Dimensioning in illustrations

Subject: Dimensioning in illustrations
From: Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 10:16:11 -0500 (CDT)

Hi, all.

My current document provides graphs of waveforms, and arrows are placed on the waveforms to point out changes in the opening and closing of electrical switches.

I'm working with an engineer who is very insistent on using what I consider to be vanishingly small arrowheads in these illustrations. He explains that the size of the arrowheadsÂshould beÂdetermined by CAD dimensioning, which it appears is a well established standard in the CAD/CAM world.

(We're not using CAD/CAM; we're using Framemaker and I am creating the arrows using the Graphics tool box. We are talking about the difference in size between 90/30/6 and 90/16/12. Although I think my reviewer would prefer something even smaller than 90/30/6.)

There is no TechPubs department here; there are no technical publications standards; there are no policies to determine which standard to use.

There is also no formal or even informal investigation into usability of our technical publications. I don't know whether our end user would find the tiny arrows hard to see, and the slightly larger arrows I prefer easier to see. I know what my common sense tells me, butÂ. . . By the way, there is no chance that the larger arrow covers the information of interest. It does not.Â

That being the case, my question to all of you is, what does anyone on the list know about the issue of dimensioning? Is it the up-and-coming thing for one and all? Do you strongly advocate for it, or against it, in user documentation?




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