A Vote for Binders

Subject: A Vote for Binders
From: Documania <dcma -at- MAIL1 -dot- NAI -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 1997 13:56:11 -0500

As a documentation user, I prefer binders for any documentation with
frequent updates. (For an application that's essentially stable, for which
I will be using the same book for more than a year or two, I prefer
saddle-stitch or perfect binding.)

So for frequent-update situations, I prefer binders because:

* they will lie flat
* you can extract a section that you want to copy, or to use in a limited
space if your binder is a biggy
* you can insert updates quickly and easily
* binders often come with pockets inside one or more covers, so if you are
disinclined (or too busy) to insert your updates, you can at least shove
them into the same notebook and not lose them
* you can insert tabs to custom divide or flag sections (vs. using paper
clips, Post-its, folded corners, bookmarks)
* if you use binders with slide-in front covers, you can compromise with
your marketing department and let them do fancy covers, spines, and tabs
while leaving the contents to the engineers (or whoever)
* binders are often more sturdy than softbound books
* binders themselves can be reused

In addition, I believe that binders are more efficient, both in overall
production cost and use of materials. My pettest of all pet peeves is
waste, and using binders allows you to break your doc into components and
thus address changes on a component basis rather than overhauling on the
larger scale required for a bound document.

A common compromise is comb binding, but this doesn't hold up well to hard
usage and it's a pain to mark the spines for people who keep their
documentation on shelves.

My $0.02.

Carolyn Haley
dcma -at- ct1 -dot- nai -dot- net

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