Re: Numbering Sections for Flexibility

Subject: Re: Numbering Sections for Flexibility
From: Lani Hardage <lhardage -at- RMTECH -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 11:02:18 -0800

I had to go to section numbers because my docs are all in HTML, and when
you printed out the whole thing, individual HTML articles were numbered
but there was no way to find an article. The solution was to put section
numbers, rather than page numbers, in the TOC and in the title and first
header of each article. When printed in Netscape, you get the title
printed at the top left of each page, and page numbers at the bottom (1
of 4, etc.).

The trouble with numbering of any kind is that, by definition, you can't
insert stuff without throwing the numbering off! IMHO there is no good
solution to that problem. I have resorted to adding article 5.3b,
acknowledging that it is kludgy. As Alan points out, several levels of
numbers are numbing. I limit it to 3 (2 would be better, but our manual
is large - 500 pages), e.g. article 5.3.1.


Alan Sismey wrote...
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 "8.1.1.3.3.1" - 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
> availability.
> Issue the new section as an addendum pending the next major update.
>
> All the best
> Alan Sismey
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Paul Cordts and Margie Monforton [SMTP:mmmphc -at- MICH -dot- COM]
> Sent: Wednesday, 11 March 1998 10:35
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Numbering Sections for Flexibility
>
> I need help from people who publish and update longer manuals:
>
> My unit writes policy and procedure manuals (approx. 200 pages
> total I'd say). We published our most extensive and changing manual
> in
> January and it goes to 270 people.
>
> Now we're faced with adding a new section - ideally in between some
> of the other sections, but we've numbered them 1, 2, 3, etc. This
> addition would throw the numbering off if we don't republish the
> entire manual.
>
> Does anyone know a way to number the sections so that you can make
> additions and deletions without screwing up the section numbers?
>
> ~~
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