Re: Trends in (PRINTED) Page Layout

Subject: Re: Trends in (PRINTED) Page Layout
From: David Castro <techwrtr -at- CRL -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 1997 10:56:32 -0800

>I am a technical writing student at San Francisco State University and am
>hoping some of you could provide insight for my report.

Say hello to Lu for me! It's so nice to see other SFSU students/grads using
this wonderful source for information.

>I am doing a report concerning: "Trends in (PRINTED) Page Layout" and how
>these trends might affect the development of future desktop publishing
>software. [...] Please limit your responses to 8 1/2 X 11
>inch paper, bullets, typography, graphics, style sheets, headers and
>footers, document design, layers, and form follows function.

This is a confusing statement. Are we supposed to only reply if we use 8
1/2 x 11 paper in our documents? That size is rare for professionally
produced documentation (you know, the kind that goes to the print shop),
but is quite common for documentation that is provided in a binder format.
We use 8 1/2 x 11 because our place won't spring for professional printing
(it probably isn't all that necessary with our clientele, as ours isn't
shrink-wrapped software).

Also, what do you want to know about these other aspects?

>Any
>referrals to resources (both on-line and printed) will help me greatly,
>but I believe the best source are from the personal experiences from
>members on this list.

Can you give an example of the types of personal experiences you are
looking for?

>I am familiar with PC and Mac PageMaker 6.5, Photoshop 3.0, Corel Draw
>5.0, Microsoft Word, Adobe Premiere 4.2, and Illustrator 6.0. However,
>replies about other desktop publishing programs are welcome. Please just
>include more information about programs not listed above.

Well, Frame seems to be a very popular program for technical writers (those
who get to choose), but MS Word is used by a lot. I think that those that
use Word usually use it because the .doc format is so universal and because
most online help software uses Word as its backbone (those are the two
reasons my place uses Word...I sure wish we could use Frame, though!).

You should consider learning Frame before entering the market (even if it's
just enough to get your feet wet). Lu purchased at least one copy for the
department, so you don't even have to buy it (though you get a *really*
good discount on the program when you're a student!).

If you can provide me (and the list, as well) with more of what you expect
to hear back from us, I'm sure you'll get a lot of information on these
subjects.

Good luck!

-David Castro
techwrtr -at- crl -dot- com
http://www.crl.com/~techwrtr

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