Re: Usability -- page numbering

Subject: Re: Usability -- page numbering
From: Charles Fisher <decrsc!charles -at- UUNET -dot- UU -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1993 17:45:17 -0500

Kelly Hoffman said:

> Umm, I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. Why
> would it be any easier to revise a document with 1-1, 2-1 style
> page numbers than one with sequential page numbers?

We use the 1-1, 1-2, ... method here because of frequent updates and
revisions. The best way to explain why we use it is to describe what would
happen if you didn't. Let's say I needed to update a 400-page manual
with sequential page numbers (1, 2, 3, etc). If I need to add two pages of
information after page 12, then I need to reproduce and re-distribute
pages 12 through 402. We don't use the 12a, 12b, etc. method because we might
have the case where we need to insert another page between 12b and 12c, then
things get really messy (12bi, 12bii ???).

On the other hand, if my document were originally produced using the
chapter #/page # method (1-1, 1-2...), then I would only have to replace pages
to the end of the chapter. For example, if chapter 1 is 12 pages long and I
needed to add two pages after page 6, then chapter 1 would then become 14 pages
long and I would send out an update asking clients to replace pages 1-6 through
1-12 with the new pages 1-6 through 1-14.

In short, the chap #/page # method of pagination is a good way of
reducing the impact of adding new pages (aka the "ripple effect") in a
document. It also saves a lot of trees.

Charles Fisher
Senior Documentation Specialist
Program Manager/President-Elect, STC Washington DC Chapter

Datatel, Inc.
4375 Fair Lakes Court
Fairfax, VA 22033
(703) 968-4588 (voice)
(703) 968-4625 (FAX)
charles -at- datatel -dot- com

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