RE: "Nested" Headings

Subject: RE: "Nested" Headings
From: Stephen McDermott <Stephen -dot- McDermott -at- PREMERA -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 16:15:25 -0800

IMHO, "nested" sounds like indented, and I rarely write a long document
without using them. Also, some industries (notably aerospace) dictate that
this method be used. When I use them, I also indent the body texts (e.g.,
body 1:hdr1, body 2:hdr2) to accent the heading change. If there are many
levels, you may want to decrease your indent to .3" per heading level.

The lighter color is fluff and adds no value (IMNSHO). If a user prints a
manual page (e-docs), they may not be able to differentiate between the
header types. In some cases, the lighter colored text could become

I use progressively smaller font sizes for lower levels (if the docs call
for it), but never going smaller than the actual body text.

Irene Wong stated that we needed to beware of inadvertantly creating
documentation that is unusable, by having the headers blend in to the text.
By moving the text over with the header, I think the chance is reduced.
Additionally, keywords or concepts are normally in your index.

And finally, I like them. It aids me in visualizing how I've organized the
writing and allows me to move information more quickly. It can give a
document a "tree" look to it, similar to a PDF bookmark hierarchy.

Just my thoughts,

Steve McDermott
Sr. Technical Writer
Business Strategy and Product Design Group
Premera Blue Cross

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