What's the difference between manual and handbook?


Thanks in advance!

asked Jun 28 '11 at 13:39 coraliecinq Contributor

1 answer


In practical English, these two words are often used interchangably.  In my experience, however, there is a difference.


Normally, we tend to use 'manual' when talking about a list of instructions for doing something.  An 'owner's manual', for example, is a book that explain's how to use a product.


We often use 'handbook' to describe a book that offers guidelines for a number of situations.  It is reference book.  A 'handbook' can be read out of order, according to your needs.


I hope this helps.



link comment answered Jun 30 '11 at 14:53 Kimberly Expert

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