Re: Word7 question: leading dots in TOC

Subject: Re: Word7 question: leading dots in TOC
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- AXIONET -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 12:32:30 -0500

Jane Bergen <janeb -at- ANSWERSOFT -dot- COM>

>This subject will probably start another holy war, but I do >take issue with the idea that this is the "standard typography >practice" (regardless of what the Chicago Style Manual says... >I just looked through my bookshelf of recent software manuals >and did not find this style ANYwhere. . . .

>Anybody have any references to studies on this?


I think that John was referring to the standard practices of people
trained in typography. Increasingly, tech-writers are doing layout, but
most of us aren't trained in typography. So, looking through manuals
isn't the way to see what typographical standards are.

But, as proof that John is describing typographical standards, here's a
quote from Robert Bringhurst's "The Elements of Typographic Style," one
of the standard primers on the subject:

"Lists, such as contents pages and recipes, are opportunities to build
architectural structures in which the space between the elements both
separates and binds. The two favorite ways of destroying such an
opportunity are setting great chasms of space that the eye cannot leap
without help from the hand, and setting unenlightening rows of dots (dot
leaders, they are called) that force the eye to walk the width of the
page like a prisoner being escorted back to its cell." (34)

The pros and cons, of course, are another matter.

Bruce Byfield (bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com)
Technical Writer
Burnaby, BC, Canada
(604) 421-7189

"You can go home again, so long as you understand that home
is a place you have never been." --Ursula K. Le Guin

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