Nested bullets - how many levels deep do you go?

Subject: Nested bullets - how many levels deep do you go?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, David Downing <DavidDowning -at- users -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 14:02:37 -0500

David Downing wondered: <<We routinely use second-level nested bullets
in our documentation, but our policy is to never take it beyond a
second level. However, there have been times when I saw a need to go
to a third level... I've been told that when that happens, I need to
figure out some way of leveling out the hierarchy so I can keep the
list to two nesting levels. (I think one of my editors once suggested
that if I felt the need to go to a third level or beyond, I was
overthinking.)>>

I have a lot of sympathy for your editor's attitude. If you include
numbered steps as level one of the "bullets", and true bullets as
level 2, that's about as far as I'm comfortable going. Dive any deeper
than that and you'll be moving beyond the point at which the hierarchy
is easily comprehensible.

Possibly you should send us an example of your problem and see if we
can come up with a better solution? For example, those few times I've
been tempted to go to three levels of bullets, I found that replacing
the 2nd and 3rd levels with a two column table solved the problem
neatly. In many cases, the 3rd level turned out to be options that
described the 2nd level rather than something that truly required a
3rd level.

--------------------------------------------------------
Geoff Hart (www.geoff-hart.com)
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
--------------------------------------------------------
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References:
Nested bullets - how many levels deep do you go?: From: Downing, David

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