Re: oddball Word questions (involving making multiple documents into one book)

Subject: Re: oddball Word questions (involving making multiple documents into one book)
From: "Roger L. Boyell" <boyell -at- ieee -dot- org>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2000 21:32:18 +0000

Jean Weber wrote:
"...I'd like each separate chapter's figures to continue numbering in
sequence. Example: Chapter 2 has 49 figures; I'd like the first figure in
Chapter 3 to begin as Figure 50."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Please permit a contrary view -- independent numbers within each chapter, particularly for large volumes. Since material is, or should be, logically grouped into chapters, the chapters should be semi-independent and self-contained, with a minimum of cross-references if possible.

As an engineer who reads (and writes) a lot, I'd prefer separate numbering within each chapter, of its respective figures and tables. Example: Table 17-5 is easily found in Chapter 17. I think this has strong advantages.

The practice, typical of textbooks, of keeping each chapter as a separate entity (a) affords you the author with ease of modification (Changes do not require renumbering all successive figures in the entire volume.), (b) provides us the readers with ease of reference (avoiding, for example, looking up Figure 1,630 out of 2,146 total figures in a mass of pages), and (c) assures them the instructors of consistency from one edition to the next (allowing lecture notes to be used even under revisions of the original work).

One may wish to extract a chapter without carrying the entire volume. Further, the figures and tables may be published in a different format (e.g. foldouts) which is not even part of the basic text. In many cases Web publications set up tables and figures simply as links to other Web pages. Numbering them by chapter serves the reader by correlating the figures and tables with their earliest references in the basic text.

The volume as a whole may be kept intact by page numbers, but the page numbers float depending on the printing format (e.g. letter vs. legal size). Thus page numbers should not be the primary reference to a table or figure. Page numbers are still necessary to permit one to resequence a dropped or de-collated set of printed pages, and to assure all pages are present in any given publication.

Of course, when you prepare the final index for any edition, printed or electronic, you can then make up a List of Tables showing their page numbers (along with chapter heading page numbers, etc.) for convenience of the reader of that particular edition. Occasional new figures and tables in subsequent editions can be inserted as 17-5.1, 17-5.2, etc. without renumbering the original Table 17-2.

We have specification formats which use decimal numbers for every paragraph in a rigid hierarchy (e.g. Paragraph, but that carries the independent-chapter dictum to the extreme and is not necessarily what I meant.

Roger L. Boyell, Forensic Analyst
Moorestown NJ 08057-2877, USA
phone 856-234-5800, URL
e-mail boyell -at- ieee -dot- org

P.S. to Jean: I expect to purchase your book on "Electronic Editing" now that I have seen your Web page's description of it.


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