Definitions

owners-manual

Owners manual

An owners manual (also called an instruction manual) is an instructional book or booklet that is supplied with almost all technologically advanced consumer products such as vehicles, appliances and computer peripherals. Information contained in the owners manual typically includes:

Until the last decade or two of the twentieth century it was common for an owners manual to include detailed repair information, such as a circuit diagram; however as products became more complex this information was gradually relegated to specialized service manuals, or dispensed with entirely, as devices became too inexpensive to be economically repaired.

Owners manuals for simpler devices are often multilingual so that the same boxed product can be sold in many different markets. Sometimes the same manual is shipped with a range of related products so the manual will contain a number of sections that apply only to some particular model in the product range.

With the increasing complexity of modern devices, many owners manuals have become so large that a separate Quickstart Guide is provided. Some owners manuals for computer equipment are supplied on CD-ROM to cut down on manufacturing costs, since the owner is assumed to have a computer able to read the CD-ROM. Another trend is to supply an instructional videotape or DVD along with the owners manual.

Popular culture

The noun phrase owners manual has been used by analogy in the title of numerous instructional books about entities that are not manufactured products, such as pets, body parts and businesses.

See also

The equivalent document for computer software is called a user guide since users are typically licensees rather than owners of the software.

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