Re: need advice on binding

Subject: Re: need advice on binding
From: "You can't get there from here; you have to go somewhere else first." <angela -at- VENUS -dot- SMARTSTAR -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 1994 14:14:31 -0700

We've used 3-ring binders for years, because we usually do not have the
volume to make perfect binding cost-effective, and because our manuals are
too large for wire-o binding. The initial cost for the binders is expensive,
but next time you have a release, you can just send existing customers new
manuals (shrink-wrapped) to put in their old binders.

Some disadvantages we've found to using 3-ring binders:

1. It will make your documentation appear larger, because it will take up
more shelf space and more room on the desk when open for use. Our customers
have complained about this. They (at least the ones we've heard from) prefer
perfect binding, because it takes up less room and looks more like a "real

2. IMHO, it makes the documentation look less professional. We use plain
white binders with clear pockets and slip in our own cover stock with
pre-printed artwork, logo, title, etc., into the front and spine. Even though
the cover sheets we slip in look pretty good, the overall effect is that the
manual looks "home-made" in a binder.

3. About replacement pages: In theory, we thought this would be one of the
few advantages of a 3-ring binder. In practice, however, it didn't work out.
Unless your documentation is constructed so that every new topic starts on a
new page, it could be very difficult to make replacement pages that will
actually fit in to the right place in the previous manual without breaking up
topics or messing up the page numbering. I once created a packet of
replacement pages for an update release, but not many people actually took the
trouble to put the replacement pages in their manuals. I guess it was too
much work to open and close the binder 50 times in different places to put the
new pages in the right places.

Angela Howard
angela -at- smartstar -dot- com

MHOs, not my employer's.

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