RE: Chapter-page numbering, reasons for

Subject: RE: Chapter-page numbering, reasons for
From: "Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant)" <MadelynBoudreaux -at- ge -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 2009 17:52:37 -0500

I work with documents that are printed, and have the chapter-page
numbering scheme. I am given to understand that we DO, on occasion, send
out corrected pages with "replace pages 7-14 through 7-23 with the
enclosed pages," type instructions, although this hasn't happened in my
time here. And we're regulated, so there's no chance that we'll be
getting away from printed manuals (or chapter numbers) until the last
forest is gone and we HAVE to use something other than paper.

I concede that if it's just down to "easier for writer" vs "easier for
user," we should err toward the user. But when trees get tossed into the
mix, I will typically err toward the environment, within reason.
Striving to be "green," is part of the business, saves money, and
improves the company's standing in the eyes of the customer (I assume,
or it wouldn't be part of the business), so if I can save paper without
any hit to the usability, I'm all for it. Thus, I am all for numbering
that means we don't throw out whole manuals.

I also have to refer to the existing manuals a good bit, and yes, it can
be a pain to find the right page. 7-14 may be 75 pages in, or it may be
150 pages in, and you just don't know. It appears to double to quadruple
the amount of time it takes me to find a page I need. It's actually
worse in Acrobat, because whereas I could grab the slider and go to
about the right page if the pages were numbered consecutively, I can't
even guess at where a page is using this format.

Still, that's maybe 6 seconds vs 3 seconds (I just timed myself, picking
random numbers -- 3-17 in a printed manual and 42 in the MSMoS), so it's
not a huge hit on my productivity. If I used the manuals a lot for some
operations, I'd probably add post-it notes and bookmarks, much as I've
done to my MSMoS.

The only thing that keeps me sane (ha) is that the chapters have plastic
tabs. These don't have the chapter numbers on them, so I've written them
in. I stupidly wrote them in vertically, to line up with the text on the
tabs (1. Introduction and Safety), so I have to twist my head slightly
to see the number. Had I thought more carefully before getting out the
black Sharpie, I'd have written them upright / horizontally,
perpendicular to the tab text.

So, my point -- and I DO have one -- is that (from my POV) the best
scenario if you need to use chapter-page numbering, would be to use
plastic tabs between chapters and put the chapter numbers in large,
horizontal type at the top of the tab (with the chapter title beneath
that, in vertical type).

- Madelyn

Are you looking for one documentation tool that does it all? Author,
build, test, and publish your Help files with just one easy-to-use tool.
Try the latest Doc-To-Help 2009 v3 risk-free for 30-days at:

Help & Manual 5: The all-in-one help authoring tool. True single- sourcing --
generate 8 different formats and as many different versions as you need
from just one project. Fast and intuitive.

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:


Chapter-page numbering, reasons for: From: Nancy Allison
Re: Chapter-page numbering, reasons for: From: Margaret Hassall

Previous by Author: RE: Redneck step of the day
Next by Author: RE: Netiquette - a wonderful thing
Previous by Thread: Re: Chapter-page numbering, reasons for
Next by Thread: Re: Chapter-page numbering, reasons for

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads