RE: Nielsen's Rating

Subject: RE: Nielsen's Rating
From: "Swallow, William" <WSwallow -at- courion -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2001 15:03:58 -0400

:: - PDFs are virtual paper, and most have an aspect ratio the
:: approximate
:: inverse of most computer screens. Therefore, most PDFs
:: cannot make optimal
:: use of the available 'real-estate' of most computer screens.

Only because they were designed that way. It's not a product flaw, but a
designer flaw. :)

:: - With PDF, format is entirely controlled by the author.

As with HTML...

:: Given the varying
:: needs of users (from the visually impaired with VGA
:: monitors to those with
:: 20/20 vision and 1800 x 1600 resolution) it is usually
:: impossible to meet
:: the onscreen requirements of the entire audience.

I'll agree with that. :)

:: As with PDF, you must exercise care when creating your
:: document. FWIW, all
:: my computers can display HTML, albeit as text-only in one
:: case. However, two
:: of my computers cannot display PDF, either because there is
:: no viewer
:: available or because the display is text-only. In short,
:: HTML is more
:: universal than PDF (most OS distributions contain a
:: browser, but few contain
:: a PDF reader).

Hmmm... I'll have to look into that. :)

:: I just did. The first PDF that I viewed was unreadable
:: until I maximised my
:: browser and zoomed in. IMO, that was an example of why not
:: to use PDF
:: online.

I believe the attempt there (I assume you're refering to
acro5_shortcuts.pdf) was to electronically distribute an 8.5x11 landscape
shortcut reference for printing.

:: FWIW, as a writer, I'm a fan of PDF -- it makes my life
:: much easier; as a
:: reader, I hate PDF for online use and agree with Mr
:: Nielsen. My vote goes to
:: use PDF by all means, but offer HTML or other
:: online-optimised format as well.

Like PDF... ;) ...designed for online use. :)

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