Re: Callouts in Graphics

Subject: Re: Callouts in Graphics
From: beverly_robinson -at- datacard -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 08:57:26 -0600

Chiming in on this topic late because I'm on digest.

I wholeheartedly agree with Geoff Hart when he says, "It's obviously
clearer to label the parts of a graphic directly rather
than using numbers and a lookup table because direct labeling removes an
entire step from the process of using the table: with a number, the user
must look away from the graphic, find the desired number in the
table, and determine the meaning rather than simply reading the meaning
directly from the illustration."

I disagree with his next sentence, "But given the complexities and costs of

localization, this sounds like a reasonable compromise."

There is no need for compromise! Here's how I do it:

I use FrameMaker and most of my illustrations are imported-by-reference
screenshots of windows and dialog boxes. When I need to label a control, I
add the callout using Frame's drawing tools. Our localization vendor
exports those phrases to TRADOS just as they export headings and paragraphs
and table text. The translation cost is the same to translate a call out
phrase as to translate a phrase from a table cell. Of course, our user
interface is translated, so our localization vendor duplicates my
screenshots in each language we localize to, and that often means they have
to tweak the location of callouts, but it's a price we pay to provide the
most usable documentation for our customers.

I feel better now.

These are my opinions only; I do not speak for Datacard Group.

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