TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Re: Rules or white space for separating rows and columns?
Subject:Re: Rules or white space for separating rows and columns? From:Tim Mantyla <TimMantyla -at- nustep -dot- com> To:techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com, admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com Date:Thu, 19 Jun 2008 11:17:00 -0400
The perfect topic to trap a suggestion for this list that's been wafting
like a dandelion seed in my mind:
A visual examples page--a big, white space--on TECHWR-L set up for posts
like those below for screen captures, graphs, charts and other images.
1280 x 1024 pixels = 1000s of words.
Eric, is this doable?
NuStep, Inc. - www.nustep.com
Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail
Patricia Egan wrote:
> This discussion came up at work not long ago. The graphics team deleted
> vertical rules from the table template and the SMEs hollered. I did some
> research. ...When I presented my findings
> in a slide presentation, I used the same table, once with the vertical
> showing and then with the vertical rules hidden. Using a large screen, I
> flipped back and forth between the two versions. The spacing was exactly
> same in both; only the vertical rules were different--shown or hidden.
> experience resembled sitting with the eye doctor and being asked which
> better, A or B. You might like to try it yourself.
> On 6/17/08, Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca> wrote:
> > Milan Davidovic reported the following advice: <<From Carolyn Rude,
> > "Technical Editing" 2nd ed., p. 167: "Vertical and horizontal lines
> > (rules) separating rows and columns are discouraged except for highly
> > complex tables because the lines clutter the table with visual noise.
> > White space is the preferred method for separating rows and columns.
> > Too much space between columns, however, may result in inaccurate
> > reading because the eye may skip to a lower or higher row.">>
> > Good basic advice, but not to be taken as a rule <ahem> of nature.
> > For cell data that align neatly (e.g., all left justified or decimal
> > aligned), you don't usually need vertical lines, because it's easy to
> > scan vertically downwards without skipping to another column.
> > Horizontal lines are more necessary, particularly in wide tables,
> > because it's more easy to skip lines. So you'll often find it
> > necessary to insert horizontal lines or white space, but not vertical
> > lines.
> > <<Right now, I'm building a template in the shadow of legacy
> > documentation that is chock full of tables, almost all of which make
> > full use of rules to separate rows and columns; relatively few of
> > these tables are "complex". If I follow Rude's advice, I'm pretty
> > sure I'll experience some opposition.>>
> > If you're old enough to remember the paper used for line
> > printers (and some smaller dot matrix printers), you'll be familiar
> > with another alternative that often works even better than white
> > space and lines: use light color shading to group rows of data. For
> > example, a 10% or 20% grey can be used to group one set of adjacent
> > rows...
Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more. http://www.DocToHelp.com/TechwrlList
True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity! http://www.helpandmanual.com
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-