Using Colour in Manuals

Subject: Using Colour in Manuals
From: Barbara Stuhlemmer <bstuhlemmer -at- HOTMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 08:56:58 PST

Hi everyone:

I am a Technical Writer for a small company the produces high end
correctional software and processing equipment for GPS surveying.

I was hired about 4 months ago to write hardware/software users manuals.
Most of the information is in a manual format already, but the style is
more like an engineering document. This is what the company is trying
to get away from.

I have produced a manual template using highlighting colour and full
colour images throughout. My immediate boss (the head of engineering)
and his immediate boss are thrilled with the look of the new manual.

To print this manual I researched costs for having it professionally
printed, photocopies or printing it ourselves using a colour laser
printer. Since the cost of the colour laser printers have come down
dramatically and the quality is amazing, I recommended purchasing the
printer.

The purchase request was approved, but stopped at the accounting
department. They want justification for using colour, at all. Our
manuals have been black and white from the beginning and that has been
sufficient up to this point, why should we change?

I was not prepared to answer this question(I was caught off guard,
expecting everyone to want this option). I have given a few feeble
excuses (e.g. 'it makes the manuals easier to read and follow, which in
tern will make the manual a usable tool for our customers).

I am hoping someone has some data (money type) that would sway their
position.

Can anyone help me?

Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

Barbara Stuhlemmer
Technical Writer,
Applanix Corp.,
Markham, Canada
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