Re: Manual design 101

Subject: Re: Manual design 101
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- FS -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 1997 01:07:04 +0800

Anne Chenette <anne -at- XOX -dot- COM> said:
> Help! I need some simple tips for designing a manual set.

I assume you're short of time and don't have the budget to pay for a

Copy good stuff you like the look of. Find manuals with a similar scope,
subject matter or audience to yours. What works and what doesn't?

I like the FrameMaker manuals and a lot of the stuff from Sun. If I
can't decide something myself, I see how they handle it. Apple usually
pays a lot of attention to design, so I expect their manuals too would
be good.

Note that there's a danger in lumping together lots of individual good
deas from different sources. Everything on the page -- type face, size,
white space, leading, line length -- is affected by everything else.
Treat each one in isolation and you get the Builder's-Dream-Home
Syndrome. All the fancy touches from all the houses they've built over
the years, and it usually ends up as a gaudy eyesore.

If you're really desperate, see if your DTP software has a set of book
templates. They won't be great but they should be tolerable-to-adequate.

Good luck.
Stuart Burnfield (slb -at- fs -dot- com -dot- au) Voice: +61 9 328 8288
Functional Software Pty Ltd Fax: +61 9 328 8616

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
Search the archives at or search and
browse the archives at

Previous by Author: Re: Typoz in Resumes
Next by Author: Resumes and SMEs, Years v. Years'
Previous by Thread: Re: Manual design 101
Next by Thread: em dash

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads