Re: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?

Subject: Re: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?
From: Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 10:30:29 -0400

I should say that my coworker is being extremely reasonable about this.
He's perfectly happy to use numbers if we (or I, rather) can come up with a
way to ensure there's no possibility of ambiguity or confusion on the
reader's part by having a labeled diagram followed by a callout table
followed by a procedure. He has run into that when documenting fire control
panels at a previous job, so it's a very valid reason for using letters for
callouts and numbers for procedures. I just think there should be a way of
making clear what's going on without having to use two separate systems to
label a diagram.

So maybe I'm wrong? I dunno at this point.

On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 10:22 AM, Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

> No, it's one or the other, not both. The problem he sees is that if the
> procedure immediately follows the callout table that immediately follows
> the labeled graphic, then you have three "1" in a row and he finds that
> ambiguous. He's worked at prior positions where it has confused the user.
>
> I can see his point on that.
>
> He's not amenable to using a different font or inserting the word "Step"
> into the numbering, though.
>
> On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 9:56 AM, <sharipunyon -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
>
>> So, if there are both procedure references and callouts in the same
>> diagram? In that case, use different formats for the numbers.
>>
>> If you are just worried that users will see a graphic with callouts and a
>> separate procedure, just keep the callouts with the graphic, and separate
>> them graphically from the rest of the text- for example in a table, or a
>> smaller font. It should just be clear that the callouts travel with the
>> graphic. Iâve seen it down frequently, with great clarity.
>>
>> > On Apr 24, 2018, at 9:38 AM, Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
>> >
>> > Resolution: he's fine with numbers if we can figure out a way to ensure
>> > that people don't get confused if there is both a graphic with a number
>> key
>> > AND a procedure. I can get behind that--ambiguity is bad.
>> >
>> > Now to figure out a way to remove the ambiguity. If anyone has pointers
>> on
>> > that, let me know. I'll consult the book for a bit and see if it has
>> ideas.
>> >
>> > Thanks for all the feedback.
>> >
>> >> On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 8:50 AM, Rosalma Arcelay <rosie -at- cpanel -dot- net>
>> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> No one is spelling out numbers. I use Arabic digits when I label a
>> >> diagram. My coworker uses letters.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Oh, that makes more sense now! :)
>> >>
>> >> Maybe a coin toss?
>> >>
>> >> Rosie Arcelay
>> >> Technical Writer II
>> >> cPanel, Inc.
>> >> rosie -at- cpanel -dot- net
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> On Apr 24, 2018, at 7:30 AM, Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> No one is spelling out numbers. I use Arabic digits when I label a
>> >> diagram. My coworker uses letters. We want to be consistent between
>> the two
>> >> of us, and we're disagreeing on which is better to use when labeling
>> areas
>> >> in a piece of hardware, locations in a floorplan, or in a software UI.
>> >>
>> >> I did do some research on the book I showed him, the one he rejected as
>> >> "the writer doesn't know what he's talking about". Turns out the
>> writer is
>> >> a trained graphic designer, has a 350-cite bibliography, and this book
>> is
>> >> referenced in a lot of other books about illustrating technical
>> information.
>> >>
>> >> We'll see how it goes after I point this out to him. We've not been
>> >> working together too long, but so far we've managed to compromise on
>> pretty
>> >> much everything where our personal styles differ. I'd say we're about
>> 50/50
>> >> on that, which is good.
>> >>
>> >> On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 8:18 AM, Rosalma Arcelay <rosie -at- cpanel -dot- net>
>> wrote:
>> >>
>> >>> I donât think I have ever seen a graphic with numbers spelled out.
>> >>> That being said, the first question I would ask isâ Who is your user
>> and
>> >>> how will they be using this graphic?
>> >>> If itâs a graphic thatâs meant to be scannable (aka, read quickly), I
>> >>> would go with the numbers. Same if itâs being translated.
>> >>> If itâs not, and itâs something thatâs going into a magazine, for
>> >>> example, where people are taking their time to read it, then spelling
>> out
>> >>> numbers might work (even though it would be weird, imo).
>> >>>
>> >>> Rosie Arcelay
>> >>> Technical Writer II
>> >>> cPanel, Inc.
>> >>> rosie -at- cpanel -dot- net
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> On Apr 24, 2018, at 1:54 AM, Erika Yanovich <ERIKA_y -at- rad -dot- com> wrote:
>> >>>
>> >>> If not too much text is involved, I'd used call-outs/bubbles with the
>> >>> actual explanation inside.
>> >>> HTH,
>> >>> Erika
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>> >>
>> >>
>> >> --
>> >> Lin Sims
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >
>> >
>> > --
>> > Lin Sims
>> > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> > Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy
>> and content development | http://techwhirl.com
>> >
>> > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> >
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>
>
>
> --
> Lin Sims
>



--
Lin Sims
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?: From: Lin Sims
RE: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?: From: Erika Yanovich
Re: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?: From: Rosalma Arcelay
Re: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?: From: Lin Sims
Re: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?: From: Rosalma Arcelay
Re: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?: From: Lin Sims
Re: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?: From: sharipunyon
Re: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?: From: Lin Sims

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