Re: "Nested" Headings

Subject: Re: "Nested" Headings
From: quills -at- airmail -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 08:59:38 -0600

At 3:42 PM -0700 3/27/02, Ellen Vanrenen wrote:

I have a colleague, who was an excellent technical writer in a former
life, who has suggested that I change my template to use "nested"
Heading 1 would be perhaps .25 or flush left
Heading 2 would then be .5
Heading 3, .75, and in a lighter color
Heading 4 and 5 (he uses them) would have the same justification as
Heading 3 but smaller font size.
His idea is that we can look at the document as if its contents could be
"collapsed" under the headings.

I like a simpler, straighter approach. I dislike any page that looks
even slightly busy, and I like the Heading style more or less parallel.
Readers would see a symmetrical page.

I'd like your opinions, please.

What he has suggested is to differentiate the relative structure of the information. This is what happens when you use Information Mapping, or when you use a language such as SGML or XML.

It is highly effective in visually structuring your information for the user to search and digest.

You are telling the reader immediately where the major topics are, what are minor more descriptive topics, what the relationship of the information is to other parts of information.

When you do this correctly you are doing your job and assisting the reader to use and interpret the information you are presenting.

A cruder method of doing this is numbered paragraph headings, or outline format.

I suggest you listen to your colleague and explore this.


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"Nested" Headings: From: Ellen Vanrenen

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