilizing a particular service or product (which can be hardware such as a watch or software such as a computer program for school use).

Instruction Manual Sizes

Instruction manuals are important documents that may come with a purchased product or that may serve as a reference for workplace procedures. In order for these documents to be effective, the right instruction manual sizes have to be adhered to, and as for the standard sizes here are the ones that are currently in widespread use.


Instruction Manual Ideas & Examples

Instruction manuals come in a variety of types and purposes, and the procedure of creating these documents should be relatively easy if you know what you’re doing. Listed below are some of the different instruction manual ideas and examples that can inspire and aid you should you encounter any difficulties creating this type of document.

  • Instruction Manual Ideas and Examples
  • Training Instruction Manual Ideas and Examples 
  • Official Instruction Manual Ideas and Examples
  • Work Instruction Manual Ideas and Examples
  • Game Instruction Manual Ideas and Examples
  • Instruction Manual Design Ideas and Examples
  • Provider Instruction Manual Ideas and Examples
  • Technical Instruction Manual Ideas and Examples
  • Assembly Instruction Manual Ideas and Examples
  • Product Instruction Manual Ideas and Examples
  • Software Instruction Manual Ideas and Examples


What is the purpose of an instructional manual?

At its core, the main purpose of an instructional manual is to provide actionable information to users on how to navigate a product, overcome a product issue, or guide employees with certain workplace safety procedures and standards.

Why is an instructional manual necessary for equipment?

An instruction manual is necessary for equipment since it helps the users operate that equipment safely, properly, and efficiently to avoid any serious injury or illness.

What should be included in an instructional manual?

The components that should be included in an instruction manual include the table of contents, the main procedural steps, the supporting tables and graphs, a glossary of terms, and, lastly, the precautionary information.

How do you write a technical instruction manual?

To write a technical instruction manual, first, you need to decide on the size of the document that you’re going to use, then pick a technical instruction manual you can modify, then modify its structure and contents to suit your preferences, then add any supporting tables, logos, or graphics in the template, then verify and finalize it.

How to write work instructions?

To write work instructions, first, start with a title, followed by a brief introduction, then describe how the task should be done, then format it properly, then revise the document, provide any resources, and lastly, test how effective it is.

Why do we need an instructional manual?

We need an instruction manual to ensure the proper usage of a product being sold and to ensure that the right workplace procedures and standards are being followed.

How does the instruction manual help customers?

An instruction manual helps the users to use the product or device properly and it can also serve as a guide whenever they get stuck or confused about using a particular service.

Why is an instruction manual important for a product?

An instruction manual is important for a product since this document ensures that it is properly used.

How do you find an instruction manual online?

To find an instruction manual online, you may go to a product’s website that may be indicated in its packaging and proceed to its support and documentation section where you may find this particular document.

What are digital instruction manuals?

Digital instruction manuals are documents that allow easy incorporation of instructional videos that can be shared on social media or by other means and platforms.