RE: Tables of contents, figures, and of tables

Subject: RE: Tables of contents, figures, and of tables
From: "Lippincott, Richard" <RLippincott -at- as-e -dot- com>
To: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>, Haim Roman <haim -dot- roman -at- gmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2014 17:12:22 +0000

> Lists of figures and tables are obsolete...

Only if you have the freedom to decide that they are. Quite a few tech writers are still preparing manuals to specifications that require the inclusion of these lists, either due to industry or company standards.

A list of tables or list of figures can still be very helpful if your audience is working with printed manuals (many still do). For example, a field service engineer may be at a step in a process where he has to refer to a table for values in some sort of widget tuning. He's done the procedure enough times that no, he isn't following the manual any longer, but on the other hand every widget tune is a little different, so he needs the table values. For him, it may be easier to flip to a list of tables in the front of the book, scan for the one he wants, then flip to the proper page.



Rick Lippincott, Technical Writer
American Science and Engineering, Inc. | www.as-e.com  
829 Middlesex Turnpike | Billerica, MA 01821 USA | Fax +1-978-262-8702
Office +1-978-262-8807 | rlippincott -at- as-e -dot- com






-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+rlippincott=as-e -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+rlippincott=as-e -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Robert Lauriston
Sent: Monday, March 24, 2014 12:53 PM
To: Haim Roman; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Tables of contents, figures, and of tables

The heading I use for the TOC is "Contents." It's not a table in the sense people use the word these days.

Lists of figures and tables are obsolete, a holdover from the days when the limitations of typesetting, printing, and bookbinding meant you couldn't put them anywhere you wanted or automatically insert the correct page number in a cross-reference. That said, if I had to create such lists, I'd head them "Figures" and "Tables."
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Tables of contents, figures, and of tables: From: Haim Roman
Re: Tables of contents, figures, and of tables: From: Haim Roman
Re: Tables of contents, figures, and of tables: From: Robert Lauriston

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