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Subject:Re: Numbering Sections for Flexibility From:DURL <durl -at- BUFFNET -dot- NET> Date:Wed, 11 Mar 1998 09:24:35 -0500
Excellent point. I wonder if industry standards (or habit?) is
IME, writing procedure manuals, or operation manuals, for plant
operations (manufacuturing, utility operations, other production
processes) is customarily done with numbers. People have a comfort level
with 1, 2, 3, 4. The familiarity makes it easy to find information.
The subheading levels--the 1.1, 1.2 and so on make it easy to find
info, and the the length of the subheading gives a clue to the kind of
info (ex. X.3 is always the procedure section, regardless of topic). The
numbering also gives you a way to number the figures (relevant subsection
number with a hyphenated suffix denoting fig: 1.3.2-1 = chapter 1,
procedure 2, illustration).
I agree, though: beyond four places, or at most five for the
figure extension, it's a mess.
Online only makes sense if people have a computer on their desk.
In a production environment, they probably don't.
Mary Durlak Erie Documentation Inc.
East Aurora, New York (near Buffalo)
durl -at- buffnet -dot- net
On Wed, 11 Mar 1998, Alan Sismey wrote:
> A number of different issues are raised here, but my suggestion is to NOT
> use section numbers at all.
> I am responsible for the maintenance of over 100 documents (some with 200
> plus pages) and none of these have section numbers. I believe that the
> documents are much easier to use without section numbers and I have not had
> any complaints from the users. Each type of document has a standard format
> with 3 or 4 heading levels.
> We have other documents (not my responsibility) which do use section
> numbers and you get things like "184.108.40.206.3.1" - I really don't think that
> section numbering adds any value to a document.
> Some of the issues:
> I assume that you are using a word processing package with heading levels
> and are not physically numbering each section.
> A policy and procedures manual of 200 pages is too big - split it into
> smaller documents.
> Do the 270 people each receive a hard copy? If so, I would look at online
> Issue the new section as an addendum pending the next major update.
> All the best
> Alan Sismey