Re: Figures

Subject: Re: Figures
From: Stefan Fielding-Isaacs <sfi -at- VERITY -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 1993 13:32:50 PST

> >From: Nancy Burns <nburns -at- NOAO -dot- EDU>
> >Subject: Re: Figures
> >
> >>I'm just curious (some would say *extremely* curious indeed, but that's
> >>another story...), how do the folks on the list handle figures in their
> >>documents? I used to do sketches and let designers handle it, and even
> >>then I did figures as an afterthought, after the text was finished.
> >>
> >>How do the rest of you work? Do you use a lot of figures? How do you
> >>develop them? In the document cycle, when do you develop them? Do you
> >>include them in technical reviews?
> >>
> >>|Len Olszewski, Technical Writer |
> >
> >Len,
> >
> >I usually develop the concept of a figure during the early draft stage and
> >then create the actual figure, using a drawing program, when I have enough
> >information.
> >
> >Nancy Burns

Interesting points of view.

I have done a fair bit of hardware technical writing amongst my software

The first stage of component-level hw tech writing is to sit down with
the machine in question (I prefer to write service manuals for entire
computers) and take the thing apart. Several times.

Then I sit down and draw the machine from the perspectives I'll need.
Rear view, side views, top view. Then I draw all the major components
that are to be replaced and all the cables. Then I draw the layout of
the cables for the machine in a variety of configurations.

When I've got all the drawing done I begin to do the writing.

I think it's next to impossible to do a good field service manual without
following a similar procedure. One has to take the machine apart.

The rough drawings (all hand done because it's much quicker that way)
I then pass on to an artist/mech CAD person to put into a drawing program.
I then import the graphic into FrameMaker. In the draft documents I use
my hand-drawn views.

Unless there is a _very_ good reason, my drawings are rendered exactly
into the CAD program (I don't want any surprises).

A picture is worth a thousand words, after all.

I cannot imagine writing such a manual before doing the drawing work.
To my mind the drawings would necessarily be a less-than-useful adjunct
and the writing in the manual unecessarily verbose..


Stefan Fielding-Isaacs
dba Art & Science
Consulting Hardware and Software Technical Writing

Previous by Author: Re: Technical -v- Technical Writing Expertise
Next by Author: Re: Overcoming Technophobia
Previous by Thread: Re: Figures
Next by Thread: Re: Figures

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

Sponsored Ads