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Regarding whether to use perfect binding, spiral binding, or 3-ring binders;
7 x 9, or 8-1/2 x 11 format -- as with most things, it all comes down to
knowing your users.
We had a graphic designer a couple of years ago who wanted us to issue
all our manuals in 7 x 9 bound format -- since "that was the industry
standard." Maybe, for the software industry in general. But when we actually
got a group of our users together and asked them, every single one
said that they wanted to stick with the 8-1/2 x 11 3-ring binders.
The reason was that they liked to pull out individual sections
and photocopy them for various people who were doing specific
tasks. It was much easier to feed loose sheets through the photocopy
machine than to have to stand there turning the pages on a bound book.
Also, our clients do, for the most part, insert the updates into
their manuals, because they are librarians, and that kind of activity
tends to fit their job profile (i.e., orderly classification of
information). So they also liked the looseleaf binders because they
made it easy to keep the reference information up to date.