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Test Case Document Formats

By G.E. Morris

One of the most important aspects of a test case document is its readability, or simply put, how easy it is to read. Even a well written document can be difficult to follow if it's not formated properly.

Readability for test documents is divided into two areas; how easy the document is to read, and how easy it is for a tester to navigate through the document.

Readability

A lot of startups, and even some more established companies use Excel spreadsheets for their test case documents. While there are some advantages with this approach, the documents tend to be hard to read because there's no padding between the lines.

Case Number

Action

Pass/Fail

2.1.1

Entry with a blank First Name results in an error message being displayed saying The First Name must be filled in.

 

2.2.1

The First Name field will accept a maximum of 50 characters.

 

2.2.2

First Name field will not accept more than 50 characters.

 

2.2.2

If more than 50 characters are entered in The First Name field an error message will be displayed saying "The First Name field will not accept more than 50 characters."

 

2.3.1

Entry with numbers in The First Name field shall result in an error message being displayed saying "The First Name field will not accept numbers."

 

2.4.2

If any of the characters: "`~!@#$%^&*()_:";'{}[]+<>?,./" are entered in The First Name field an error message will be displayed saying "The First Name field will not accept the characters "`~!@#$%^&*()_:";'{}[]+<>?,./".

 

2.4.3

First Name field will accept the character: "-".

 

Table 1



I couldn't count the times I've tested using a document like this. I also couldn't count the times I lost my place in the document.

Now, here's the same document with the HTML table padding set to "4". The text doesn't run together anymore, making it much easier to read. If you're creating the document in Word, you can use the paragraph settings to accomplish the same effect. Set the space above and space below parameters to 6, and set the right and left indents to .125.

Case Number

Action

Pass/Fail

2.1.1

Entry with a blank First Name results in an error message being displayed saying The First Name must be filled in.

 

2.2.1

The First Name field will accept a maximum of 50 characters.

 

2.2.2

First Name field will not accept more than 50 characters.

 

2.2.3

If more than 50 characters are entered in The First Name field an error message will be displayed saying "The First Name field will not accept more than 50 characters."

 

2.3.1

Entry with numbers in The First Name field shall result in an error message being displayed saying "The First Name field will not accept numbers."

 

2.4.2

If any of the characters: "`~!@#$%^&*()_:";'{}[]+<>?,./" are entered in The First Name field an error message will be displayed saying "The First Name field will not accept the characters "`~!@#$%^&*()_:";'{}[]+<>?,./".

 

2.4.3

First Name field will accept the character: "-".

 

 

 

 

Table 2



Navigation Aids - Test Case Spacing

Another improvement would be to add blank rows between types of tests, and shaded lines, too. These features make it much easier to navigate the test case document, so it's easy to plow through the tests at a good clip.

Case Number

Action

Pass/Fail

2.1.0

Blank Fields

 

2.1.1

Entry with a blank First Name results in an error message being displayed saying The First Name must be filled in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.2.0

Maximum Characters

 

2.2.1

The First Name field will accept a maximum of 50 characters.

 

  2.2.2

First Name field will not accept more than 50 characters.

 

2.2.3

If more than 50 characters are entered in The First Name field an error message will be displayed saying "The First Name field will not accept more than 50 characters."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.3.0

Numbers

 

2.3.1

Entry with numbers in The First Name field shall result in an error message being displayed saying "The First Name field will not accept numbers."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.4.0

Special Characters

 

2.4.1

If any of the characters: "`~!@#$%^&*()_:";'{}[]+<>?,./" are entered in The First Name field an error message will be displayed saying "The First Name field will not accept the characters "`~!@#$%^&*()_:";'{}[]+<>?,./".

 

2.4.3

First Name field will accept the character: "-".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 3




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