RE: Re[2]: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?

Subject: RE: Re[2]: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?
From: "David Artman" <david -at- davidartman -dot- com>
To: "Grant Hogarth" <grant -at- hedgewizard -dot- net>, "Lin Sims" <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2018 12:10:50 -0700

I have also seen this where callout objects are either square or
circular, and the distinction is 'echoed' in references to them. That
has its own gotchas, though, depending upon your tools:

* If you cannot find a font that allows you to render each numeral
variant as typed text--or that doesn't have enough numbers for your
extreme use cases--then you now have to deal with images in your
definition table or inline in your procedures. Not a total deal
breaker... and a way to avoid inappropriate translation (though there's
tons of ways to prevent that with typed text, too, of course).

* Some typesetting tools (and DITA, with proper transform) can
automatically render inline text of any font with the right character
style as within a black box, as white text. So even without a custom
font, you can use any arbitrary alphanumeric string (or symbols) as
typed text with the callout treatment. FWIW, IBM's IBMIDDOC
hardware-documentation output generator (circa 2005-ish) renders
<callout> elements using a black square with white text, so there's
some precedent.

But you ain't gonna get no circles that way! :-(

* Color will not be your friend, especially in screen shot situations
(as opposed to, for example, vector art from CAD for hardware). Best
bet is white on black and smart placement when overlapping the image
(see my previous post about outdenting left-side callouts

Further, depending on the software and OS, you can potentially use OS
color themes to ensure high contrast with your W-on-B callouts (and
support company colors/branding, to boot!).

** Bonus if you go that route: You can eliminate gradients in window
chrome and thereby (a) significantly reduce image file sizes and (b) be
able to PhotoShop different cropping or window sizes, as necessary for
space considerations. Try making, say, a Windows Explorer window screen
shot narrower, when it's got a gradient title bar! (Better be a dab
hand with the blur tool!

TL;DR: Yes, you can use all numeral if you distinguish definitional
callouts from procedural callouts by bounding-object shape, size, or
font; but consider both your current tool capabilities and near-future
tool migration potential before you commit.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re[2]: Numbers or Letters when labeling a graphic?
From: "Grant Hogarth" <[1]grant -at- hedgewizard -dot- net>
Date: Tue, April 24, 2018 9:40 am
To: "Lin Sims" <[2]ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com>, TECHWR-L
<[3]techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
All I can think of is to make the numbers a distinctly different font
font color (or both) from what you use for procedure numbering.


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2. mailto:ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com
3. mailto:techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
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