Document Production Survey

Subject: Document Production Survey
From: Charles Fisher <decrsc!charles -at- UUNET -dot- UU -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 1994 14:57:41 -0400

Here at Datatel, we're in the process of redesigning the
appearance and production of our software documentation. We'd
like to find out what other folks are doing. If you can, please
answer the following questions to help us give our documents a
face lift.


Currently, we use 8.5 x 11 paper in three-ring binders with
inserted covers and spines. We also use laminated tabs to divide
sections of the manuals. We currently photocopy (in-house or
through a high-speed on-demand vendor) our documents, which means
the manuals are blank "ink" on white paper.

Datatel provides Unix-based administrative software systems to
colleges, universities, and non-profit/fund-raising
organizations. We currently have over 200 client sites across
North America. When we ship a software release, we currently send
two copies of each manual. We usually make at least 500 copies of
a given manual for an initial run. Because each client site is a
different size, however, we allow clients to make their own
additional copies of our manuals. They also have the option of
ordering more copies from us. We also provide the PostScript files
to clients so that they can print their own master copies.


1. Briefly describe your marketplace and the size of your client

2. How many copies of a typical manual do you print in one run?

3. What is the finished page size of your documents?

4. How many colors do you use on your document covers? On your
document's body pages?

5. How are your documents bound? (spiral, perfect, three-ring,
etc.) Do you use tabs? Index or bleed?

6. Do you use sequential or segmented (chapter-page) page

7. How are your documents printed? (offset, photocopy, etc.)

8. What is your mechanism for updating documents (change pages,
re-issue, etc.)

9. What would your production cost (printing, assembling,
binding) be for a 400-page book?

10. Did you use a professional book designer for any part of your

11. Are there any other factors that we should be aware of?

Thanks for your time. Please respond to me, and I'll post a
summary to the list. Please try to get your answers to me by June
17. Thanks again!
"If you take hyphens seriously you will surely go mad."
-John Benbow

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

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

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