RE: Dimensions for Landscape Manuals

Subject: RE: Dimensions for Landscape Manuals
From: "Michael West" <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2008 20:40:08 +1100

> PDFs with a landscape orientation are quite pleasant to read online, in my
> opinion.

Designing PDFs to the proportions of a screen is the only way to make them
online-friendly. This calls for a multi-column layout.

However, "landscape" orientation is not a requirement. What is important is
that the height of the page fit within a screen at 100% resolution. You want
to minimise the need for vertical scrolling. Design to fit the page.

Using the "landscape" concept reveals that you are still wedded to paper.
"Landscape" is about paper. If you design for online use, then forget about
paper sizes. Worry about screen sizes.

The help file that comes with Acrobat Reader 8 is one example of how to
design PDF for the screen while still allowing a practical print

My experience tells me that you can design optimally for the screen or
optimally for paper. You cannot optimally do both in the same design.

Mike West
Tech writing for IT since 1980


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