RE: Dimensioning in illustrations

Subject: RE: Dimensioning in illustrations
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Nancy Allison" <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 10:31:43 -0600

Nancy Allison wrote:

> 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.)

Gene has provided good ammunition from an authoritative engineer source. But here's another point: you describe the person as "my reviewer" -- who _owns_ the doc, i.e., has final say over such matters? If it's not you, my sympathies.

SMEs certainly should have control over the technical accuracy of the contents, but a tech writer who gets overruled by engineers on formatting, presentation, language, etc., ought to be polishing up the old resume, IMHO.

That said, prudence suggests not making enemies unnecessarily and picking your battles. You can create a custom arrowhead in the Line End Options dialog, so maybe there's a compromise that you both can live with, like 90Â/16Â/10 pt or 90Â/20Â/8 pt (I dislike the 30Â arrowheads, personally -- too wide for their length).


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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Dimensioning in illustrations: From: Nancy Allison

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