Re: Figure / Table Names and Numbers

Subject: Re: Figure / Table Names and Numbers
From: "Wayne J. Douglass" <wayned -at- VERITY -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 1997 10:32:13 -0800

At 12:04 PM 3/14/97 -0500, Amy Frink wrote:
>Greetings.
>
>One theory about Figure / Table Names and Numbers says forget about
>them. They only add "stuff" to already busy pages. The opportunity is to
>integrate text, graphics, and pictures so wisely as to alleviate the need
>for any identifiers.
>
>Another theory (or need) for Figure / Table Names and Numbers may be
>from the indexing /cross referencing perspective. Guiding a reader to an
>exact page requires these naming conventions.
>
>Also, has anyone developed new names for these identifiers, for
>example, Visuals or Pictures to avoid confusion about exactly what is a
>table, versus a graphic, versus a screen shot.
>
It all depends on whether you think your readers will want to find a
particular table or graphic in the contents. My first job was in a
department writing maintenance manuals. In that context we had both figure
and table titles because we anticipated that our readers might want to find
a diagram or a table documenting connector pinouts.

In software manuals, especially Windows software manuals, I find such
labeling unnecessary. The figure caption will usually recapitulate what's
already in the picture (for example, XYZ dialog), adding no new information
for the reader. And I doubt if any reader is passionate about finding the
XYZ dialog in the contents.

--Wayne Douglass

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