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Subject:Re: Clarification on Text Styles From:Smokey Lynne L Bare <slbare -at- JUNO -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 12 Dec 1997 10:27:05 -0500
I agree 100%. Usability studies have been done to show retention in
layout (text placement) and typography styles of various materials affect
content recall. Though most writers don't 'own' that part of the
production process (usually procedures/phases are assigned to them), a
review editor does.
Growing up with a father who did offset press work, I learned how to
control fonts and layout, and look for PEs (printer [publishing house]
errors). This is when you see the 'a' and 'e's' styles not completely
inked on a page. But it is important, going up the road on a continuum,
is what is referred to as 'continuous reading rhythm pattern'.
Ohhh....praise that grad student who taught my ed. psych. 103 class.
Never, never thought I would appreciate all those testing screens when
material was flashed before me, and I had to recall what I saw after 30
The point being.....I've editorially 'pinked' or torn documents apart as
there has been no consistency in style, layout, and typography calls.
Design was a problem, true, but I've come to learn that tools can be the
main problem. One tool, which will remain unnamed, does not allow the
HELP windows to offer the same font selection of its manual writing side.
This was brought up in a local STC meeting when a speaker was
complaining about the problem. The tool I am familiar with does allow
this, but it is a higher-end tool, Folio's VIEWS.
When style guides are not done up front, contractors come in with their
favorites, and then leave......when new employees are hired in full time
and use their personal style favorites.....we all know what a legacy mess
that is! I know that recently I did a review for an operations manual
done in FrameMaker, and the leading was off in all the title bars, and
every chart and schematic they printed. Feeling that the writer did not
know the tool enough, I asked the 'keystroking pros' about it. Leading
the titles was an issue as Frame had no control features yet to balance
leading. I can look at most documents now and tell which ones were done
in Frame automatically. They have a tendency to have more space between
the text and bottom line than they do the text and top line. Sometimes
writers just can't control text issues....but these issues need to be
documented and provided as criteria for the next tool review. Think
about it, how many times after a post-implementation, or even worse, a
postmortem review has anyone ever brought up a tool review process?
Might make life a little easier....just maybe.
Oh bless...the wonderful WordPerfect review codes feature....control!
Now, now TCs must be open to everything...yeh, right!