Re: TOC article in INTERCOM -- things that made me go "HUH??"

Subject: Re: TOC article in INTERCOM -- things that made me go "HUH??"
From: "Paul Strasser" <paul -dot- strasser -at- windsor-tech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2002 14:51:44 -0700


> > * A recommendation that seems to *contradict* a
> > requirement -- that you omit some headings at the chosen hierarchical
> > level from the TOC. I was always taught that you included all headings
> > at whatever level you chose. The only exception is maybe if the section
> > is short enough that they'd all be on one or two pages, or if there is
> > only one heading under a given heading at the next level up.
> I don't see a real contradiction there.
>
> It is not hard to think of cases where omitting a
> group of minor headings would help make the TOC
> more concise and useful.

That's not how I read it. The recommendation is to omit some headings << at
the chosen hierarchical level >>. That is, if your TOC uses Headings 1, 2,
and 3, the recommendation is that you don't use some of these headings. It
doesn't mean your TOC doesn't also include headings 4 or 5, if used in the
document.

In other words (and I hate that phrase, which suggests I really didn't do a
good job of explaining myself in the prior paragraph....) you go through and
delete some H2's or H3's from the TOC, even though they're part of your
overall TOC.

So, is this a good idea? Nope. If you use H1-3 in your TOC, it should be
because they're part of a hierarchy of information. If there is some H2,
for example, that doesn't need to be in the TOC then maybe it really doesn't
belong at the H2 level. The TOC should be a guide to not only the primary
sections of the document, but a basic guideline to the makeup of the
document.

Even if the heading 1 and subsequent heading 2 is on the same page, why
eliminate the heading 2? You're limiting the usefulness of the TOC.
Sometimes a user will want the information at the heading 1 level.
Sometimes they'll want the heading 2 level. In either case I doubt they'd
be upset that a nearby TOC listing is on the same page.

Friday musings only, and will gladly change my mind if presented with a
brilliant contrary example.

Paul Strasser
Windsor Technologies, Inc.
2569 Park Lane, Suite 200
Lafayette, Colorado 80026
Phone: 303-926-1982
FAX: 303-926-1510
E-mail: paul -dot- strasser -at- windsor-tech -dot- com




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Follow-Ups:

References:
TOC article in INTERCOM -- things that made me go "HUH??": From: David Downing
Re: TOC article in INTERCOM -- things that made me go "HUH??": From: Michael West

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