Re: Is indenting subheadings and subtext current practice? Is it useful?

Subject: Re: Is indenting subheadings and subtext current practice? Is it useful?
From: "Dick Margulis" <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 14:29:53 -0500


Jennifer Laiks wrote:
>
>Currently, our larger user manuals have five levels of headers, and along
>with them five levels of text, bullets, and lists. Each sub-level is
>indented more than the level above it. Of course, indentation at five
>levels forces us to use a great number of paragraph types (in FrameMaker).


And Uncle Dick replies:

Jennifer, this is a common hole that people fall into when they carry the "outline" metaphor just a tad too far.

The more traditional approach (stretching back to well before Gutenberg) is to have a consistent text width (perhaps using a consistent narrower width for lists, etc.) and to vary the headings.

The de facto standard layout these days is for the text column to be at the right margin of the page and for the headings to be flush left on the page.

So now the question is, how should you distinguish the levels of heading unambiguously. One way is with dotted numbers--1., 1.1, 1.1.1., 1.1.1.1., etc. A lot of list members frown on that for user documentation, but engineers seem to like it for technical documentation. Another way is to design a graphic device (perhaps a light gray bar) that varies in length in such a way that the text of the number 1 heads begins nearest the left margin, the number 2 heads begin a bit farther to the right, etc. Another approach is to start with a relatively larger, bolder font and then, staying with the same font family, proceed from bold to bold italic to italic to roman, perhaps dropping a point size at one or more of those transitions. You really have to print out some samples to judge whether this is adequate; it depends on the face you are using, the output device, and some other variables.

Good luck!




Previous by Author: Re: Workflow and management -- How is your department organized
Next by Author: Re: Help! Need official support for non-standard capitalization
Previous by Thread: Re: Is indenting subheadings and subtext current practice? Is it useful?
Next by Thread: Re: Is indenting subheadings and subtext current practice? Is it useful?


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads