Re: Are chapter numbes a thing of the past?

Subject: Re: Are chapter numbes a thing of the past?
From: Jonathan West <jwest -at- mvps -dot- org>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2009 13:39:34 +0100

> Do the chapters/appendices in User Guides, etc. have to have numbers and letters? I was taught that they do, but understand that there a trend to move away from them. Is this true?

It depends. There's no inherent reason why they have to, so you can
make a decision as to whether they are useful in your particular case.

The main reason numbers are put in is for ease and clarity of
reference. It is much easer to tell someone "Take a look at section
5.3 of the XYZ Guide" than to say "look at the section titled
'left-handed widgets' halfway down page 27 of the XYZ Guide".

If you need to reference specific bits of documentation in this way,
either because one document makes a reference to another, or because
your support people need to point users to specific paragraphs in a
document in order to quickly & efficiently answer user queries, then
numbered chapters and paragraphs are a good idea.

Where documents have legal and/or contractual purposes, and make cross
references within and/or between documents, then numbered clauses are
pretty much essential in order to ensure that these references are

Jonathan West

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Are chapter numbes a thing of the past?: From: Saunders, Ian

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