TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Nealon, Jessica [SMTP:Jessica -dot- Nealon -at- McKesson -dot- com]
> The bottom line is that PDFs always look
> horrible on the screen even without graphics, even with better fonts.
Without graphics, I disagree. And, with what do you propose to use to view a
particular layout and delivery cross-platform? PDF does this better than
> Anyone who has had to research academic journals online (graduate school,
> anyone?) can tell you that. PDFs are not designed for on-screen viewing.
Maybe such academics should pop their heads into the reality of the business
world for a minute. There are PDFs that are designed for on-screen viewing.
PDFs can be designed for on-screen viewing. PDFs can also be used to put
online material that otherwise would not have been available to you online.
> Maybe it would just be better if they removed the interface and only let
> print. The interface gives you the illusion that you can read the book
> online the way that carrying your gym membership card in your wallet
> the illusion that you're getting in shape when the only calories you
> actually burn in that place come from turning your head to look at it as
> drive by on your way to the buffet.
I fail to see how the analogy connects.
> You can twist yourself into a knot that would make you the envy of yogis
> everywhere to make your PDF look better, but the fact remains that PDFs
> not online documents and shouldn't be considered or delivered as such.
> Here, we deliver the doc CD and have decided to put some kind of statement
> on the initial inferface to inform the user that PDFs are very hard to
> and we suggest they print it and not try to navigate the interface at all.
Sounds like you need to redesign your PDFs. Seriously.
> There are few options: 1) Adobe augments their product and we all pay
Okay. I'm sure PDFs will change, but remember they are constrained by the
need to be multi-platform, amongst other things.
> 2) convince management that PDFs do NOT qualify as online help or
Well, certainly not as software-type online help, agreed (without a lot of
work). That does not mean they do not qualify as online books. PDFs
certainly can contain the layout and navigation to be online books.
> 3) we
> learn to accept it and put energy into a more worthy cause. Tearing your
> hair out to improve PDF appearance is a waste of energy. How much gas can
> you put in a lawn mower?
Again, I miss the point of the analogy. I guess I gotta go to grad school .
Seriously, poorly-designed PDFs are garbage, just as poorly-designed WinHelp
is garbage and a poorly-designed 400-page, CMYK, perfect-bound book is
garbage. Do we say lawnmowers are garbage because, uuuum, you can't use
toenail clippers to cut your lawn . . . ;?) PDFs that are designed for
online use do so quite well, even with graphics (the trick is to understand
the process). PDFs that are not designed for online use might still be
infinitely better than not having the material online at all . . ..
You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.