Re: Match the Views?

Subject: Re: Match the Views?
From: "Robert Plamondon" <robert -at- plamondon -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 9 May 2003 07:21:33 -0700

>I am working on a manual for an industrial grading machine. With a
>whole-machine photo (that will have part callouts) should the photo
>view match the technical drawing view of the whole machine? Is it OK
>(or even better) to have one show infeed and the other show outfeed?
>The photo will be in an introductory chapter while the tech drawing
>will be in an appendix, so how important is it that they match?

I'd always start with a whole-machine photo and then show partial-machine
photos. This helps orient the user, who may not be much of a visual
thinker. Also, minor variations between models might loom overly large in
detail photos, but will be put in perspective in an overall photo, so an
overall photo will probably increase the reader's confidence.

As to matching views, I'd do this too, for the same reasons. The reader
should not open up a chapter or appendix and see an entirely new view,
especially if it's an unusual one, such as the back of the machine. One way
I've seen this handled without wasting space is to show, say, the unfamiliar
back view as a full-sized illustration, with the familiar front view inset
into the same illustration in one corner (with both of them labeled, of

-- Robert
Robert Plamondon
President, High-Tech Technical Writing
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com
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