Pros or Cons of Section Numbering

Subject: Pros or Cons of Section Numbering
From: DAVID IBBETSON <ibbetson -at- IDIRECT -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 31 Aug 1996 18:14:51 -0400

I first met this sort of section numbering at school in a maths text book
written by one of our masters.

I like it. I also like it in Classical works, including the Bible, where the
section numbering is a reference that works for all editions and
translations. Similarly I like line numbering in long poems.

A users' manual is a technical document. To my mind section numbers are
appropriate in technical writing. Against this I have seen claims that some
readers are put off by section numbers and footnotes. I don't understand
why*, and suspect that such people are likely to prefer "Dummy's Guides to
Lovemaking" or whatever.

As always the question isn't the writer's preference but what the audience
will find most helpful.

* I also suspect that some of these allegations
come from people whose tools can't handle
section numbers and footnotes. I have seen
a recent string on section numbering in Word
and I want footnotes in PageMaker.

David (the numerate idiot) Ibbetson

David Ibbetson ibbetson -at- idirect -dot- com
133 Wilton St, #506, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5A 4A4
Phone (416) 363-6692 Fax (416) 363-4987

If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the
battle? -- I Corinthians xiv, 8

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