Re: Question about "sidebars"

Subject: Re: Question about "sidebars"
From: Shawn C <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2013 12:29:25 -0700

I agree with Paul.

I would replace the word "note" with a non-copyrighted universally
recognized note symbol for several reasons:
- "Note" takes up too much space
- Icon works better if you ever localize your content
- Icon simply looks better (IMHO)

My general rules for sidebars:
- Keep them succinct
- Minimize them, where practical, in HTML output (PDF - just keep them
- I prefer placing them in a shaded table (either stretched across page or
in a special side-bar margin).
But always be consistent! In other words, don't change the style
throughout a family of documents.
- Use icons to identify the sidebar theme (i.e. warnings, FYIs, notes,
- Your icons can either be self-created or open source - Avoid stealing!
Just don't do that.
- Try to minimize the number of sidebars in a document (unless you are
writing a For Dummies themed book, where a million sidebars probably work).

Hope this helps.


On Wed, Oct 9, 2013 at 9:02 AM, Cardimon, Craig <ccardimon -at- m-s-g -dot- com> wrote:

> Not sure MadCap Flare offers note icons. I'll have to check.
> From: yehoshua paul [mailto:ysp10182 -at- gmail -dot- com]
> Sent: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 12:00 PM
> To: Cardimon, Craig
> Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Re: Question about "sidebars"
> One of two:
> 1. Use a note icon, which would either be a bullet or the first column in
> a table where the borders are invisible. And then enter the relevant
> information.
> 2. In online help use DHTML to create drop-down text. Users click on a
> word, and a box appears below the line with the relevant information. When
> moving the mouse over the word, the word changes to indicate that it should
> be clicked.
> Yehoshua Paul
> On Wed, Oct 9, 2013 at 6:53 PM, Cardimon, Craig <ccardimon -at- m-s-g -dot- com
> <mailto:ccardimon -at- m-s-g -dot- com>> wrote:
> Morning, Whirlers,
> How do you folks handle sidebar notes and info?
> Let's say I'm working on Topic A in a user guide. I have information
> related to Topic A, but not directly.
> This information doesn't really fit elsewhere, so it needs to be in Topic
> A, but stand out just a bit. I put this "sidebar" information in a table in
> Topic A.
> Users should be aware of this information but not get hung up on it. I
> labeled the table as a "Note." Not sure what else to do here. Suggestions?
> Cordially,
> Craig Cardimon
> Information contained in this e-mail transmission is privileged and
> confidential. If you are not the intended recipient of this email, do not
> read, distribute or reproduce this transmission (including any
> attachments). If you have received this e-mail in error, please immediately
> notify the sender by telephone or email reply.
Shawn Connelly
technical writer
<> <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com>

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Question about "sidebars": From: Cardimon, Craig
Re: Question about "sidebars": From: yehoshua paul
RE: Question about "sidebars": From: Cardimon, Craig

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