RE: Recent User Assistance Studies on Printed Books?

Subject: RE: Recent User Assistance Studies on Printed Books?
From: Lorraine Kiewiet <lkiewiet -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: Fred Ridder <docudoc -at- hotmail -dot- com>, richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2007 13:15:05 -0400 (EDT)

Yes, I was just rounding. Just trying to contrast 8.5 x 11 spiral bound books with what I have on my bookshelf and what I've produced at other companies.

Thanks for the tips!

-----Original Message-----
>From: Fred Ridder <docudoc -at- hotmail -dot- com>
>Sent: Aug 7, 2007 11:58 AM
>To: richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com, lkiewiet -at- earthlink -dot- net, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>Subject: RE: Recent User Assistance Studies on Printed Books?
>I agree that 7.5" x 9" (190mm x 229mm) is not a common
>*page* size, but it is a fairly common *trim* size for
>soft-bound technical books. Although only a few titles on
>my software reference bookshelf are exactly 7.5" x 9"
>(e.g. Tom Neuberger's FrameMaker 5 book and a couple
>other Sybex titles) I found none that strayed from these
>dimensions by more than 1/2" in width or 3/4" in height.
>For example, most titles from Microsoft Press and Addison-
>Wesley were just a little narrower and a bit taller, while
>Adobe manuals are 7.5" wide but a bit more than 1/2"
>shorter than 9" (they seem to use a dimension that is
>not a round number in either inches or millimeters...).
>-Fred Ridder
>>From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
>>To: "Lorraine Kiewiet" <lkiewiet -at- earthlink -dot- net>,
>><techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
>>Subject: RE: Recent User Assistance Studies on Printed Books?
>>Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2007 08:58:38 -0600
>>Lorraine Kiewiet wrote:
>> > Examples: for internationalization, we believe that the book
>> > should be 7.5 x 9. For readability, the body font should be
>> > serif, and more than 3 points of line leading are needed
>> > between paragraphs.
>>For internationalization, the book should use an ISO page size, such as
>>B5 (176 x 250 mm, about 7 x 9 7/8"). An even inch size isn't likely to
>>be an international standard. I've never heard of 7.5 x 9" as a standard
>>page size in any country, and this list of traditional American sizes
>>doesn't include it:
>>Europeans, we're told, prefer sans serif body text. Readability data is
>>inconclusive, I belief -- it probably depends on what you're used to and
>>a thousand other variables. Can't please everyone. ;-)
>>Leading isn't the space between paragraphs, it's the space between
>>lines. The "right" amount of leading depends on the font and the line
>>width, but 20% of the point size is a good starting point, and generally
>>what FM, Word, etc., default to -- so 10-point text gets 2 points of
>>The space between paragraphs needs to be significantly more than the
>>leading or you can't distinguish paragraphs. I'd recommend at least half
>>a line, so for 10-point text with 2-point leading (a 12-point line), at
>>least 6 points. For large line widths (wide text columns), more would be
>>As for folio numbering, I dislike it, and I think must users do, too (in
>>a 300-page book, where the heck is page 7-29?). You can make a case for
>>it if send out manuals in binders and issue revision pages (how 80s!).
>>I've heard it can save translation money in some workflows -- I'm
>>tempted to say change the workflow.
>>YMMV, of course. :-)
>>Richard G. Combs
>>Senior Technical Writer
>>Polycom, Inc.
>>richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
>>rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
>See what youÂre getting intoÂbefore you go there

Lorraine Kiewiet\r\nTechnical Writing & Consulting\r\nOnline & Print Documentation

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