Pros or Cons of Section Numbering

Subject: Pros or Cons of Section Numbering
From: Mary Anthony <mary -at- PERSISTENCE -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 1996 13:01:02 -0700


We are using a new section numbering scheme in our templates -- something
similar to the following:


and so forth. My personal opinion regarding section numbering, is that it
is unnecessary for commercial documentation, that indentation or font
changes supply adequate visual cues for readers.

When writing documentation that uses section numbering, I often have to
shorten or rewrite headings to allow room for the number. Shortened
headings can result in less "user friendly" headings. Also, I consider the
"Table of Contents" created with section numbering harder to scan and simply
less attractive than other headings.

As I have an obvious bias against section numbering, I am looking for
enlightenment from folks on the list who find section numbering useful.
Also, any one who wants to support my bias is free to respond. :-) If
anyone knows of any citings pro or con regarding the usability of section
numbering those would also be of interest to me.

My ultimate goal is to persuade our company to remove section numbering.
However, it could be I am underestimating the benefits. Anyone with
experience in this area out there?



P.S. I am using a new mail authoring tool and haven't quite figured out all
its quirks. My apologies in advance for any munged output.

"What I read, I forget; what I see, I remember; what I do, I learn."
- Unknown Dressage Master
Mary Anthony mary -at- persistence -dot- com

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