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Subject:Re: Trends in (PRINTED) Page Layout From:PETER STEPHEN ONG <pong -at- SFSU -dot- EDU> Date:Tue, 8 Apr 1997 12:09:07 -0700
Here is the questionaire I sent out on the list. (I said last month, but
it was during Feb. Sorry :-)). Twelve writers responded, of which I
cited from four or five for my report.
I just wanted to send this to see if it was what you are looking for. You
do not need to reply to the questions.
Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.
On Sun, 23 Feb 1997, PETER STEPHEN ONG wrote:
> Sorry, I got a little side-tracked on the last letter. Thank you for
> pointing that out. Allow me to explain what I need.
> What are the current trends? I know they differ from document to document
> (such as procedures, manuals, specs.), but what is common in all
> practice to use in documents? Here are some questions that I cannot find
> in books or magazines at my library, nor can I answer since I have not
> graduated yet.
> I will incorporate the most important trends into my report and give an
> oral presentation to my class. In effect, your replies will influence the
> next generation of Technical Writers!
> I am limiting all these questions to white legal 8.5 X 11 inch
> paper. (Mainly because that is only what I can print on! :-)).
> 1) Use more or less white space? When and where to scarifice?
> 2) Have one to three huge paragraphs on a page or divide a page
> into several mini paragraphs?
> 3) What is the norm for subheads? Bold or underlined?
> 4) Bars running above or below headers and footers? Are H&Fs
> centered, justified, or flush left?
> 5) Is the trend towards in-house printing or taking it to a
> printshop? (For 8.5 X 11).
> 6) If in-house, what is the norm for pinting? Laser, inkjet, or
> color inkjet? (I use color inkjet).
> 7) What are DPI standards for in-house and public documentation?
> 8) Are more people using PageMaker or FrameMaker and why?
> 9) Do writers prefer to use steps, numbered steps, round bullets,
> or diamond bullets? What do the majority feel is the best way
> to get the message across?
> 10) Are writers told to write more or less to explain and convey
> the message these days?
> 11) Are writers expected to know how to use graphics software
> (Photoshop) and include them in their pages? Or is text
> still the main form of communication in this field?
> 12) Do writers spell everything out in manual form or are
> they drifting towards more of a "Reference Sheet,"
> "numbered steps," or "bulleted" style?
> 13) Is the use of color beginning to become standard for most
> projects involving heavy text?
> 14) Is page layout and document design done all by computer or do
> writers still do cut-and-paste and blueline printouts before
> the final version?
> 15) Roughly how many people get to lay out a page design and
> decide how it should look? Mainly one? Two? Three? Eight?
> The boss? Project manager?
> 16) S.F. State teaches: Instructions & Procedures should use
> numbered steps, bullets, headers/ footers, and subheads.
> Manuals and descriptions should have title, subhead, block
> text paragrpahs. Are there other conventions out in the
> workplace for these documents?
> 17) Do most writers write in 10pt, 12pt, or 14pt?
> 18) What are the most popular serif fonts and sans serif fonts
> used? What were the former popular fonts and why did they
> 19) Do most writers use the software templates and their
> company/ own style guides to write or start from
> 20) Any other trends I may have missed?
> Thank you for reading. I appreciate your experienced comments. I realize
> that replies and trends will differ from company to company, but rest
> assured, sorting them out will be MY problem :-).
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