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Forward referencing is not user-friendly. The first reference to a figure should
always be directly followed by the figure itself. There is really no good
exception to this. Users do not like to flip around in huge manuals to find a
figure *4000* pages after the text that goes with it.
An easy way around the second part of your problem is to number each section's
figures independently: Figure 1-1, 1-2, etc., Figure 2-1, 2-2, etc., and so on.
Then each section's figures will be properly numbered no matter what order they
are developed in. Putting all of the figures into a separate manual is a bad
idea-what if they lose the second book? How many times have you needed a graphic
from Corel and couldn't find the graphic reference volume?
Has anybody ever run into this situation: an author wants to use what he
calls "forward" referencing--that is, he wants to reference figures in an
early section that actually appear in a later section. So, for example, in
Section 2, you might get a "See Figure 10-1." We have considered putting
the figure in both (or more) sections, but this is a huge (5,000-page)
document and all of these figure additions could add 1,000 pages to the
document. The author is unwilling to have the figure appear in the earlier
We also considered gathering all of the figures together in one volume and
numbering them independently of the sections. Problem is, we won't have the
production time to renumber them in the order they appear in the document.
We are getting this document in chunks, and definitely not in order. So,
while we have Sections 5, 6, and 7 now, we won't get Section 1 until the
very last minute.
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