Re: Best Practices in Indicating Versions

Subject: Re: Best Practices in Indicating Versions
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2003 06:30:31 -0400

Jan Henning wrote:

Sorry to sound stupid, but what on earth are change bars?

It's an automatic change-tracking feature of FrameMaker. It is used less for identifying changes for readers (although it could) but for the pre-release review process.

Change bars predate FrameMaker by several decades. They are also used in Word, Interleaf, etc.

A change bar is a vertical line in the page margin that shows where text has been changed. The practice originated in legislative markup, which also brought us strikethrough and underline fonts to show the exact words that are struck or added during a markup session.

The purpose of all this is to draw a reviewer's attention to the sections that need to be reread (a) in case the individual wasn't present and (b) to ensure that the transcription of the changes is accurate. In review/revision cylcle usage like this, once the changes are checked, the change markup is typically removed.

The other, more modern use, does find its way into end-user documentation. When manuals are frequently revised and updated (such as CCH tax manuals for accountants, which used to be issued as looseleaf binders, with a stack of change pages mailed out every month), change bars still indicate the section that is changed, to draw the reader's attention; and the bars are removed automatically on the next release of the pages in question.

In both cases, the change bars always apply only to the _last_ changes that were made; they are removed for all previously changed material.

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Re: Best Practices in Indicating Versions: From: Jan Henning

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