Re: Type of binding

Subject: Re: Type of binding
From: "Marilyn Baldwin (mlbb -at- capgroup -dot- com)" <Marilyn_Baldwin -at- CAPGROUP -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 1 May 1998 08:44:57 -0700

Christa -

Our Tech Comm team supports only in-house customers, so nothing we do goes
to the public; your situation may be quite different.

I don't like ANYTHING spiral bound, except perhaps training material that
will be used in a class and referenced only until the student feels
comfortable doing/using whatever s/he got trained on, and then stored on a
shelf. Here's why. The binding, whether at the top or side, tends to
catch on things. The small plastic "loops" often work their way outside
the plastic spine and break off. When used frequently, pages often start
to tear out. And you can never add new/updated material. I should tell
you that another member of my team, who created a "quick ref" document for
new users of a system, decided to make it half-size and spiral bound so
that it could stand up next to a monitor for easy viewing. I think the
users liked the format.

I also don't like permanent binding, unless something is one-time only and
will never be updated. I wrote some new release notes for one of our
in-house systems last year, and our admin assistant sent the document to
our print dept and asked for it to be bound (thinking that would look
pretty classy). When, only days later, the content owners discovered that
one affected area hadn't been addressed in the documentation (they just
forgot a minor impact that needed to be described), there was no way we
could just add the update page to the bound doc.

So usually it's the old three-ring binder, or even those black (or blue or
red) report folders with clear plastic covers that take three-hole paper.
Both are easy to store, easy to add new pages to, easy to use. When a new
version or release of something comes out, users can just trash the old
pages and replace them with the new, or put a tab in to separate the
now-archival information from the current.

I'll be interested to hear the comments of others. Best of luck in your
new job!

- Marilyn Baldwin (mlbb -at- capgroup -dot- com)

From: "Hutchings; Christa" <cwhutchings -at- HOMEWIRELESS -dot- COM> AT
Internet_Gateway on 05/01/98 10:05 AM

To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU AT Internet_Gateway -at- ccmail
cc: (bcc: Marilyn Baldwin/CDS/CG/CAPITAL)
Subject: Type of binding

Hi all -

I have just started a new position with a new company and will be setting
up and handling their tech pubs effort (including authoring, designing,
hiring contractors, coordinating work efforts, etc.).

We are exploring different types of binding for our printed docs and are
curious about the pros/cons of publishing user guides spiral bound at the
top instead of the more traditional side-binding. I'd be interested in
hearing feedback from anyone who has used or considered this type of
binding. All comments welcome!


Chris Welch-Hutchings
Sr. Technical Writer
Home Wireless Networks, Inc.

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