Re: Type of binding (with PS about print/HTML output)

Subject: Re: Type of binding (with PS about print/HTML output)
From: Yvonne DeGraw <yvonne -at- SILCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 2 May 1998 10:12:53 -0700

Christa Hutchings <cwhutchings -at- HOMEWIRELESS -dot- COM> wrote:
>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.

Binding *always* depends on the audience, type of application, and type of
document. There's a lot on binding in the list archives, so I'll focus on
top-binding, which I don't recall a prior discussion of.

For a document I'm creating now, I'm planning to use a saddle staple along
the top. It's a short document, about 48 pages 6.25" wide by 4" high. So, it
will look kind of like the check registers that come with checks you order.

It's for a Quicken add-on for Windows CE devices, so I've designed it to be
about the same size and shape as the Windows CE devices. It's *very* cute,
and I'm having fun keeping sections to 4" long or 8" over a two-page spread.

I could go with a spiral-type binding on this, but it's actually more
expensive at the volume we're at. However, saddle stitching only works up to
a fairly small thickness.

You wouldn't want to use top binding unless you modified the page layout to
take the binding location into account. A page footer looks odd on a top
page and a page header looks odd on a bottom page. You'll also need to
decide whether top or bottom pages are odd, and whether chapters start on a
top or bottom page or wherever they fall. Make a mockup to see whether the
design and binding are usable in the situation where the user will read the

If you're talking about a normal book size (maybe 7"W by 9"H) spiral bound
at the top, your users may want to prop it up like a notebook. This might
work for admin assistants/data entry people. However, you'll probably find
that they can only read one side of the page this way.

BTW, related to another thread, I'm producing the book (or parts of it) as
paper, cross-platform HTML-based help, and Win CE help (which is also
HTML-based). I'm doing it with FrameMaker and WebWorks Publisher from
Quadralay (just started using version 4.0 and it's working great).
Yvonne DeGraw, Technical Services o Technical Writing
yvonne -at- silcom -dot- com o Online Help o Web Documentation
Tel: 805/683-5784 o Database Publishing
Santa Barbara STC:

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